A recent question from one of our customers has come up regarding the different ways to store grains. There are several options out there, and we’d like to help you determine the best option for your storage needs. Here’s what you need to know about grain storage at McNaughts.

Dry storage

Moisture is a grain’s worst enemy. It can cause oxidation, which leads to rancidity, and it can help cause pathogens (like molds) to grow. Most grains are highly perishable and should be stored in an airtight container in a cool environment. Some people say you shouldn’t store your grains on top of one another; doing so could allow moisture from one grain to get onto another.

Refrigerator storage

Cooked grains can be refrigerated for three or four days in an airtight container. You can also place cooked grain in a zip-top bag, remove excess air, and freeze it. Frozen cooked grains will last for about six months. To use them again, simply thaw overnight in your refrigerator or cook right away. It’s best not to store uncooked grains in your fridge, since they’ll likely go rancid after just one week.

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Freezer storage

Some grains can be frozen, but they don’t keep their texture well. To freeze grains, spread them out on a baking sheet and place in your freezer overnight. Once they’re frozen (but not encased in ice), put them in plastic storage bags or containers to keep them fresh until you’re ready to use them. Breads made with grain flour (think pizza dough) are ideal for freezing, as are any finished baked goods such as cookies and cake rolls.

Pressure canning

If you’re planning on storing large quantities of grains for an extended period of time, pressure canning might be a good option. Though it’s technically a canning method (and not really a storage one), pressure canning has an array of safety features that make it ideal for long-term storage of food. Pressure canners are also easy to use and relatively inexpensive when compared with other options.

Bag storage

Ounce for ounce, rice and beans pack a lot of calories into a small space. That’s why so many survival experts recommend buying food in bulk when it goes on sale and storing it in large 5-gallon (or larger) bags. To extend your shelf life, use a simple rotation system like first in, first out (FIFO). This means you eat or toss whatever is inside your largest bag first. When you finish that bag, move on to another one. For an added bonus, label each bag with its contents and date purchased. That way, if you find yourself in a situation where you need to grab something quickly, you can easily see what’s available.