Mylar Bags VS Mason Jars
Whether you into self-sufficiency, prepping, or just wanting to get back to basics learning food preservation can be quite rewarding. Two of the most common food storage methods are Mylar Bags and Mason Jars. You’re most likely are familiar with using a canning jar to can foods like jams, jellies, green beans, apple sauce, etc. Also, if you have purchased, pre-packaged, emergency food, it is quite likely you’ve seen a Mylar Bag or something similar.
You may not know this, but both the Mylar Bag and the Mason Jar work well for storing dry or dehydrated food for up to 30 years or more. The question though, in relation to storing dry foods, which works best? Read more, to find out.
This article will now examine the various pros and cons associated with using Mylar Bags and Mason Jars for dry foods.
Mylar was originally designed by the Chemical Company, Dupont in the 1950s, and is now owned by Dupont Teijin Films. The only thing that you need to know is that Mylar is a trademarked name and that Melinex, and Hostphan are the same product with a different name.
What Are Mylar Bags?
Mylar bags are composed of multiple layers of aluminum, and plastic material. The aluminum is separated by plastic, food-grade, liner, and the plastic liner serves to prevent aluminum from contaminating packed foods.
Mylar Bags Pros and Cons
The Pros listed below are based on the assumption that you are properly sealing and buying official Mylar or generic Mylar bag substitutes.
• Strong-Mylar bags are made to deal with large amounts of food in a relatively small pouch.
• Light and Flexible-Mylar bags are lighter than glass and also flexible enough to hold awkwardly shaped food.
• Tight Fitting-The seal of the Mylar bag is extremely, tight, which (along with Oxygen Absorbers) oxygen and other contaminants are able to be easily kept out.
• LightProof-Keeping light away from your food is essential if you want to maximize your food storage time, and the opaque covering of a quality Mylar Bag does just that.
• Cheap-A single Mylar Bag, which is designed for storing dry food costs around .80 cents a bag. A single, regular, Ball Mason Jar, can set you back nearly $5 per jar.
• Simple To Use-The vacuum sealer, FoodSaver, or another vacuum sealer, once mastered is easy to operate.
• Travel Friendly-Common sense will tell you that Mylar is safer, less bulky, and easier to transport than an old-school glass mason jar.
• Not Vermin Proof-It can take a mouse or other rodent fifteen or fewer minutes to discover and start eating any food stored that is stored in a Mylar container. To be fair though; this problem can be easily fixed by placing your food bags into a rodent-proof, food grade, storage bucket.
• Specialized Equipment Needed-To seal your bags you will need to purchase a vacuum sealer, FoodSaver of the equivalent. These products for most people are affordable. But, you’ll be hard-pressed trying to find another sealer if it breaks during a time of long-term disaster.
The Classic Mason Jar For Dry Foods
You’ve all seen the mason or canning jar either through home canning or a hipster’s cocktail glass. Mason Jar is any type of canning jar where the jar’s mouth is threaded. The threading helps give the Mason Jar its tight seal. So, Ball and any other company can make a “Mason Jar.” Only Ball though can make a Ball, Mason Jar.
Mason Jar’s Pros and Cons
• Toxin Free-The glass jar will not leak toxins into the food. (Assuming you are buying a reputable canning jar)
• Easier To Work With-For most products, A jar is easier to hold any leftover products.
• Multi-Purpose-As it can be used as a general container, decoration, or a multitude of other purposes
• Breakable-As the Mason Jar is glass it is breakable. Breaking glass is of special concern in an earthquake, or if another natural disaster occurs. Additionally, glass is harder to transport.
• Cost More- A single Mason Jar costs significantly more than the Mylar Bag.
• More Space-Mason Jar’s, as they are a set shape, take up more space than the flexible Mylar container.
• Awkward To Move-A glass jar is harder to move, and also you are more prone to accidents with glass. This makes the typical glass canning jars impractical to carry with you if you need to bug out.
• Not Lightproof By Default-They typical Mason, food canning jars do not block out light or sun rays. You can fix this, if you pay extra, by purchasing an opaque jar. Otherwise, you will need to store your canning jars in a dark basement, closet, or other dark environments.
Dry Pack Storage With Mylar Bags And Mason Jars
Dry pack food storage (AKA Vacuum Sealing) is used for the long-term food storage of dry foods. i.e., White Rice, Pasta, Oats, etc. With proper dry packing,(if kept at room temperature or lower) most, low moisture, dry foods can be stored for up to 30 years or even more.
What Type of Dry Food Works Best In Long Term Storage
Lower moisture, dry foods work best in dry pack storage for both Mylar Bags and Mason Jars. Examples, of food that will last 30 years or more in long-term storage are dry pasta, oats, and other dehydrated foods that have low moisture. Foods that you should stay away from are foods that contain moisture. Some examples of this are brown rice, jerky, and nuts.
Dry Packing With a Mason Jar
What’s even better is that, especially, when it comes to the Mason Jar, dry packing food is quite easy. The following is all that is needed for using the Mason Jar for packing food:
- Mason Jar
- Oxygen Absorber (300CC)
- Place your dehydrated food product into the jar.
- Put the oxygen absorber into the jar.
- Close the lid, and tightly screw the lid band.
Testing The Seal
To prevent food spoilage, food poisoning, and other problems you need to ensure that the jar is properly sealed. There are several methods for testing the canning jars seal. The best that I found was the University of Georgia’s National Center For Home Food Preservation. Click Here, for a detailed, but relatively simple, explanation for testing the mason jar’s seal.
Dry Packing with Mylar Bags
Using dry packing or a vacuum sealer for dry, long-term food storage is also quite simple. All you need is the following equipment:
- Vacuum Sealer, FoodSaver, or Other Sealer
- Oxygen Absorber
- Dry Pack, Mylar Bags
- *Food Storage Plastic Bucket (Optional, but, Highly Recommended)
The steps can be best explained by the video below.
*Mylar bags are not rodent-proof. So, it is highly recommended that you store your Mylar bags in a food grade, plastic buck, or another vermin-proof container.
Who wins the battle between Mylar Bags vs. Mason Jars? The classic, Mason Jar, or the boring Mylar Bag?
They both do the same thing, quite well; store long-term dry foods for 30 years or more. As a result, it is a question of what works better or is more convenient for preppers, and Mylar Bags wins hands down.
Being able to depend on your long-term food stash is essential. You are going to want to make sure that your food remains edible after a disaster strikes and also that you can easily take your food with you if needed. Here, based upon its unbreakable nature, a Mylar bag (stored inside a bucket) is easily transported and it is unbreakable. Therefore, a Mylar bag is a better long term storage container for preppers and your survival food stash.