If you want to be more efficient with your pantry and start storing some longer-lasting items for convenience or even in case of an emergency then this guide is for you. Planning your pantry in advance is a great way to save time, money, and effort when you’re busy but still want an abundance of ingredients.
Today I'm exploring methods and top ingredients for stocking up on that will not only last for a long time but will also be delicious!
First Understand Your Storage Options
Before heading out to purchase your pantry staples it's important to consider the available storage options for your kitchen supplies. While it's nice to not be reliant on technology and buy easily stored items such as bulk beef jerky cheap, with many methods not requiring refrigeration there are some ingredients that will last even longer when chilled or frozen.
Your refrigerator can keep perishables fresh for days as used conventionally, as the refrigerator for vegetables and meat is quite common. Some other ways that it can be used is to extend the life of dry items stored on the shelves for even longer, so you get the most bang for your buck.
If you own a freezer you can effectively store almost anything for extremely long periods of time. While you don't necessarily need to find specifically long-lasting foods in the freezer there are some foods better suited for the freezer than others, generally red meats and poultry can last a while in these mediums of storage.
Pantry shelves are perfect for your general dry goods, think of things like rice, flour, sugar and other grains. They need to be in an area away from direct sunlight and away from any potential moisture, this will ensure that your ingredients last the longest amount of time.
Best Long-Lasting Foods to Stock Your Pantry
If you're not solely focusing on methods such as refrigeration or freezing there are some food that last much longer than others. While most grains can last a while there are also foods that fare better than others, let's take a look at some of the best options.
Beef Jerky and Dried Meats
Beef jerky and other dried meats are a great way to stock your pantry. These delicacies are not only delicious, but they last much longer than most foods. Beef jerky can be stored in the pantry or even in the refrigerator for up to two months without losing its flavour or texture. If you're more adventurous you can also store items such as salami or prosciutto for weeks before they expire.
Canned Tuna or Salmon
Canned tuna or salmon also have an extended shelf life and make excellent sources of protein when added to meals or eaten on their own. They are also very versatile and can be used for a variety of dishes such as pasta, salad and sandwiches for lunches or snacks. These will last several months in your pantry quite easily.
Dried Beans and Legumes
For those looking to include more protein in their diets, then dried beans and legumes can last for ages in your pantry. Things like lentils, chickpeas, black beans and other varieties of beans can last up to a year without any deterioration in flavour or texture.
Honey is a great sweetener that can last forever, if you're looking to keep some honey in bulk it can be a healthy replacement for sugar and even for medicinal purposes since it is antibacterial and antimicrobial. Some even say that honey found in Egypt pyramids was still safe to eat after thousands of years.
Dehydrated Fruits and Vegetables
Just like dried meats and jerky, dehydrated fruits and vegetables can be added to your pantry and last for a very long time. They make an excellent snack when eaten on their own or can be added to things like salads, soups and trail mixes.
Preservation Methods for Food Storage
The art of food preservation has been practised in many cultures over the years, not just for longevity but as a necessity when times got rough. Many foods can be preserved through a variety of methods so it's worth checking out some things you can try depending on what foods you want to store.
Whether it's canning, dehydrating, or pickling, preserving food not only extends its shelf life but also creates new and unique flavours for you to enjoy. Mastering these techniques can be a fun and satisfying way to improve your cooking skills, impress your friends, and enjoy fresh food all year round.
Improving your food storage and preparation is a great way to ensure that you always have something to eat and creative ingredients at your disposal. Everything from finding non-perishable ingredients and even special preservation techniques can ensure that you have a variety of foods all year round. Hopefully this article has given you the spark you needed to get more out of your pantry. Enjoy!