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Old 06-23-2010, 04:01 AM   #1
neil-v1
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Default Storing Rice / Beans In Mason Jars or Buckets

Does anyone know how long rice and beans will last if stored in glass mason jars or pails with oxygen absorbers? I have heard up to two years on the rice and maybe an eternity on the beans. Are these timelines correct?

I am not a big rice eater, but it is cheap and I am sure I could learn to love it in a s.h.t.f situation, but I thought it would last much longer than a year or two. Right now, we use very little rice so I would be buying and storing it almost solely for an emergency and not on the basis of a regular rotation.

I have also heard it should be frozen for a while to kill any bug eggs that may be in it????? Will the rice and beans just lose some of their taste if used after say five years, or would it cause my flesh to rot and fall off?

Also, I have some old mason jars that have rusty lids on them. Are these ok to use if I run them through the dish washer? Thanks.



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Old 06-23-2010, 04:41 AM   #2
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Beans and rice if stored in mason jars with a good lid and ring and kept dry will last quite few years. I do think that beans and rice do need to be cooked longer the older they are, but I am not sure how the nutrition would be after say, 10 years or so.
Now I buy used mason jars and have had boxes of them just left on the doorstep too, and if you can get the rusty rings and lids off and give them a real good soak in strong vinegar/water in the sink over night, then wash them in hot soapy water, that rust will come right off and the jars will be like new. Just check the rims carefully for nicks or chips that would let air in.
Due to the dreaded pantry miller being rampant in our area, all most all of my dry goods like rice, and beans and cornmeal and flours etc.... have to be sealed really well in tight containers. Most of my herbs are all stored in the different sizes of mason jars also, and then stored in the drawer or cupboard.

As for freezing stuff to kill off critters, I think it works very well, I have been known to store my extra flour in food safe frosting buckets (.99cents from my local bakery0 the good ones even have a rubber gasket in the lid) and then the buckets get stacked in the big freezer for at least a week, longer if I don't need the room in the freezer. But I do use about 25lbs of bread flour every other month or so, so it hasn't really gone bad on me yet.


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Old 06-23-2010, 05:16 AM   #3
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Don't overlook the possibility of using other glass jars, such as from juice, peanut butter, pickles, salsa, etc. as storage containers for dry foods like rice and beans. It frees up your mason jars for canning.

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Old 06-23-2010, 01:48 PM   #4
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This may sound different, but I use my large pressure cooker to vac seal quart size mason jars. Just place food item, beans, rice or pretty much anything dry into jars with O2 absorbers, then put on lids and rings, tighten, place jars in pressure canner, remove or cover the rubber safety button on lid using heavy tape. Now seal lid on cooker, hook up vac hose(I have a refer vac pump) or from your vac sealing machine to the vent pipe that the pressure regulator sits on and draw a vacuum. Let the jars sit in there for a few minutes, now release the vacuum. Open the canner lid and check the jars, the lids should be concave similar to canning in the conventional manner. Take off rings and check the lids with your fingernail, if they resist they should be good to go.
I've been doing this for quite a while and have had no problems with lid failures.
Some vac sealers come with an attachment that will do small mouth jars in the same way, my method will do just about any jar with a good sealing lid.
I leave the jar rings on for extra protection.

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Old 06-23-2010, 02:00 PM   #5
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Bunkerbob! you are a genius! I have been using the little mason jar lid sealer that came with my food saver and I could have been doing lots in a "vacuum chamber".. Thanks for the great info!
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:20 PM   #6
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Neil, we have used 2 qt plastic juice jugs with o2 absorbers for years for all our dry goods. A discussion on another thread asked about brown rice storage -- I opened a jug of brown rice dated 02-09 last week. I don't think I could have distinquished that rice from brown rice right off the shelf.

Regarding freezing to kill bugs -- no need if you use o2 absorbers.

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Old 06-23-2010, 02:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsysue View Post
Don't overlook the possibility of using other glass jars, such as from juice, peanut butter, pickles, salsa, etc. as storage containers for dry foods like rice and beans. It frees up your mason jars for canning.
You're so right! I get the gallon glass olive/pickle jars from my BIL who works in a big kitchen- they are so good for so many things... like my big heirloom seed collections- it only takes one mouse to eat thru plastic Rubbermaid tubs for me, now all the good stuff is hidden behind glass!
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:38 PM   #8
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I use the clear plastic Dixie Crystals Sugar bottles - hold about 3.5 lbs of rice, beans varies in weight by type - smaller pack tighter for more weight. I seal the lidwith plastic bag material under it as I tighten. Three years later, tastes fine.
I also use the NEW quart and gallon paint buckets from Lowes/Home Depot, using a plastic or mylar bag as a food-safe liner. "Gold" lined food grade buckets are available for higher cost, not needing a liner.

The white Nondairy Creamer bottles work well for dry food storage too, sealed like the sugar bottles. I write contents on all with black magic marker, with date sealed.

If you buy spaghetti sauce, the Classico brand uses Mason jars that take standard Ball lids. Gotta love 'double-duty' packaging!

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Old 06-23-2010, 03:06 PM   #9
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I'm sure everyone knows this, but just in case...
When you get the jar filled with rice, beans, whatever, shake the jar and tap on it and jiggle the stuff down as tight as you can without making it into powder! That not only allows you to get more in the jar, but more stuff in the jar equals less air space.


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Old 06-24-2010, 04:24 AM   #10
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Someone gave me an interesting idea today! Vacuum seal (or put in a ziplock and squeeze air out) some bouillion cubes and toss those in the jars/buckets with the rice. Have them there, handy and ready to use. (Not that everything you make with rice will want to have bouillion in it!)




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