What’s Inside: Storing dry pasta properly is essential to maintaining quality and extending its shelf life. Before exploring the best ways to store dry pasta, this article covers the factors that affect dry pasta storage. It also includes 4 methods of storing dry pasta, so you’ll have a variety of options to choose from.
Pasta is a nutritious and filling meal, so it makes sense for preppers to consider storing this food source for long periods. What are the best ways to store dry pasta, and how long can you expect it to last?
You can store dry pasta in mylar bags, airtight containers, vacuum-sealed, or frozen, but each method has a different purpose and longevity. Storing dry pasta in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers to remove the oxygen will give the best long-term storage results.
Dry pasta is a versatile and cost-effective food item that can be used in various dishes, from spaghetti and meatballs to macaroni and cheese. Properly storing dry pasta is essential to maintaining its quality and extending its shelf life. We will show you how to add years to the shelf life of your dry pasta!
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- Temperature, humidity, exposure to light and air, and the types of storage container all impact the shelf life of dry pasta.
- Dry pasta has a long shelf life, even when stored in the original packaging; You can use it at least 6 months after the expiration date on the package.
- There are 4 primary methods for storing dry pasts: mylar bags, in mason jars using a FoodSaver attachment (Amazon), airtight jars with oxygen absorbers, and vacuum sealing.
- You can also freeze dry pasta, but doing so may expose it to moisture.
How To Store Uncooked Pasta
Pasta is an excellent source of carbohydrates, which the body can convert to energy. It is also a filling food that you can pair with other ingredients to create a tasty meal.
One of the essential activities of prepping is food storage. It allows families to stock up on supplies and ensure they have enough food to sustain themselves during lean times.
Dry pasta is a staple food item every prepper should have in their pantry, but how do you extend the shelf life of dry pasta?
For the sake of clarity, dry pasta is uncooked pasta that you bring it home from the grocery store. Storing pasta uncooked is the only way to safely store this food long term.
Before we explore the best ways to store dry pasta, let’s consider the factors that affect storing dry pasta.
Factors That Affect Dry Pasta Storage
It is important to know about the factors that affect the long-term storage of dry pasta to avoid making mistakes that will reduce the shelf life of this type of food.
The following are the main factors that you should consider when storing dry pasta and how to overcome storage challenges.
- Temperature. You should store dry pasta in a cool and dry place, away from heat sources like ovens, stovetops, or direct sunlight. High temperatures can cause the pasta to become stale. Additionally, dry pasta may develop mold if stored in a warm and humid environment.
- Humidity. Excessive humidity can cause dry pasta to absorb moisture, leading to spoilage or mold growth. It is essential to store dry pasta in a cool and dry place with low humidity.
- Exposure to light and air. Exposure to light and air can affect the quality of stored dry pasta. Prolonged exposure to light can cause the pasta to become discolored or develop a stale taste. Exposure to air can result in the pasta absorbing moisture and becoming stale.
- Storage container types. The type of container used to store the dry pasta and the storage method are important for extending the shelf life. You can use containers made of plastic, glass, or metal for storing dry pasta, but each has advantages and disadvantages. Plastic containers are lightweight and shatterproof but can absorb odors over time. Glass containers are airtight and do not absorb odors but can be heavy and breakable. Metal containers are also airtight and lightweight but can rust over time.
Understanding the factors that affect dry pasta storage allows you to use methods and containers to reduce these factors’ effects on the pasta and extend its shelf life.
What Is the Shelf Life of Dry Pasta?
Dried pasta’s shelf life is one of the main advantages of storing this food for extended periods. Pasta bought at the grocery store and kept in its unopened original packaging can store safely well beyond its expiry date.
Commercially-packaged dry pasta stored away from heat, light, and rodents can last six months to a year past the expiration date.
This means that dry pasta is a great option for short-term storage without any major precautions to change the way the pasta is packaged or stored.
The potential for dry pasta to store well in the short term is easily extended by taking additional measures to reduce the effect of factors that cause the pasta to spoil when stored for a long time.
When alternative storage methods are used, your dry pasta shelf life can be extended to 10 years or more.
