Sealing Food in 5 Gallon Buckets

sealing food in five gallon buckets

Place food into buckets

The other day I had to seal some popcorn and millet in Mylar bags and five-gallon buckets.  It is quite easy.  Open the Mylar bag and put it in the bucket.  Fill the Mylar bag with your product to about two inches from the top of the bucket.  You will notice that the bag is a lot taller than the bucket, rather than cut of the excess I seal it right on the edge.  If I open the bucket to rotate the food this leaves me plenty of material to reseal the bag.

I use an old two-foot metal hand level and an electric iron to seal the bags.  The level is just the right length and thickness to make a good seal.  I do not use my wife’s good iron, some Mylar bags leave residue on the iron.  I got the cheapest one they had at Walmart.  This keeps me out of trouble.

sealing food in five gallon buckets

Leave the excess Mylar bag material in case you need to reseal the bag

After putting in the oxygen absorbers, I set the level across the top of the bucket and lay the Mylar bag against it.  I then iron it to make the seal.  Leave a small opening in one corner.  This permits you to squeeze out the excess air.  You then make a diagonal seal across the corner.  Since I get my oxygen absorbers from the LDS cannery and they are the 300CC type, I always put in 5 absorbers. Fold the Mylar Bag into the bucket. Put the lid on the bucket, label it and you are done.

sealing food in five gallon buckets

Place the level on top of bucket and stretch the Mylar bag out flat.




sealing food in five gallon buckets

Iron to complete seal, leaving a small opening in corner

sealing food in five gallon buckets

Squeeze air out and seal corner

sealing food in five gallon buckets

Completed seal


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11 Responses to Sealing Food in 5 Gallon Buckets

  1. david says:

    Is the popcorn for popping? As I understand popcorn, it depends on the outer coat of the kernel (pericarp) being sealed so the steam builds up inside and that’s what gives it the pop. I might guess that outer coating would degrade over time no matter how it is stored. Anybody have experience with stored popcorn? Are there more unpopped kernels?

    • admin says:

      It is mainly for making corn meal, but I understand that it retains it ability to be popped. I know that it is harder than normal corn and a lot of grinder have problems with it.

  2. Robert says:


    Our grain mill is being shipped to us as we speak and so is our grain. I have no experience sealing mylar bags into buckets so I appreciate this article. I’ve read descriptions elsewhere but never saw pictures. I like your tips on leaving extra bag length and using an alternate iron.

    When the time comes, I think we are going to use dry ice, though. I see you prefer oxygen absorbers. Any particular reason? I guess I’m interested in learning the pros and cons of both.


    • admin says:

      Oxygen absorbers will accomplish the same thing as dry ice with less work and mess. They are inexpensive you should be able to purchase them for about a dime a piece. If you do a search in my blog you will find information on how to test them.

  3. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    Thats the way I do it. I use my old travel iron to seal stuff.

  4. Laurie says:

    Thanks for this great visual article. I am stocking up,canning, and freezing but have no idea how this is done and know I have to learn. I love the iron idea and didn’t know whether to use the dry ice which sounded to difficult or the dehydrators. So if you have to break the seal and want to reseal do you just throw in more dehydrators and reseal the same way?

    • admin says:

      I would recommended the oxygen absorber, they removed the oxygen from the air with a chemical reaction. The absorber contains salt and powdered iron. When exposed to oxygen it rapidly creates rust which used up the oxygen. The oxygen absorber are available for about a dime apiece. Howard

  5. Bmj says:

    How long will perishables last in a sealed bucket?

  6. mark says:

    I have stored popcorn in a plastic bag, in the freezer, for 3 to 4 years with good popping results. I would assume that there would be little or no moisture lost inside a sealed Mylar bag. As I understand it, it is the moisture in the kernel that determines the degree of expansion in “popping”.

  7. Mrs C says:

    I have some 5 gallon jugs, the kind that had liquid in them. How would that work with the mylar bags?

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