Oven Canning Dry Goods for Long Term Storage

By Alec Sharp (Palmetto Prepper)

oven canning 1

I have been looking for an easy way to save dry goods like rice and flour for a while. I buy a little just about every time I go to the grocery store and have been looking for an cost effective way add them to my long term food storage. During my research I learned about oven canning and thought it might by a great solution for me.

Unlike many people who store food I do not buy in bulk; for two reasons. The first being that I do not have any stores nearby that sell bulk dry goods and the other is I don’t have the extra money to buy 100 pounds of rice and then all the Mylar bags, oxygen absorbers and food grade buckets. What I do have is a few extra dollars every week and lots of jars that were in grandma’s out building. So I can buy a few 3 pound bags of rice at the end of the week, oven can it and I am done.

The other great thing about oven canning is that if you can your dry goods correctly they can have a storage life of 15 to 20 years. So if you are at the grocery store and find flour or sale and decide to pick up a few extra bags you will know that you can store it long term and you will not have lost any money. The other great thing is that the jars are a good size so you can rotate the dry goods easily. We use ½ gallon jars for our oven canning. When needed my wife will just open one up and keep it in the pantry. When that jars is empty, she washes it and puts back in the box with the other empties and gets another full jar out of storage. We have found that the half gallon Ball jars hold about 3 ½ pounds of rice and 2 ½ pounds of flour. Any size jar will work from pints to half gallons.

What can be oven canned?

Dried goods like oatmeal, rice, whole wheat flour, white flour, cake mixes, and potato flakes can all be oven canned. Sugar and products that contain oil cannot be oven canned.

How to oven can Dry Goods

The first thing you need to do is pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees (depending on the size of jar you are using you might have to remove the top rack in your oven). While your oven is heating up make sure that you have the correct size lids and bands to fit the jars. Fill your clean jars with the dry goods you are canning. Once the oven has pre-heated place your full jars (no lids) on a cookie sheet in the oven. We always place the cookie sheet in the oven first and then place the jars on the cookie sheet. The cookie sheets job is to keep the jars from tipping over in the oven.

Leave the filled jars in the oven for one hour. While they are processing get a clean towel and place it on your counter so the hot jars want damage it when you remove them from the oven. Once the jars have processed for an hours use hot mitts to remove a jar and place it on the towel. Carefully wipe the rim with a damp (not wet) paper towel. Lastly place the lid on the hot jar and screw the band firmly in place. Carefully grab another jar and repeat this process until all the jars have lids and bands firmly secured. As the jars cool you will hear them start to make a “clicking” noise. That is the sound of the lids sealing. Let the jars cool completely, remove bands, label and store.

The Advantages

Oven canning is an excellent way to prolong the shelf life of dry goods. It also kills bugs and eggs that you might not know are in your products. The big one for me was that if frees up valuable freezer space and helps me take advantage of sales at my local grocery store.

oven canning 2

Please be extremely careful when handling hot jars and remember I am not a professional and I am only sharing what has worked for my family and me. If you have any question about safety please feel free to check with your local extension office.

35 responses

  1. How about cornmeal? Or Masa? Or does that fall under ‘contains oil’?

    1. I am not sure … I would check with your county extention office. The list I put on here is what I have had success with. I an any type of nut has oil in it. Hope that helps.

  2. I oven canned all my cornmeal a year ago and it’s great. I also did rice, whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, corn flour, oatmeal, dried peas, cooked dried pinto beans, most of all my dehydrated foods I also oven canned. I dehydrated 20 loaves of day old bread, broke into cubes and chunks and oven canned that, so far everything has been good!!

    1. Thanks for sharing all your successes!

    2. Wonderful! I’ve got a bag of Masa that needs to have something done with it. I got it in a food box from my gleaner group. Love when I get rice and oats and beans in the boxes! =) I’m going to do an experiment this week!

      1. Let us know how it turns out!

    1. Mylar is ok and so are jar sealer. But with oven canning you are killing the bugs and their eggs plus your food is in easy to use portions.

  3. Thanks for the great info

  4. […] Oven Canning Dry Goods for Long Term Storage | Palmetto Prepper. […]

    1. Thanks for reblogging.

  5. Reblogged this on Bigfoot Mama and commented:
    Excellent post on oven canning dry goods. Especially helpful to those who can’t buy in bulk and don’t use mylar bags.

