Seven Tips For Storing Food In Mylar Bags
Kevin Felts 03.06.18
Interested in storing food in mylar bags, but unsure where to start? Someone unfamiliar with this topic may be wondering why store food in mylar bags to start with?
Dried food products, such as white rice, beans and oatmeal, when stored in a mylar bag along with an oxygen absorber, have anywhere from a 20-30 year life expectancy. The lifespan can be affected by factors such as storage temperature.
Let’s talk about a few tips about storing food in mylar bags.
No Animal Products
Looking for stuff to store in mylar bags? Exclude everything that has animal products. This includes dehydrated milk, milk powder, cheese. For example, if someone stores mac n cheese in a mylar bag, throw the cheese packet away.
The animal products will break down over time and may go rancid. Better to be safe than sorry.
Read the package ingredients, if any animal products are listed, do not store in mylar bags.
Mashed potatoes for example. Some bags of potato flakes will have added dried cheese or milk powder. Others will be strictly dried potato flakes.
Mylar bags have to be sealed by a heat source, such as a clothes iron. Some of the seals on my mylar bags have broke open. The bags with the ziplock seal add an extra layer of protection. None of the bags with the ziplock seal have ever broke open.
Also, the ziplock allows the bag to be re-sealed once it has been opened. If someone opens a gallon bag of rice, chances are the whole gallon of rice is not going to be used at one time. Open the bag, get a cup of rice, reseal with the ziplock.
When ordering mylar bags, try to order the thickest bags you can find. Bags will be measured in mils.
- 2.85 mil
- 3.0 mil
- 4.3 mil
- 5.0 mil
The thinner the bag, the more likely the contents will poke a hole in the bag. There have been post in the forum of people who stored spaghetti in mylar bags, and the ends of the spaghetti poked a hole in the bag.
Shells and cheese and macaroni have edges that can poke holes in the bags.
Look for mylar bags that have flat bottoms so they can stand upright. This will be a great help when it comes to filling the bags. If the bags do not have a flat bottom, they will have to be propped up against something.
On of the most aggravating things that happens when working with mylar bags, is for one to fall over and spill the contents all over the table.
The flat bottoms help the bag stand upright s they do not fall over.
I always order higher than the recommended oxygen absorber size. Also, let’s say someone is doing different size bags. Rather than ordering different size O2 absorbers, just order big ones and put them in all the bags.
Using the same size absorber keeps things simple.
There are numerous charts available to help determine what size O2 absorber to use with what size bag.
My personal preference is to fill the bag half full, add O2 absorber, fill the rest of the way with food product. One time I had the edge of an O2 absorber get into the seal. As a result, the bag had to be redone. Putting the absorber in the middle of the bag keeps it away from the seal.
Brown rice can not be stored in mylar bags. Oils will leak out of the rice bran, then the oils will turn rancid over time.
Only store dried white rice in mylar bags. White rice has had the husk, bran and germ layers removed.
One great thing about storing food in mylar bags is the meal planning. Let’s say someone stores 10 pounds of oatmeal. That 10 pounds equals 160 ounces. Oatmeal has a two ounce serving size. So we know there are around 80 servings in that 10 pounds of oatmeal.
One pound of uncooked rice is around 2 cups. So ten pounds would be around 20 cups. One cup of rice would be a side dish for four people.
Rice is probably best stored in bulk, such as 40 pound superpails. When I did my homemade superpails, 40 pounds of rice were put into each one.
- Make sure you have enough food items to fill the mylar bags.
- Stand the bags upright on a table
- Fill them with dried food products
- Add oxygen absorber
- Get as much of the air out as you can
- Seal ziplock
- Use a heat source to seal the mylar
Maybe the reader is unsure if they want to dabble in storing food in mylar bags? Get a few quart sized mylar bags and give it a try. The process is easier than it sounds.