When it comes to storing survival food, things can get cluttered fast.
Stacking cans of food on the ground or makeshift shelves makes for a disorganized mess.
Not only does it look terrible, and take up lots of space, but it can also compromise your survival food supplies.
Good organization is key to avoiding expiration dates!
How can you expect to make it through any emergency if all your canned foods make you sick?
But it won’t help in an emergency its in a messy unorganized heap.
That is why it’s so important to organize all your essential resources.
Canned foods have been a survival food staple for decades. Why? Because canned food is considered shelf-stable and lasts a long time. Plus, canned meats and veggies are packed with both nutrients and calories.
Plus, canned food is relatively cheap and easy to store.
But canned goods can take up a lot of space, especially when you’re stocking up for an emergency.
The solution? Can Storage Racks.
Can storage racks are an easy, cost-effective, organizational method for storing a lot of canned goods in a small space.
That’s why today I’m going to share everything I know about can storage racks, specifically:
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4 Reasons Why YOU Need Can Storage Racks
Obviously, keeping your pantry well organized is the top reason to use a can storage rack system.
But it certainly isn’t the only one:
1. Can Storage Racks Keep Cans Off The Ground
Keeping your food off the ground is a basic rule of storing food – even if it’s in a can.
Vermin, floods, and accidents can all compromise your survival supplies down there. Keeping food off the floor helps to keep it dry and vermin are less likely to create a hidden snack bar if food is up on shelves.
2. Can Storage Racks Make Organization A Breeze
Most can storage racks are designed so you can easily check “expiration dates”.
But they also give you a quick visual reference for how much food you have left.
You can see when you are running out of green beans or corn, and restock well before your run out.
Plus, if you decide to get a “First In First Out” (FIFO) racking system, you’ll guarantee to use your oldest cans first (more on FIFO can storage below).
3. Racked Food Is Out Of The Way
Keeping your cans stored on racks ensures they’re out of the way and not creating trip hazards.
If they end up on the floor, they can make for a serious trip hazard. And if they’re carelessly placed on a high shelf, they can make for a falling hazard.
But if they are safely stored on a rack that’s engineered to hold them right, they are safe and sound (and so are you).
4. More Cans Per Pantry – Even Tiny Ones
This hearkens back to “good organization practices”. With a canned goods storage rack, you’ll be able to fit more cans in the pantry than if you just pile them up on your shelves.
This also saves you space in your storage area to fit more supplies besides cans.
The Wisdom Behind The “First-In First-out” Strategy
One of the most frustrating and wasteful things you can do when you begin stockpiling food for an emergency is to find your food has gone bad. And while “expiration dates” and “best by dates” are a myth (especially with canned goods), they will eventually go bad if left unused for a long enough period of time.
That’s where a stockpiling rotation strategy comes into play. If you plan to stockpile a lot of food for a future emergency, you have to find a system to rotate your perishable foods.
So to protect your food stash investment, we recommend you get FIFO can storage racks.
First In First Out racks are designed so you can remove older canned goods first, and be able to add newer cans without having to reorganize everything.
With regular canned food storage racks, when you add new canned goods to the front of the rack (because it’s quicker and easier) older cans get left stuck in the back – forgotten about and getting older by the day.
FIFO can storage racks fix this problem.
They’re designed so new cans are added to an upper row, while old cans are removed from a lower row. So as you remove cans, the entire inventory of cans shifts to always present the oldest can for use first.
Stockpile rotation is built into the design – genius!
Seriously, if you’re getting prepared and have a choice between two can food storage racks and one is a FIFO rack and one is not, go with the FIFO rack every time.
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Best Can Storage Racks On The Market Today
There’s an overwhelming number of canned storage racks choices on the market today.
Some are big and some are small, some are heavy and some are light.
But no matter which style you prefer, you should have a good idea of how much food you want to store before you buy.
Here’s a list of the best can storage racks you can buy online:
These are very popular when it comes to can storage racks, for several reasons.
First, you can buy as many as you need or as many as you can fit in your storage space and simply stack them one on top of another.
Each one can hold up to 36 cans, and the rack is built so that when you pull one can out, the next rolls into place to replace it.
It’s made from heavy gauge stainless steel. So this device is durable and requires minimal set-up.
And at 6.2 pounds, it’s the lightest; most compact can storage rack on this list.
All that, in combination with the affordability of this rack, makes it one of your best options.
However, the biggest minus is it’s not a FIFO can storage rack.
This one can hold up to 54 cans of food, and it’s lighter at only 4 pounds, 15 ounces.
The only downsides are:
Plastic racks are more susceptible to damage and won’t stack as well as some other options.
But it’s one of the only FIFO can storage systems on this list!
Watch this short video review to see how these will work for you.
This canned goods storage rack can store up to 36 cans.
One nice feature of this rack is it includes 6 adjustable dividers to accommodate different can sizes.
It’s a sturdy rack once assembled and has a chrome finish to prevent rusting.
Again, this one is not FIFO so you have to remove older cans in order to place new cans behind it – except for the top shelf, of course.
These racks are small and simple but effective. They have a slanted design to ensure the cans will roll to the front of the rack when you remove one.
It includes small rubber stoppers at the feet of the rack to prevent slipping.
The biggest downside to this rack system is it’s not first in first out unless you have access to the backside of the rack.
So if that’s important to your canned food stockpiling plan, pass on this rack and get a FIFO one instead.
The biggest option on this list, this can rack storage system can hold up to 200 cans at one time!
It’s designed with adjustable spacers to fit different sizes of cans.
The FIFO Can Rack is made with a “first-in, first-out” system which again, allows you to easily rotate through your older cans first.
So if you’ve got the space, place one of these units on top of another to increase your can storage capacity to 400 cans!
Here’s a video review of the FIFO Can Rack 72 (which is a slightly smaller version of this same can rack storage system):
How To Track Canned Food Expiration Dates
Honestly, there isn’t much in the way of maintenance when it comes to these racks.
They don’t have any moving parts, so you don’t have to worry about changing out the oil, or charging batteries.
What is helpful, though, is to keep a log of what you have, what you need, and when your food will go bad.
I recommend this for all survival food storage spaces:
You should keep a clipboard hanging in your pantry, or even on the can storage rack itself. That way, you can keep track of what you bought, when you bought it, and when it will expire.
This is an easy way to make sure your supplies remain fresh. It’s also the best method for ensuring you never run out.
This method makes quick work of restocking your canned goods cache.
Thus, you’ll avoid letting your precious foods expire and running out in an emergency. And by keeping an accurate inventory you’ll prevent overstocking on too much of one food category.
Sure, creamed corn is good, but if you don’t want to accidentally end up with 1000 cans of it.
If you do, you’re going to be on a strict cream corn diet in an emergency and that’ll get very old, very fast.
Maintaining a healthy supply of canned goods is a wise step toward prepping basics. But it won’t do you much good if your can cache remains a chaotic mess.
That’s why buying a can storage rack is a vital part of any food storage system.
- It offers you a compact way to store cans in a small space.
- It makes it easy to keep track of what you have and when it expires.
- And it grants you fast access to the food you need when you need it fast.
But it’s critical to have the proper can storage racks to protect your canned good for years to come.
I hear so many stories from our readers about how they forgot about their canned goods and now they’re decades old. They as me if they can still trust them and worry whether they are still good or not.
The good news is you can avoid this fate with good organizational practices. And that starts by investing in high-quality can storage racks.
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