    1. Thanks for the reblog

  6. I’ve never thought about oven canning. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Give it a try, you will find it really easy!

  7. Ingenious method! You’ve worked hard to refine this process, I can tell!

    You can get a seal on those jars without accelerating deterioration with the heat. I vacuum-seal using a hand-held Food Saver with Mason Jar attachment. Many larger models also have a hose attachment that can be fitted to the jar attachment. In addition, any kind of jar that has a rubber gasket on the lid can be used (think saved jars from pasta sauce, condiments, etc.) by purchasing Food Savers largest canister, placing the full jar with lid secured into the cannister, and then vacuuming that until the air is removed, thus ensuring a seal. I have a large supply of grains, legumes, home-dried foods (must be *totally* dry to prevent botulism), sugars, meals, etc., that I rotate and replace. Ebay and thrift stores or Craigs List have vacuum systems (other brands than Food Saver work, too, if they have a canister or if their nozzle will fit the jar attachment). uTube has videos….

    I also slow the deterioration of foods in regular use by vacuuming leftovers, cheeses, raw milk, etc., before storing them in the fridge. Dry goods from the pantry such as coffee take only a moment to reseal after taking out the day’s supply.

    This is also a good way to have instant meals — dehydrate your leftovers, and if they’re totally dry, seal ’em in a jar, or just freeze ’em in a baggie.

    I’m just an oldster, 73, and still gardening, canning, dehydrating, fermenting probiotic foods…. May you all live long and prosper!


    PS: This is NOT a substitue for pressure canning nor water bath canning, since it does not kill decay organisms. It simply removes oxygen to slow the oxidative process. And it works! Grains, for instance, can last several decades with this method of storage, as can legumes, et al.

    PS again: I’d think this would be a good way to store sterile water for all sorts of uses (I also can water when my canner has space around the food jars). I’d sterilize the jars and lids and keep ’em hot, boil the water, fill the jars and cap ’em, and then let the cooling temperature create the vacuum. Wouldn’t hurt to put a drop of iodine in each jar before sealing, either…good for killing germs.

    1. Thanks for the kind words.

  8. Thanks for the info, I have heard of canning okra and wondered about how it worked, but never heard of dry goods. This is GREAT! I have been looking for a way to store flour cake mixes, ect. I have some in the mylar bags and I really don’t like this method as well as canning. I already can Veg, meats, fruits and all but never dried foods! Thanks again! Still learning!!!

    1. Oven canning is very easy. Glad to help.

  9. I have always kept my rice in freezer. Before I oven or vacuum seal rice, oats etc, I put it in the freezer for a few days to kill bugs or their eggs.

  10. This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am genuinely pleassant to read all at one place.

    1. Glad you like it … check in often.

  11. Having been born and raised in South Florida, no matter what you placed flour in it would eventually get bugs, until my mother mentioned putting a bay leaf in the container. Never saw a bug ever again. I would add one or two medium sized leaves or one super larger leaf. Good luck!

    1. Thanks for the great suggestion!

  12. How does oven canning compare with placing these same kinds of foods in jars with oxygen packs and letting them seal that way? Are bugs still an issue in that environment?

    1. Geni… you got it right, the oven canning kills the bugs. I believe that your way would allow the bugs to hatch.

      1. No. It will kill ALL bugs. Did the research.

  13. I think that I will heat my rice at this temp, cool and then put into mylar bags. I don’t have enough room for jars. this should work.

    1. I am not sure if just heating it up will be enough to take care of the bugs. Good luck.

  14. I’m wondering if you could put several different items in the same jar. A simple example would be onion soup mix or macaroni and seasonings for a particular recipe.I love the concept and it makes sense for our Florida humidity.

    1. We have made several types of soup in the past.

    2. Chef Tess has some wonderful shelf stable meals in a jar for food storage. They are all dried/freeze dried foods and you just add water to make a meal! http://cheftessbakeresse.blogspot.com/search/label/52%20jar%20method

  15. […] The original article may be found here: Palmetto Prepper […]

  16. Can I oven can dry milk?

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