If you like to stock up on food when a great sale comes around or if you prefer to have an ample supply of emergency provisions, then you may wonder if it is possible to store food in your storage unit. Whether or not food storage is appropriate depends on what you need to store, how long you plan to store the items, and the type of unit that you decide to rent.
When possible, opt for a climate-controlled storage unit when storing food. Even if it isn't strictly necessary, a steady temperature prolongs the lifespan of most food items. You should also check the rules for your storage center, as some facilities prohibit the storage of certain food items. Read on to learn a few other guidelines for keeping food in your storage unit.
1. Canned Goods Are Generally Acceptable for Long-Term Storage
Canned goods are a staple for many households because they last for an extended period. Avoid storing canned goods at temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, as this can cause premature spoilage. Instead, rent a storage unit that keeps the temperature between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Before storing your canned goods, make sure that none of the cans are dented around the lid, bulging, or have loose lids. Cans with these problems can permit the growth of harmful bacteria.
According to the University of Minnesota, you can store canned vegetables, meat, and soups for up to three years after the date on the package. More acidic foods like pickles, fruits, and tomatoes will keep for two years after the date on the can.
When determining whether to put canned food in storage, check the dates on your cans and consider how long you plan to store your belongings. You don't want to go through the hassle of storing a bunch of heavy cans if they will expire by the time you remove them from storage.
2. Grains Are Admissible Under Certain Circumstances
Grains are tricky when it comes to long-term storage. Airtight storage containers are the only acceptable storage medium for grains. Even then, grains only last for approximately six months when they are kept in a cool, dry place. Do not store grains in a storage unit that does not have climate-control, as the fluctuating temperatures will cause the grains to spoil and potentially attract pests.
Flours made from grains are even more finicky, as the flour-making process destroys the grain's protective bran layer. Short-term storage (for no longer than three months) in a climate-controlled unit is acceptable for grain flours. However, do not attempt long-term storage of grain flours in a storage unit.
3. Spices Are Suitable for Storage
Individuals who frequently cook or prepare a number of different dishes tend to have kitchens that are overflowing with spices. When you run out of storage in your kitchen, you should consider storing your spices in your climate-controlled storage unit.
Ideally, you should store spices at a temperature lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit — spices will last a year or more at that temperature. However, if your climate-controlled storage unit keeps the temperature higher, then you can still keep your spices in the unit. Just remember the spices will have a shorter lifespan when stored at room temperature or in a space where the temperature fluctuates.
Get your spices ready for storage by drying them. Once you have dried your spices, place them in some type of airtight container. Mason jars do not suffice, as they allow in a small amount of air. Instead, vacuum seal your spices before placing them in Mason jars. This technique will ensure that no air hits your spices, keeping them flavorful for as long as possible.
If you're planning to travel long-term or just want to remove some items from your home, consider renting a storage unit. Contact our team at Secured Self Storage today to explore your storage options.