Tuesday, April 5, 2011

All about Oxygen Absorbers

We get a lot of e-mails and questions about Oxygen Absorbers. So I thought I would do a post about the basic facts of Oxygen Absorbers and hopefully clear up some questions you may be having:

Why use an Oxygen Absorber?
Our will extend the shelf life of your food and will help keep it fresh and prevent discoloration and insect damage (who wants to open up their food and see bugs crawling around....NOT ME!!!!!....use Oxygen Absorbers!!)

How many oxygen absorbers do I use?
With 100cc oxygen absorbers, you use about 2 per gallon when storing Grains, Flours, or Rice. You use about 4 per gallon when storing Pasta and Beans. Why you ask? Well, grains, flours, and rice are denser so there is less oxygen to absorb and get rid of, while pasta and beans are less dense which means more oxygen to absorb.

What does 100cc mean? 300cc? 500cc?
CC is a unit of measurement that is equivalent to milliliters. For example 1cc=1ml. and 1000cc or 1000ml=1 liter. So one 100cc oxygen absorber will absorb 100 cubic centimeters of oxygen. Remember that air is about 20% oxygen and 80% nitrogen. The oxygen absorbers remove the oxygen only. 300cc and 500cc are bigger and stronger oxygen packets. You would just use fewer packets when packing your food.

They only come in packs of 100 or 200, I don't need that many?
Keep the packets sealed in its original packaging until you are ready to use them. Get your food in the containers you want, then right before you are ready to seal the container, throw the correct amount of oxygen absorbers on top of the food and seal your container. The oxygen packets start to work right away. The remaining packets you can store in an airtight GLASS mason jar or an airtight PETE container. You can even fill your container with rice to reduce the amount of oxygen that is in the container. You will want to use the oxygen packets within 6 months.

Have more questions? Shoot us an e-mail or leave a comment. 


kenlowder said...

I store my extra oxygen absorbers in a glass container that i have used my food saver on to pull out as much air as I can. My ready to use single serving bags of grains I seal with the food saver so I don't need a OA in them. In my large buckets i put them in and then seal the bag again using my food saver to get most of the air out and seal the mylar bag.


deerie65775 said...

So, I would only need the small size when making meals in a jar??

If I use too big a size, will it create too large a vacuum and possible break a jar?? (Ok, that sounded ridiculous after I actually typed out the question, BUT, what happens if I have larger O2 absorbers and am using small jars (pints or quarts)???

Cookin' Cousins said...

Hi Deerie65775,
When Chef Tess makes her meals in a jar she uses the 300cc size for quart sized jar to make sure the jars seal properly.

Here is her post about it:

Rhonda said...

I am a newby at this so please forgive me if this is a silly question...if I am using a product from a #10 size can and will probably not use it all for several months...can I just put some of the absorbers in to prolong its life? Thx in advance

Cookin' Cousins said...

Great question Rhonda, and we actually have a great blog post that discusses this same topic. You can find it at: http://honeyvillefarms.blogspot.com/2012/11/food-storage-friday-13-ideal-conditions.html
and look under the heading "What do I do after I open my product. You'll have to transfer your product from the #10 can to a mason jar, then drop an oxygen absorber in there and twist the lid on. That will seal the jar and keep your shelf life at the same. Putting it back in the can though wouldn't work because there is no seal on the can once the can is open. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

So if I am making Meals In a Jar in pint jars, what size Oxygen Absorber do I need?

Jan from Pittsburgh

Cookin' Cousins said...

Hi Jan! The best oxygen absorber to use for Meals in a Jar, if using a quart-sized jar, would be the 300cc.

Anonymous said...

Still need to know what size
oxygen absorber I need when
making meals in a PINT jar.
Margo D.

In The Kitchen With Honeyville said...

Hi! A pint size jar would need at least a 300CC oxygen absorber. Thanks for the question!