Amish dry canning (aka oven canning) offers you an inexpensive and easy way to purchase items in bulk sizes then place them in long-term storage to use later. By making bulk purchases, you save money in the long run. And, by having pantry staples stored on hand, you save yourself unnecessary trips to the grocery store.
If 2020 (Thank God it’s over!) taught us anything, it’s this. Nothing is certain! First, we found ourselves living amidst a pandemic. Then, the entire nation ran out of toilet paper and paper towels. Later, we faced coin shortages, contentious elections, and an unprecedented blizzard in Texas.
Now we are looking at skyrocketing food prices due to grain shortages around the world.
Whoever could have predicted these turns of events?
So many people never thought they’d see the day when they could not purchase a loaf of bread. We also could not have predicted that flour would fly off of the shelves as people learned to bake their own dinner rolls.
We still see so much uncertainty right now. With food prices on the rise, many are looking for a way to stock their pantries for the long-haul. You know…just in case!
What is Amish Dry Canning?
Technically, canning involves placing food inside a sterilized jar and putting it into either a boiling water bath or pressure cooker to preserve it.
Dry canning is not a widely-known method. While your local extension office or health department might not approve the method, Amish women have performed this process safely for many years. In fact, though, it is not a method of canning but a long-term storage solution.
Canning kills viruses, molds, and bacteria. This might or might not. Thus, you must assess whether you want to give it a try–and do so at your own risk.
You place the dry goods into a sterilized, dry jar, heat them, cap them, and store the items. (The process is better explained in the video below).
The Amish do this to put up large amounts of flour, rice, dried beans, oats, and other pantry staples. During the process, the heat kills any bugs or larvae and dries any moisture, so the food stays fresh for several years. And, while you won’t find this process in any of the “canning cookbooks,” remember that these items usually have a very long shelf life, regardless–especially once you seal them tight.
The benefits of oven canning include these:
- Keep dry good free of bugs, rodents, or insect larvae.
- Save money by buying foods in bulk.
- Keep an emergency food supply on hand.
What Foods Can You Oven Can?
Not all dried goods are safe for dry canning. Foods that are ideal for oven canning are those that are oil-free and have a very low moisture content.
Here are a few things you can store using this method:
- White rice
- Whole grains
- Potato flakes (no butter added, plain flakes only!)
- Powdered milk
- Dry beans
- Low-fat cereals
- Cheese powder
Some people do not, but others do store away their:
- Corn flour
- Pasta (the no-egg variety)
- Brown rice
- Any product with eggs or oils
Thanks to New Life on a Homestead – I checked my information against theirs, and we are on the same page with this safe/unsafe list.
Video: Pros and Cons of Dry Canning (and how to do it)
The Takeaway: Form Your Own Opinion on Amish Dry Canning
After you consider all the information, only you can decide if this food storage process is safe for you. If you want to buy in bulk and store food, this might be an excellent option. On the other hand, you might conclude that it’s unsafe for your family.
Regardless of what you decide, having enough food to carry you through a crisis is one of the best decisions you can make to ensure your family’s safety.
Dry canning is NOT a United States Department of Agriculture or government-approved method of long-term food storage. Technically, it is not even “canning.” Canning involves moisture–either boiling water or steam. This involved neither. I make no claims about food safety, and I’m not a medical professional. This video is for informational use only, Neither the author nor diyhomegarden.com accepts liability from any direct or indirect harm if you decide to try this procedure.
Please read these warnings from the University of Wisconsin Madison regarding the method before you try it.
If you have questions regarding the safety of dry canning for long-term dry goods storage, seek advice from your local agricultural extension office.