First of all, welcome to everyone coming to our blog from Money Saving Mom. Abs and I have been following this blog on frugality for months now, and we feel so honored to have a guest post there. To read our post on why food storage is important, click here. The plan is to do a guest post there every other month or so, and we are very excited. Thanks, Money Saving Mom!
Over the Thanksgiving weekend I had the opportunity to "can" some of my own food in #10 cans. This type of canning (as opposed to bottling/jarring) isn't easy for many people to do because it requires a large, expensive canner. My mother-in-law lives in an area (a "Stake") where the Church owns 4 canners that people can borrow to can up their own foods. Check with your Stake to find out if there are canners available for you to use. If you aren't LDS, find someone who is and ask them about a cannery.
Last week we canned powdered milk, hard red wheat (pictured below), white flour, white sugar, and cocoa mix.
This is the canner (above). It's large and very heavy!
I bought my hard red wheat at the local cannery. Not everyone has a cannery nearby. If you don't, you can order it from several places online. I know many people who like to buy their bulk foods from Walton Feed (disclaimer: I have never bought food from them, so I can't exactly recommend it. But I know many people who say it's great!).
Fill a #10 can with your product (in this case, wheat). We found that it held about 11 cups. You can buy #10 cans at the cannery.
Throw in an oxygen packet. Oxygen packets will kill any germs or bacteria that may have entered the can.
Note: When you use oxygen packets, be sure to leave them in their packaging until you are ready to use them. Once the oxygen packet hits the air, it is being used and won't be good for long.
Once the packet is in the can, throw the top of the can on and place it on the canner. Then, just raise the lever to seal it, turn it on, and the can will start spinning. There's a lever on the side that will seal the top of the can. I didn't include pictures of this because... well, if you are actually using a canner, you will have an instruction booklet. Or you can just read the instructions on the side of the canner machine. It's pretty explanatory.
Once it's sealed (about 6 seconds of spinning), you're done!
Did you know that new research has shown that powdered milk can last up to 20 years if stored correctly (for example, in #10 cans)? I was so excited to hear that - powdered milk is one of my favorites because it adds so much diversity to food storage. Pasta can also be stored for several years in cans. So can beans, wheat, white flour, oats, rice, etc.
One last note: if you "can" white sugar, do NOT add an oxygen packet. Well, not unless you want to literally use a drill to break it apart (just ask my mother-in-law!). Oxygen packets will make your sugar as solid as a rock.
Good luck with your canning! If you have any questions, please feel free to email us or make a comment, and we'll answer your question in an upcoming "Q&A" post (which we post on Saturdays).