If you are brand new to prepping, references to #10 cans have probably been numerous, since it is a staple storage size for many items, including food.
A number 10 can (also known as a #10 can) is a large, cylindrical metal container commonly used for storing and preserving food – think like an oversized can or paint can. It measures approximately 6.25 inches in diameter and 7 inches in height, with a capacity of roughly 12 cups, 109 fluid ounces or about 3.3 liters. These cans are widely used for storing bulk foods, such as freeze-dried or dehydrated vegetables, fruits, meats, and other long-term storage foods.
Long-term storage food is often stored in number 10 cans for several reasons:
- Durability: The metal construction of a number 10 can provides a sturdy and reliable container that protects the contents from physical damage, such as impacts, punctures, or crushing.
- Sealing: Number 10 cans are hermetically sealed, which means they are airtight and prevent the entry of bacteria, mold, or other contaminants that could spoil the food. This also helps to maintain the nutritional content and flavor of the food inside.
- Shelf life: When properly sealed and stored, number 10 cans can help preserve the food inside for an extended period, often ranging from several years to a few decades. This makes them ideal for long-term food storage purposes, such as emergency preparedness or bulk food storage for institutions like schools or restaurants.
- Pest resistance: The metal construction of the cans helps deter pests like insects and rodents from accessing the food inside, making them a popular choice for long-term food storage.
- Stackability and space efficiency: The cylindrical shape and size of number 10 cans make them easy to stack and store efficiently, saving space in storage areas.
- Reusability: After the contents of a number 10 can have been consumed, the empty can may be cleaned and reused for other purposes, such as storing non-food items or as a makeshift container in emergency situations.
Due to these benefits, number 10 cans are a popular choice for long-term food storage, particularly for preppers, survivalists, and those looking to stock up on shelf-stable food items.
While food grade plastic buckets are also a popular solution, do be aware of where you live – if there is any chance that critters could get access to the food storage area, they can chew through both plastic and mylar.
If you are looking for extra long storage (20+ years), then you will want to go the plastic bucket, mylar and oxygen absorber route, but be very vigilant about critters.