What are #10 Cans?
If you are new to preparedness for stockpiling, you might have wondered “What are #10 cans?” when you’ve heard them mentioned. Here is a list of 10 things you need to know about #10 cans.
1. First, they are a TYPE of can… A metal can (typically the size of a large coffee can) that you usually are not able to buy at basic grocery stores.
2. These larger cans are more popular with food storage and stockpiling because you are able to store more food in fewer cans and they are easier to manage.
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3. Since they are named “#10” many people think it means they weight ten pounds. This is NOT true. They vary in weight and typically hold about 109 oz and 9-13 cups of food.
4. The size of #10 cans are about 7 inches tall, and 6 1/4 inches in diameter. A #10 can will fit about the same amount of food as 6 basic soup cans.
5. Furthermore, do you want to know how much basic food items a #10 can will hold? Food Storage Made Easy has a great guide.
6. Typically, hydrated (wet) items from your #10 can need to be treated as “leftovers.” They will need to be used within a week and stored in the refrigerator so they don’t spoil. (examples: tomato sauce, soups)
7. In addition to hydrated food items, the most common types of food in #10 cans are freeze-dried OR dehydrated items. Once opened, these items can becstore up to 6-12 months when covered with a plastic lid in a dry place.
Be sure to read ALL labels to know for sure what they recommend for shelf life.
8. 25+ years shelf life is typically how long an unopened #10 can lasts, but be sure to check with the packaging and labels to be sure!
9. Most noteworthy, while they might have a 25+ year shelf life, it typically refers to being stored in proper conditions such as cool dry, dark places that are protected by rodents and insects. Read this to make sure you aren’t “ruining your food storage” by storing it in the wrong temps.
10. Finally, there are many places to buy #10 caned food items. Here are the top few places I am aware of: HoneyVille, Thrive, ProvidentLiving, TheReadyStore, AugasonFarms, and Emergency Essentials/BePrepared are just a few places.
One last note…
#10 cans are most noteworthy when they are the size you NEED and USE. Purchase the size of can that works best for you!
Because there are so many types of food in #10 cans, I’ll share with you the items I typically purchase in the that size.
- Sugar (I only rotate one of these cans about 3-4 times a year, it’s sugar and only gets hard which isn’t a big deal to us)
- Freeze-dried fruits (I rotate these out as snacks for the kids every couple of months)
- Freeze-dried veggies and meat (I don’t typically use these and they stay on my shelf for their 25+ shelf life. I open some up for cooking while camping)
- Freeze-dried dairy (butter and eggs, I’ve tried cooking with them to make sure they work how I like, then let them sit for their shelf life… occasionally taking one out to use for camping)
- Powdered Milk (I use this in my weekly cooking for homemade bread, cornbread, waffles/pancakes, and muffins)
- Oats (we rotate this with my favorite No-Bake cookies and oatmeal breakfast cereal)
Be sure to read about the 6 myths of #10 cans… are they all created equal?
You can buy practically EVERY food item and large variety of whole meals in freeze-dried form in #10 cans. Do your research and figure out what works best for you and your family’s food needs and storage options.
What do you store in #10 cans? Comment below.
Comments and Suggestions from Readers:
Be careful if you’re buying #10 cans at a warehouse store like BJs, Costco or Sams Club…they have lots of wet packed #10 cans which have a shelf-life equivalent to the small cans you buy in a supermarket (a few years at most.) Only #10 cans filled with dried (freeze dried or dehydrated) goods will have the 10-25+ year shelf life that we preppers expect.
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Thanks for reading!