Storing Sugar in long-term storage is a simple process that involves repackaging it from a paper bag to an airtight container. I keep most of my Sugar in 5-gallon food-grade buckets, but you have other options. So, what are the best containers for storing sugar long-term?
How to store Sugar long term
Store table sugar (crystal sugar) in airtight, nontransparent containers impervious to moisture and odor. Containers such as vacuum seal bags, Mylar bags, food-grade buckets, glass canning jars, or #10 cans are best. Avoid storing sugar long-term in the store packaging because it will not protect it from moisture or bugs.
Avoid storing Sugar near high heat sources or freezing temperatures, as it may alter the color, flavor, and texture.
Up next, should you or shouldn’t you use oxygen absorbers to store Sugar?
5 Storage Containers For Sugar (long-term storage)
The following storage containers are nontransparent, airtight, and deter moisture and odors from ruining Sugar in long-term storage. Let’s get to the list of containers for sugar storage.
#1 Vacuum Bags (polyethylene bags)
Vacuum bags and other polyethylene-type bags are excellent for long-term sugar storage. If the bags are transparent, protect them from light by placing them inside an opaque lidded plastic bin or a food-grade bucket.
Let’s take a look at Mylar bags.
#2 Mylar Bags
Mylar bags are excellent containers for storing sugar long-term, but you don’t need to use oxygen absorbers to remove oxygen because Sugar doesn’t oxidize like other foods.
If you store other dry goods like grains or dry beans, you will likely have Mylar bags on hand. Try to use bags at least five mils in thickness to protect Sugar from light; if not, make sure to protect the bags from light.
Before my pea-brain had a basic understanding of long-term food storage I packaged 100 lbs of sugar in Mylar bags with 2000 cc oxygen absorbers. As we now know, you don’t store sugar oxygen-free or it turns to stone. I’m not too worried though because I know it’s still edible. At least it won’t taste or smell like my kitchen garbage can.Scott, Ready Squirrel
Looking for Mylar Bags? Check out the Ready Squirrel Amazon Affiliate Link. We get a cut of Amazon’s profit. We get money for beans and bullets, but you don’t pay extra.
#3 Food-grade Plastic Buckets
Storing Sugar in long-term food-grade buckets with sealed lids is an excellent way to keep sugar long-term. Buckets with lids protect Sugar from bugs and moisture and are easy to use if you are storing 25 or 50 lbs of bulk Sugar.
Buckets are great for storing Sugar because they are easy to work with, stack easily, and are reusable for other food-grade purposes like fermenting or fetching potable water.
Read more about the difference between food and non-food grade buckets in the Ready Squirrel article, “What’s the Difference Between Food and Non-food grade buckets?”
#4 Ball-canning jars
Ball jars are excellent for storing the Sugar used in the kitchen. I wouldn’t store bulk Sugar in ball jars unless I was a big canner and had many extras lying around.
The downside to using ball canning jars is they are clear, so protect them from light by storing them in a dark pantry or covering them with a cloth. Also, canning jars are expensive, and they break easily.
How to store Sugar in jars
Before filling jars with Sugar, wash them with soap and water and let them dry completely.
Fill clean canning jars with table sugar, leaving 1/2″ headspace in each jar. Make sure there is no sugar on the rim of your jar, and screw the lid on tightly.
For sugar storage, the Sterilization of canning jars is not necessary.
#5 #10 Cans
Lined #10 cans are excellent containers for storing dry foods like table sugar because they have an excellent seal; they are tough. They contain a manageable portion compared to larger storage containers like 5-gallon buckets.
The only way I know of to get Sugar in #10 cans is to purchase it professionally packaged. I buy my Sugar in bulk bags and put it in 5-gallon buckets. Also, you can buy Sugar from LDS at Home Storage Centers online. You can no longer package Sugar yourself at an LDS cannery, but you don’t have to be LDS to purchase from the store.
Up next, should you store Sugar with oxygen absorbers?
Should I store Sugar with oxygen absorbers? (oxygen-free)
When storing Sugar for the long term, do not store it with oxygen absorbers because the absence of oxygen in the sugar storage container causes it to get rock hard and may change its flavor.
Up next, should you freeze Sugar to kill bugs?
Should I freeze Sugar before storage?
Do Not Freeze or refrigerate crystallized table sugar: It imparts moisture via condensation and turns Sugar into a rock-hard brick.
Next, let’s examine if you can eat hard Sugar.
Can you still use Sugar after it turns rock-hard?
Yes, all you have to do is break it up. Sugar compacting and turning hard is just an inconvenience because Sugar is anti-microbial; it doesn’t go “bad” and has an indefinite shelf-life. If, on the other hand, the Sugar is hard because of moisture or if it hasn’t been kept in a sealed container, the overall taste and texture could be poor.
Up next, where should I store my Sugar?
