He Can Can, Can You Can?

Canning Dry Goods For Long-Term Storage

A reader (Thanks, Paladin!) sent me a link today for a new YouTube video from Engineer775.  Engineer775 posts tons of helpful, informative and entertaining videos about prepping to YouTube on a regular basis.

This particular one shows his family using a canner to seal up #10 cans full of dry goods.  He doesn't say how much the canner costs, but several families went in together to get it, and a pallet of 400 and some cans and lids.

It's really neat how these things work, and how simple they truly are.  The same type of set up is used at LDS canneries.  I'm not a member of the LDS, but from what I've heard, they are open to non-members coming in and buying dry goods and canning them.  I'm hoping to make it to the local cannery some time this fall or winter, and I'll write up a report on it.  In the mean time, watch Engineer775's video and see how it is done.

Update: Amazon has the can sealers at $625.  Not as much as I expected.  You'd still need to get the cans either from your local LDS cannery, or another source.  Make sure they are coated food grade, and not generic paint cans.


  1. I would not delay on contacting your local LDS if you are planning to add that to your food prep. Many of them have stopped allowing non-members from using their facilities due to the increased traffic in recent months. Basically, they are running low.

    Here is the link http://www.providentliving.org/
    click on Home Storage at the bottom.


  2. About 6 months after I started prepping I went to a canning event with a friend who is an LDS member (I'm not). It was an amazing experience -- very positive. No hint of any attempt to bring you into the fold, but some free exchange about the joys of being more prepared for whatever life may bring. The only 'rules' had to do with sanitation and safety. Closed-toe shoes, minimal jewelry, don't work the canning line if you are sick. The work area is set up for incredible efficiency and to minimize wasted energy or product.

    There were about 30 people, with many levels of experience. After a brief prayer, everyone washed up, donned standard disposable sanitary gear (gloves, hair and beard covers and aprons) and we gravitated toward the various functions with little overt supervision, though the Ward had several well-trained people present and the warehouse had a small staff to oversee and answer questions.

    I worked a canning line, filling #10 cans with another person who would shake them to settle the contents while I was filling the next few. (Loved canning wheat, milk and rice, hated spaghetti.) We added until the cans got their 'official' weight and passed them down the line. The next person added the O2 absorber and can top, the sealer sealed the can and then someone applied the pre-printed label and penned the month and year on the blank line. Once you got a rhythm going, it was almost like a meditation.

    Someone magically appeared occasionally and moved the labeled cans from the end of the line to the packing area. The boxes were packed according to your order by the people who gravitated toward that process. By the time we cleaned the canning area, the boxes with my name were on a trolley. There was also an opportunity to buy any unclaimed cans on the shelves. (The shelf-cans result when you have an order for a number of cans of whatever that is less than the total weight of the bulk package. The entire package is canned and the extra is shelved for purchase either by the group who canned it, or whoever comes along next. Example: group total for cans of X is 5 cans, and a can weighs 4 lbs. If X comes in 25 lb boxes, you will have 1 left-over can available for the shelf. (There is also a process for saving the residuals when not enough to fill a can)

    We checked our orders, paid and loaded our vehicles.

    I've been back twice since. The first time I went, there were lots of extra 'shelf cans' available. The most recent time, there were few and those were scarfed up by the people in our crew, including me.

    I have not gone back in 2011, as I heard we needed to be accompanied by a LDS member sponsor, though I did not call the local Bishop's Warehouse to confirm.

    The overall experience was extremely positive, and I found that about 20+% of the people on the crews when I canned were not Church members. In reading their preparedness manual, it seems that non-members who are prepared and not anti-Mormon are to be preferred as neighbors over those who are either not prepared or who are anti-LDS.

    The food choices are somewhat limited, but the overall nutrition provided by the products, when supplemented with some fats and oils, is enough to stay healthy, especially if you have a garden or grow sprouts. If you go, do not overlook the fruit drink. It is good tasting and is well-fortified with vitamins. Same with the carrots -I opened a can to try them and am hooked. I add to rice and other dishes to bump up our vitamin A.

    I hope that if you can access your local warehouse, you will -- especially for a canning event, not just buying off the shelf. Even if you buy nothing, it's quite an experience.


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