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Trudy

Using Desiccants

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Since moving about 2 blocks from the beach, I've been having a terrible time

keeping my spices from turning hard. I thought maybe adding a silica jell pac to the bottle would keep them dry. I thought about changing the spices with the flip tops to screw on lids might help too. Anyone know what size packet to use? I have some 1 gram pacs, but they look awful small.

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Probably any would help. You might have to take the packets out and dry them sometimes in a warm oven or full sunlight. Full lids would likely help.

 

MtRider .....In Hawaii, I kept some spices in the freezer.

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I don't know about the desiccant packages but if it were me I'd use glass bottles with a screw top lid. Do you have an Old Time Pottery store near you? They have all kinds of glassware and it is very inexpensive. Bed Bath and Beyond has some too but more pricy.

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Different spices and seasonings require different amounts and types of desiccant. One variable is whole/coarse/fine grind, Another variable is what type of desiccant. There are different type/uses of silica. Some should not be used with foodstuffs. I do not have a chart. I do not know if there is one.

 

I know that silica is used for long term storage of non-salt based seasonings, but not short term. Metal cased silica bricks of different sizes are used.

 

If by 'flip top' you mean something like the plastic shaker cap containers like McCormick, about three and a half ounces, then perhaps I do have a tip. If it is a salt based mixed seasoning, a quarter teaspoon of rice in a tight tea bag paper bag/bundle is used. The bag is cut down and crimp sealed. Why not loose rice I do not know. I also know salt and sugar table containers often have loose rice in them.

 

Another tip, a .22 copper flashed shot pellet is used here in salt shakers to break up any caking.

 

Hope it helps.

 

Sarah

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Sarah, I have always used loose rice in my salt shaker, but the holes in the shaker top are small sincethe salt is so fine. A lot of my spices are bigger pieces with bigger holes in the shaker top and I'm thinking the rice grains might come through. If not for that, rice would be the simplest solution.

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Since moving about 2 blocks from the beach, I've been having a terrible time

keeping my spices from turning hard. I thought maybe adding a silica jell pac to the bottle would keep them dry. I thought about changing the spices with the flip tops to screw on lids might help too. Anyone know what size packet to use? I have some 1 gram pacs, but they look awful small.

 

I had the same problem with my spices in our travel trailer. I found my solution...but...you'll need one of the Ziplock hand-held vacuum plungers (or the battery operated one they also sell) usually found at WalMart. Take a half pint (or larger?) canning jar, and put your spices or herb in it, and then a lid. With a push pin, poke a tiny hole in the lid...and place a small piece of black electrical tape (it must be electrical tape) over the hole. Place the lid on the spice jar and place the plunger over the tape/hole and vacuum until the jar is sealed. This works for me wonderfully! When I want to open it, I gently remove the lid (you'll hear it release), use what I need and then re-do the vacuum seal. You can do it over and over and over...and if you need to, just replace the tape or perhaps the lid. This is one reason I save many of my used jar lids, so I can vacuum seal with them.

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Sarah, I have always used loose rice in my salt shaker, but the holes in the shaker top are small sincethe salt is so fine. A lot of my spices are bigger pieces with bigger holes in the shaker top and I'm thinking the rice grains might come through. If not for that, rice would be the simplest solution.

That is probably why the rice is 'packeted'. Packet would be too large for the holes. The bearing would be too.

 

To reinforce a point: While doing your research be sure the descriptions say 'food safe' for the silica pouches. Some of them are a 'witches brew'.

 

Sarah

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Quoting function having trouble again...


 


"(it must be electrical tape) over the hole."

 

Hmm... I can understand that. But you have me wondering if 'gaffers tape' would be as good, or better. Gaffers tape is duct tape, with the same stickum as the post-it papers. It got its name from gaffers, people who set up cabling for bands. It does not leave the sticky duct tape residue. We use it to make air tight temporary seals on all sort of things.

 

Sarah

 

 

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I just thought about canning jars. The small 1/4 pint (4 oz.) size or 1/2 pint (8 oz.) size would work too. Twelve to a case with a screw top lid. Even pint size would work if you use a lot of a certain spice.

 

I have some garlic granules in a couple of pint size jars and a quart of home made "Lipton" onion soup mix in the pantry.

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@ Jeepers- So you don't have to use new flats when you seal your jars like this? Isn't it funny that I just unpacked the box with my hand held sealer in it yesterday! I hope it still works. I have plenty of 4 oz.jelly jars. My silica jell pacs came in a couple of days ago so I will try using them in my jars that already have tight fitting lids. Thanks Sarah, I made sure they were food grade.

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No you don't Trudy. The jelly jars you already have would work perfectly. Just make sure they are clean and dry...very dry. You wouldn't even have to use your sealer on them if you didn't want to. Just make sure the lids are screwed on tightly. I did use the vacuum sealer on mine because they are in long term storage and it just seemed prudent since I had all the stuff here anyway.

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Yep...using the cannister vacuum sealer from my food saver is what I used for putting my "long term" spices away...but, I use the hand vac and electrical tape for the jars I'm in and out of all the time and don't want them drawing moisture.

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I've heard a lot of people say they don't use their vacume sealer on jars with powdery stuff. Would sealing stuff like garlic powder be a good thing to do using the canister? Seems like having your flat and ring both on the jar would keep your sealer from sucking powder up in your machine?

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It will suck up the powdery stuff and can ruin your Food Saver motor!!!!

Putting the jar in the canister attachment would work fine. In fact that is what it was originally made for. Another way to do it is to use a coffee filter. I've taken one or two of them and cut them in round circles a little bigger than the jar. Basically just cutting the bottom off and using that on top of the jar then vacuum sealing it. I've also read where some people use a couple layers of paper towels cut in circles but I've never tried that.

 

If you already have the canister, I'd use that and maybe add a coffee filter to be sure nothing gets sucked into the motor. It's kind of over kill but I'm careful with my Food Saver. They are too expensive to replace.

 

Edited for spacing issues.

Edited by Jeepers

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I've seen people use the cut coffee filters or use a cupcake liner. I think it would be a good idea to do both. I've read a lot on the subject, but I still like to get info from someone who has actually tried it. I'm with you, I don't want to ruin a machine that I waited so long to get.

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I've heard a lot of people say they don't use their vacume sealer on jars with powdery stuff. Would sealing stuff like garlic powder be a good thing to do using the canister? Seems like having your flat and ring both on the jar would keep your sealer from sucking powder up in your machine?

 

I've used coffee filters on the really powdery stuff because it WILL suck up into the vacuum hose of your food sealer. I now just cut a round of parchment paper...much cheaper :-) But the hand held pump doesn't seem to pull the powdery stuff up through the tape.

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