Prepping 101: Long Term Food Storage in #10 Cans – Dry Pack & Canning Oil

NOTE: The Ives Way 603 Can Sealer is periodically in production and you can inquire by phone with Ives Way directly at 847.740.0658.
#10 Cans at House of Cans
#10 Cans at Freunds Container
#10 Cans at
All American Senior Can Sealer on Ebay

Some survival topics seem to be a little more “out there” than others, and one of those is definitely canning food in steel cans, otherwise known as tin cans. It’s funny because I guess I’ve always been a prepping nerd, and I think it is perfectly normal. Ask any serious prepper, including the entire Mormon religion, or LDS as I call them in the video, and they will tell you that there is no such thing as long term food storage that does not include steel cans.

These days the biggest reason for that is rats, raccoons, and other aggressive rodents with sharp teeth and an iron will. Otherwise, buckets made of High Density Polyethylene and Mylar bags work just fine. But unless you live in a warehouse, survival food tends to end up in places like basements and garages. Rats will eat right through a plastic bucket or Mylar bag. Steel #10 cans are currently $95 for 45 cans, with lids. Shipping to Miami is $68. That works out to $3.64 per can. That is going to increase your food cost by a percentage, depending on what you put in the can.

Add to that the cost of the can sealer itself. Right now the only sealer that I can find for sale in the US is the All American Senior. It goes for about $1,400, with a street/Ebay price of just over $1,000. In the video you’ll see me use the Ives Way 603 sealer, and the last published price for that is slightly less than that, but they haven’t been available for a while that I have seen. As I said in my last canning video, I do have a #10 can sealer from China that is electric, and that is about $1,200 shipped. Contact that same guy Kevin if you are interested. Nobody bought anything from him last time so I doubt this will be any different.

Most importantly, as I explained in the video, you can get pre-canned food from LDS at roughly the cost of just the food. Clearly they are subsidizing the packaging and shipping, because I can tell you that it comes right to your door, on brand newly made wooden pallets via truck freight, or if you only buy a little, in individual cases from Fedex.

LDS used to run a nationwide network of home canneries for dry pack. You could either go there and purchase the cans from them (not at 4 bucks each of course), and they had bulk food that you could fill and seal yourself. They would also loan you a can sealer, which is where I think my sealer came from. The FDA got them to agree to shut the operation down, and you can draw your own conclusions from that. These days LDS keeps only a handful of stocked pantries, and even if you are not a member you can go buy the same cases of food there that you can get shipped, and the prices are even slightly cheaper.

I have note in closing the point that I made on the video. With home canning equipment, #10 cans are only for dry pack only. I have tried at length to pressure can low acid foods in #10 cans, and my success has been mixed. I’ll have a few work great, then unexpectedly, one or two fail, under the same canning conditions, using the same can sealer. That makes me feel like it’s just a crap shoot if you happen to get the convection currents right inside the canner, which is not good. Originally I had an idea for a “family meal in a can” kind of article, but I think it is too dangerous. Botulism is dangerous stuff, and you just never know when you won’t be able to heat the food and when you won’t. Please see my prior article on the botulism issues with canning. For now I am giving up on #10 cans and will just use them for dry pack.

Not many people in the prepping world share valuable information. From what I have seen, it just because a hot topic and the usual suspects jumped in, without any real knowledge about homesteading or off-grid living. Unfortunately that is the perspective that most people are trapped within right now when they consider how the world will look once it crashes. We take having what to eat for granted in the US. Unlimited prosperity is our paradigm, but the problem is that our prosperity is fake. We have stolen it from the future, and that future is about to come due. Steel cans are what I would call extreme food storage, but when food is not available, what food you have will be more valuable than gold, and you’ll want to protect it no matter what. If you are serious about having food, no matter what, go buy some storage food in #10 cans from the Mormons, and if you want to store food in bulk after it all burns down, you may want to consider a can sealer and a big order of cans.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • mtman2 July 1, 2016, 9:36 am

    So- put your food storage containers in rodent proof metal cabinets,
    +/or bldgs that are lockable in a high dry location ~!

  • shane June 2, 2016, 1:13 am

    Another good article, Paul, thank you!
    I’d only remind all that whatever you store for survival food, if at all different from what you currently eat, incorporate some of it now into your families regular diet, to get them all more used to it. Yes, I know, anybody gets hungry enough they’ll eat whatever is available, but whatever crisis event caused a family to have to dig into their survival food probably already has everybody stressed out to the max. Also changing everyone’s diet right then, too, is unnecessarily adding even more stress to it all. Also, people will already be more prone to digestive issues just from the event itself turning their world upside down, and to throw in radically different food right then, too, you’ll have even more getting cramps, diarrhea, constipation and possibly even serious intestinal blockages. All at a time everybody needs to be at their best and any normal medical attention less likely readily available if serious GI tract issues arise. Store what you eat, eat what you store, keeps that additional risk of unfamiliar foods to a minimum.

  • Dan Clayburn May 31, 2016, 3:24 pm

    People forget that Steel cans have not always been around. To keep sermon out people have cats and dogs. cats for the mice and rates, and dogs for the bigger critters. Of course you have to ffed them as well when the sermon run out and have to platoon that. We keep 2 cats and once in the country will have 2 dogs as well. one each for backup. Our cats right now keep all the small stuff at bay.

  • Robert Lee May 31, 2016, 8:35 am

    Always learning from your your well done articles.
    The price and hassle of canning to protect from aggressive scavengers makes me ask if it would not be worth considering placing your food in animal safe metal containers after packing in Mylar or buckets.
    Galvanized trash cans or other metal containers could be used or even new 1 gallon paint cans with lids.
    I imagine you could wrap plastic buckets in sheet metal to dissuade rats.

  • Mr.James May 27, 2016, 6:57 pm

    I am glad to finally met you on GA. I follow your past written topics and must admit I listen now and read with earnest attention to and appreciate your advice as much as the other contributors to this insightful platform of freedom in America. I hope you stay a contributor for more times in our concluding future.

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