Where to Store Sugar
Store sugar in a kitchen pantry, closet, or any location that is temperature controlled. Also, avoid storing Sugar next to hot appliances like a stove or in hot spaces or areas with drastic temperature fluctuations. If Sugar gets too hot, the color and flavor will change, but it will still be edible.
Next, how much Sugar will fit in a 5-gallon bucket?
How much Sugar will fit in a 5-gallon bucket?
Approximately 35 pounds of Sugar will fit in a 5-gallon food-grade bucket.
Next, let’s examine where you should store Sugar.
Next up, should I treat Sugar for bugs?
Should I treat Sugar for bugs?
Commercially packaged sugars don’t usually come with bug eggs like grains because sugar processing kills them. Your job is to keep bugs from getting into Sugar by packaging it in an airtight container.
Next, examine the foods you can make with Sugar from your long-term pantry.
9 Foods you can make with Sugar (long-term storage)
Sugar has been demonized, but it’s cherished and excellent for barter in hard times. During WWII, table sugar was the last food to come from rationing. So what can you do with Sugar besides trading it for other things you need?
#1 Baked Goods
Sugar is excellent for making sweet baked goods and compliments the other foods perfect for long-term emergency food storage, such as hard and some soft grains to sweeten baked goods like sticky buns, morning oatmeal, or whole wheat berries cooked as porridge.
#2 Baked Beans
Eating regular beans might get old. Sugar is one of those foods you can use to change it up and relieve palet fatigue.
Use Sugar in unleavened bread like pancakes, johnnycakes, or bannock
#4 Meat and Vegetable Marinades
Sugar is used to marinate meat and vegetables to boost flavor. Also, Sugar is a natural meat tenderizer for tough cuts of meat.
#5 Sweetener for coffee and tea
Add a couple of teaspoons of Sugar to coffee or tea to improve flavor and for a shot of high-carb energy. Talk about a morale booster.
#6 Fruit Preservative
Sugar is a natural preservative and essential for conserving large volumes of fruit in the form of jellies and jams.
Don’t forget that during a societal or economic collapse, food preservation is a skill that will feed you during the winter and off-growing seasons.
#7 Juice drinks
Add Sugar to vitamin-fortified drink powders that are professionally packaged for long-term storage.
What I like about juice drink mix is it’s a treat or something to look forward to. If most of your hydration is water, an occasional shot of an orange juice drink (bug juice) is a spirit lifter.
Use table sugar to kickstart the fermentation of food and drink. For example, use hundreds of pounds of ground-dropped apples, add Sugar, and ferment for hard cider, a nutritious, clean water source that will store for a year in a cool, dry location.
#9 Inexpensive Sweetener
Sugar is cheap compared to my other favorite sweetener, honey. Crystalized Sugar is less expensive than honey, but it’s also easier to work with when cooking and preserving food. Also, Sugar is an excellent barter item so consider storing extra for trade.
It’s amazing how cheap the bedrock staples like sugar are compared to pre-packaged foods. Dry Foods like white rice, dried beans, wheat, oats, sugar, and salt are the best survival foods for long-term survival and are the cheapest.Scott, Ready Squirrel
If you are interested in what a year’s food supply for one person looks like, check out the Ready Squirrel article “How Much Food To Stockpile For Per Person.”
Storing White Sugar Long-term (Shelf-life)
Stored correctly in a cool, dry location, table sugar (crystallized white Sugar) has an indefinite shelf-life, which will outlive us, making it an excellent addition to other top-priority emergency foods like white rice, dried beans, etc., and wheat berries.
Storing Powdered Sugar Long Term
Powdered Sugar has an indefinite shelf life and should be stored in an airtight container that protects it from odors, moisture, and bugs.
Ideal Storage Containers For Powdered Sugar
Mylar bags, Polyethylene bags (Ziplock Bags), food-grade buckets, ball or canning jars, or purchased professionally packaged in sealed #10 cans.
Table sugar is more useful in long-term storage and less expensive.
Instead of purchasing powdered Sugar, I suggest milling it from table sugar using a food processor or blender.
Storing Brown Sugar Long Term
Brown Sugar isn’t ideal for long-term storage because it drys out quickly. Storing it indefinitely or for 30 years isn’t an option.
Storing brown Sugar
Brown sugar should be stored in a cool, moist area in a rustproof container with a tight-fitting lid. Brown sugar can also be stored in any type of re-sealable, moisture-proof plastic bag. The quality of brown sugar is best when consumed within six months of purchase and opening. Don’t store brown sugar in the refrigerator.Domino Sugar.com
If it is a must-have food, consider purchasing brown Sugar. Some survival food companies, such as Augason Farms and Emergency essentials, offer brown Sugar professionally packaged to last 20 years.
Storage Tip: Make brown Sugar by combining table sugar and molasses.
Thanks for visiting Ready Squirrel. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below.
Keep on prepping!
Best Regards, Scott