Are mason jars good for storing dry goods? Flours?

Mom23EsNovember 21, 2012

I just restocked my GF baking pantry. The odd flours and starches are endless (and expensive)! How do I store all this stuff?!? Any tips on keeping things organized and making sure I don't end up with stale or expired flours?

I love the simple look and feel of mason jars. Do these work ok for storing dry goods?

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I use them for many of my dry goods, and they work well. You can also use a Foodsaver attachment to remove oxygen from the jars and seal the lids to preserve the contents even better. (Or there is a hand pump designed to remove air from the jars and seal mason jar lids (Pump-n-Seal).

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 12:04AM
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Mason jars are great for things like beans, pasta, rice, etc that pour out easily. I would not like them for flour - I like to be able to dip a spoon or cup into my flour.

Walmart has a nice line of plastic, stackable, various sizes of storage containers with a rubber seal. They have a lid with a handle that levers up to release the seal. I just picked up a large one for storing brown sugar - will be getting a few more.

Here is an example. They are in-store only in various sizes. They are a nice, hard see-through plastic that looks like glass. I think this one was $5-$6.

Here is a link that might be useful: BHG Walmart food storage

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 10:04AM
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If you don't use the special flours very often, store them in the freezer. They last longer.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 12:59PM
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I use Ball Mason jars for everything dry(and olives too)all grains and flours-put a few bay leaves in the jars. You can get wide mouth and regular mouth jars. They look great and are inexpensive. I started using them b/c roaches are an unfortunate part of life...near my domicile.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 11:15PM
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MOM23Es, I, too, am GF and deal with the bags of wheat flour substitutes. I too am considering mason jars for some dry goods because they look nice. I just thought I would mention that I have taken to making up almost all of my flours (tapioca, potato, 3 kinds of rice, millet....and the list goes on) into my baking mixes (I use 3 difft mixes regularly -heavy/medium/very light - and two more occasionally) immediately when I buy, which helps (somewhat) to keep down the # of containers I have use to store.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 1:33AM
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I am using Rubbermaid modular canisters (they are BPA-free plastic). I like them because they are slim so I can fit two side-by-side in an 18" upper cabinet, and they stack. They are wide enough to be able to scoop out of, and the 21-cup one holds a 5-lb bag of flour.

I keep my whole wheat flour in the fridge (not enough freezer space). It's just in its bag.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rubbermaid modular canisters

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 9:58AM
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I use wide mouth canning jars for most dry goods. Ball still makes a half-gallon size jar too, same size wide-mouth lid which simplifies lid storage.
If you are GF and will be doing a lot of baking you might consider a grain mill. Whole grains store a LOT longer than flours and taste better when freshly ground. My grain mill sits right on the counter and I use it for all kinds of whole grains and corn. Any excess flours I put in a jar in the fridge and toss into the next batch of bread.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 10:47AM
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I love glass jars -- either canning jars or other types -- for pantry storage. It's easy to wash, and although it's not 100% bug-proof, it's bug-resistant. In my opinion, it's the most practical item for pantry storage.

Details about how I use glass storage:

- I have lots of old Mason jars and Ball jars in all sizes. The quarts and half-gallons are most useful. I use only clear glass for my pantry. I use my blue glass for bathroom storage (q-tips, etc.).

- I am building up a collection of homemade chalkboard tags. On one side I write the name (say, Pinto Beans) in white paint pen. When I put beans into the jar, I write the expiration date on the back side in chalk (so it can be changed later). If it's something like pancake mix, I write 1 cup mix to 1 cup milk (because all mixes aren't identical). I keep the tags in a little basket, and I reuse them. If right now I don't have pancake mix, I'll put the tag away in the basket 'til I do have it again.

- I like glass containers because glass "matches" other glass. If you want to add a couple more plastic containers years from now, you'll probably have a hard time matching the size /color. In contrast, you can add a different glass container, and it just looks like a collection.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 8:23PM
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I actually use Mason jars (well, really Ball jars) for my wet storage, i.e., I use it instead of tupperware. I use half-pint, pint, 1.5 pint, and quart sizes, and put leftovers, soups, etc. in them. I was driven to this in order to get a standardized and replaceable lid.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 11:21PM
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I try to use glass canning jars for pretty much all my storage. I have a collection that dates back to my grandmother lots of different brands, Kerr, Atlas, Mason, Ball, and shapes and sizes... I love seeing all my dried beans lined up colorfully across my pantry shelves.
I live sort of rural, we don't have trash pickup, but our dump has a "take it or leave it" area. This is where you put items that are good, but you don't want. I frequently pick up a box of jars when someone cleans out there garage!
For pouring I love the "recap" lids. The come in regular and wide mouth. I love these on things I can pour, like rice and sugar. Plus, we get raw milk from a farmer and it comes in 1/2 gallon Ball jars and these make it much easier for my kids to pour milk.

Here is a link that might be useful: RECAP lids

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 6:34AM
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Hey, I like those Recap lids! Thanks!

I use jars for lots of things, including refrigerator storage. Most everything has been said already, so I won't repeat. But I do love the rubbermaid storage too, for stackability. I also have some large old Tupperware canisters that have been with me for a lot of years that I use for flour and sugar.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 10:07AM
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We have a few of the 4.5 quart "Country Rich" ice cream containers that are from our trips down the W. Mart freezer section that are great for storing dry goods. They stack, they're square in shape so they economize space in my baking drawer, and they have a nice carrying handle. I haven't tried flour in them, so can't vouch for bug-proof-ness, but they're fine for sugar, and the lid seal has been durable.

Here is a link that might be useful: Square ice cream containers repurposed for storage

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 3:13PM
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