How To Store Dry Pasta – 4 Methods
Proper storage is crucial to ensure that dry pasta remains fresh and edible for an extended period, especially if you intend to keep the pasta for periods longer than what the standard packaging can offer.
I have put together some of my favorite and proven methods of how to store dry pasta long-term.
1. Storing Dry Pasta in Mylar Bags
Mylar bags (Amazon) are one of my favorite methods for storing dry pasta long-term. These bags are made of durable material that can withstand punctures and tears and are moisture and oxygen-resistant.
You can drop oxygen absorbers in the mylar bag before sealing to reduce the oxygen content in the air left inside the bag. Oxygen absorbers are packets that contain iron powder and are used to remove oxygen from the package, preventing oxidation and the growth of bacteria.
To use this method, fill the mylar bag with dry pasta and add one or two oxygen absorbers per bag, depending on the size of the bag, then seal the bag with a heat sealer.
The only downside to storing dry pasta in mylar bags is that they aren’t rodent proof. To help protect pasta stored in mylar bags, I recommend storing mylar bags in 5-gallon buckets like these, that you can pick up on Amazon.
2. Mason Jars With A Foodsaver Attachment
Mason jars are a common and popular choice for storing food, including dry pasta, long term. The jars are reusable and come in various sizes. Here are the mason jars currently available on Amazon.
Pro tip: If you plan to also use mason jars for canning, I recommend buying them from Lehman’s. There are a lot of knock off mason jars sold on Amazon. Those are fine for storing pasta, and while okay for canning, they’re not the best.
The FoodSaver attachment (Amazon) is a vacuum-sealing device that removes air from the jar, creating an airtight seal that prevents moisture and oxygen from getting inside.
To use this method, fill the mason jar (Amazon) with dry pasta. Place the special FoodSaver lid over the mason jar and attach it to the FoodSaver machine (Amazon). Turn on the device, and it will remove the air from the jar, creating a vacuum seal.
3. Airtight Jars With Oxygen Absorbers
One of the key aspects of storing dry pasta is to reduce the exposure of the pasta to air. An airtight container (Amazon) is an ideal way to increase the shelf life of the pasta in the jar, but you still need to deal with the air trapped inside the jar.
Dropping an appropriately sized oxygen absorber sachet (Amazon) into the airtight jar before sealing is an easy way to remove the oxygen in the container before sealing it and storing it in a cool dark location.
4. Vacuum Sealing Dry Pasta For Long Term Storage
Vacuum sealing is an option that has limited success, depending on the equipment you have. The biggest problem with vacuum-sealing dry pasta is its sharp edges and corners, which can pierce the vacuum bags, causing air to access the pasta.
To have success with vacuum sealing dry pasta, you need thick vacuum bags (Amazon) to prevent the pasta from compromising the outer layers of the bag. As an additional measure, you can store the sealed vacuum bags in an airtight container with a few oxygen absorbers thrown in to remove the oxygen in the container.
When using this method, the dry pasta will remain good to eat for a long time, even if the vacuum bags leak.
Freezing Dry Pasta for Storage
You can also freeze your dry pasta to extend the life of the food. To do this, place the dry pasta in a freezer-safe bag or container, press out as much air as possible, and seal it tightly.
Label the container with the date and freeze it for up to six months. When you are ready to use the pasta, remove it from the freezer and allow it to thaw at room temperature for 1 hour or so before cooking.
The main risk with freezing pasta is that it becomes exposed to moisture in the freezer and becomes wet and sticky, which will reduce its viability in storage.
The best way to store dry pasta in a freezer is to place it in an airtight container. Add an oxygen absorber to remove the oxygen and reduce the formation of moisture in the jar.
However, if you are going to go this route, the freezing part is not necessary since the pasta will keep for a long time in the airtight container on a dark shelf in your pantry.
Some preppers add the freezing process as a means to kill any bugs that may be present in the pasta before the container is stored on the shelf in a cool, dark, dry location.
When you want to build some food security into your lifestyle, food storage becomes an important activity, but it must be done right to extend the lifespan of your food safely. Dry pasta is relatively easy to store for a long time by following some basic food storage principles.
Storing dry pasta and other dry foods is a good way to start or add to your prepper pantry.
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