Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Storing Dry Goods

I have been doing some research on the storage of dry goods.  I want to talk about "Oven Canning", first and foremost let me say that "Oven Canning" is not a safe way to can your foods because the heat doesn't penetrate the food the same way it does when water bath canning or pressure canning. 

Storing dry foods on the other hand is something completely different. Many people want to store rice, grains, flour, ect...and want to make sure that it is not infested with bugs and larvae before putting it in storage. 

There are 3 keys that will greatly help reduce your stored food being infested.
  1. Proper Buying
  2. Proper Storage
  3. Good Housekeeping
I am attaching a couple of documents that you may also refer to.  They are from the University of Idaho Extension and the Division of Agriculture Research & Extension, University of Arkasas.



Both of these documents state that freezing your dry goods is one option and heating them in an oven is another for killing any bugs or larvae.  If heating in the oven they both suggest heating in a shallow pan at temperature from 140 to 155 degrees for 1/2 hour. 

I know that many people actually put it in jars and put the jars in the oven at 200 degrees for an hour, then remove jars from the oven and put on lids and rings. 

This method has not been tested enough to prove if this amount of heat and temperature changes the food in any way and it is not safe to put jars in an oven, it can crack the jars. 

You should heat the dry goods in a pan as directed in the attached documents and then transfer to jars.  Put on lids and rings and tighten down finger tight.  Most of the time the heat from the food will help the jars seal but if you have a food saver, you can use the attachment to remove air from the jars. 

I wanted to extend a special thank you to Kayla Wells, WSU Colville reservation-Ferry County Extension, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator & 4H Challenge Coordinator for all of her help in my research and for giving me the articles on dry good storage.

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