How to Store Grains and Beans

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

Whole grains such as wheat, rice, and oatmeal are the staff of life and it is important to learn how to store them correctly.



Wheat: White wheat has a mild flavor and works well in whole wheat bread recipes, pancakes, and waffles. It also seems to be easier for the body to adjust to than the red winter wheat. Wheat can be stored in white food buckets for a year with bay leaves intermixed, or it can be canned in #10 cans with oxygen absorber packets for longer storage. If oxygen absorber packets are used, the wheat will not sprout.


Rice: Store brown rice, long-grain rice, and instant rice for fast easy meals. Brown rice can only be stored safely for six months in its original packaging. White rice can be stored for a year in its original store packaging, or it can be canned in #10 cans with oxygen absorber packets for longer storage (8–10 years at 70° F). This is an estimated storage shelf life. You should always check the expiration date on the container or check with the manufacturer.

Pasta: Pasta can be stored for a year in its original store packaging, or it can be canned in #10 cans with oxygen absorber packets for longer storage (8–10 years at 70° F). This is an estimated storage shelf life. You should always check the expiration date on the container or check with the manufacturer.


Flour: Store all-purpose flour, unbleached flour, and bread flour. Purchase twenty-five pound bags. One bag of flour will fit in a five gallon food bucket with a resealable lid. As the flour is poured into the bucket, layer bay leaves with the flour to protect against weevils. Flour can also be canned in #10 cans with oxygen absorber packets for longer storage (five years at 70° F). This is an estimated storage shelf life. You should always check the expiration date on the container or check with the manufacturer. There are sixty-five cups in a twenty-five pound bag of flour.


Corn Masa: Corn masa needs to be kept in the freezer for one year storage. It can be canned in #10 cans with oxygen absorber packets for one to three years of storage. Check the expiration date on the package to make sure it hasn’t been sitting on the store shelves for a long time.


Corn Meal: Corn meal can be stored for a year in the original container. Always check the “best by” date on the container to make sure it hasn’t been sitting on the store shelves for a long time.


Oatmeal: Rolled oats can be stored for a year. If you plan on storing oatmeal longer than a year, purchase the grain and an oatmeal grinder. Store the whole grain in #10 cans with oxygen absorber packets, and grind when you are ready to cook the oatmeal.

Beans: Store dry beans and canned beans. Dry beans will harden over time and will not soften when you soak them. Store dry beans for one year in their original store packaging or they can be canned in #10 cans with oxygen absorber packets for longer storage (8–10 years at 70°). This is an estimated storage shelf life. You should always check the expiration date on the container or check with the manufacturer. Canned beans are convenient when you need a quick, easy meal.



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