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How to Oven Can and Preserve Dry Goods

 My very thoughtful Husband bought a bag of masa harina, (aff link) opened it and used it to make dinner shortly after I bought a new bag of masa harina, opened it, and used it to make dinner.


I popped a bay leaf in one of the open bags of masa to keep the bugs at bay and put it in the pantry. Well that takes care of one bag. Now I need to find a way to keep the other bag fresh and pest free for the long term.

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Freezing flour or masa, isn’t a long term food storage option. My freezer burns everything anyway. 

You can't vacuum seal masa, flour, and other powdery dry goods because the fine powder gunks up the machine and hose so much it will not create an air tight seal.

Oven canning flour and dry goods in mason jars should do the trick although it is controversial in food preservation circles.

You should only consider oven canning items without any moisture like flour. Things like dried fruits, nuts (too oily), brown sugar etc. are right out. Oven canning cannot and should not replace water bath or pressure canning fruits and vegetables.  Botulism, yo.

Why is Oven Canning Controversial?


There are as many experienced canners who oven can dry goods without issue as there are experienced canners who side with the National Center for Food Preservation who does not recommend oven canning as a safe way to preserve dry food.

The NCFP experts say oven temperatures may not be true and hot enough to sterilize the jars, preserve the food, and prevent bacteria growth (easily verified with an oven thermometer IMHO.)  They also say mason jars could explode in the oven because they are not made to withstand the high temperatures or dry heat of an oven.

That one has me stretching my head. You use the same jars when you pressure can and they stay in the canner for long periods of time. I see a bucket load of people baking cakes in mason jars too. However, bakers aren’t trying to seal the goodies in their jars for later, they quickly eat them for dessert.

You will have to do the research and decide for yourself whether you think oven canning is safe or not.

In other words, if you want to follow my directions and try it, you are doing it at your own risk ...mmmkay?

How to Keep Pests Out of Dry Goods by Oven Canning or Dry Canning

All of those warnings aside, I want to try dry canning. I figure at best, the jar seals and keeps the extra masa fresh until I need it.


At worst, I curse the day I was born while cleaning the oven, stick a bay leaf in the other jars of masa, slap on the lids and rings, and hope for the best.

Or I make tortillas from now until the 12th of forever.

You will need:

Dry goods
– flour, cornmeal, etc.

Clean, dry, and sterile mason jars like these

Metal canning funnel (unless you can pour stuff into mason jars without wearing it unlike yours truly)

New metal mason jar lids - Do NOT use reusable canning lids for oven canning! I checked with the company and they said they are not created for oven canning, only water and pressure canning.

Mason jar rings

Cookie sheet or a baking pan with a lip to keep the jars from flopping over when you move them in and out of the oven.

Oven thermometer - I never knew how far off my oven temperature could be until I bought an oven thermometer!


Pot of boiling water



Oven Can It:

1. Use the canning funnel to pour the dry goods into the clean canning jars and put the full jars in the baking pan/baking sheet.

Tip: if you tap the jar on the counter top it will settle the contents and allow you to pour more into the jar. I fit one five-pound bag of masa into four one-quart mason jars using this technique.

2. Verify the oven is 200 degrees (F ) with the oven thermometer. Place the cookie sheet/baking sheet full of jars into a 200 degree (F) oven for one hour. Do not put the canning jar lids on jars while they are in the oven.


3. Wait.

4. Heat the lids and rings in the pot of boiling water to soften the seals before the hour is up.

5. Using potholders, remove the jars from the oven after one hour, wipe the top of the jars with a towel, thoroughly dry the heated lids and rings with a towel, and screw a lid on the jar ring with a mason jar ring to fingertip tight.

Tip: Really, really, super really, really make sure the mason jar lids and rings are dry before putting them on the jars or they might drip water into the dry goods in your jar. That happened to me and I had to start the process all over again with a new clean jar, lid, etc. because I didn’t want the the moisture to be a breeding ground for mold – or worse.

6. As the jars cool they will seal with a pop! Some of my jars did not seal right away as they do when I water bath can jam.

Eventually they did but since I am overly cautious when it comes to canning anything (hello botulism!) I will use that jar first. If it looks/smells iffy after I open it, I will chuck it. Better to be safe than sorry.

I keep the rings on my mason jars after they seal to keep track of them. 
They also hold my paper labels in place – no tape or stickers required!

6. Label the jars and put them away.

7. Make sure the next time your wonderful Husband wants to help out, he checks the grocery list on the refrigerator first.

Oven canning/dry canning is easy in theory but making sure the lids and rings are super dry so they don’t ruin your effort with water was not as simple as it should be.

It took a big chuck of my day to deal with four jars because I had to redo more than one from scratch because of water drops accidentally falling into the jar of masa.  Better safe than sorry.

Do you oven can? What do you think of the controversy around it?
If you want more food preservation ideas check out the following ideas - and more! - below!

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Clmay2012 said…
I can my dry goods with my seal a meal. The accessory adapter for the mason jars works wonderful. It never sucks up flour or anything else. My jars are all sealed very good.
Teresa B said…
Thank you for sharing these tips at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned.
Kippi O'Hern said…
Very interesting idea. I have never hear of dry canning, but it makes sense if you have a ton of dry goods to store.
Happy Spring, Kippi #kippiathome
Jennifer Wise said…
So interesting! I never knew you could do this. Great tips.
I see a lot of Eastern Europeans doing oven canning. They will reuse things like mayo jars, too. It's worrisome to me, but none of my friends from Moldova have gotten sick yet, hahaha. If I was in a jam, I'd try it for dry goods as you've done.
Grama pei said…
I also use my seal-a-meal jar sealer to dry-can goods, but I add, on half-gallon jars, especially of grains, an oxygen absorber packet. Works beautifully, They are always under seal when I open them. It does ot hurt to warm those lids in a dry heat, either, although I have used them warm or not warm. think air-fryer for 2 minutes, then use a canning magnetic wand to pick them up, with nitrile gloves on your hands - dont touch the lids bare-handed. Or, in the oven the last 5 minutes of heating the goods, if you are oven-canning... I have a woodstove I just toss my lids rubber-side up, on a baking sheet, then the sheet keeps the lids warm for the minutes it takes. NO lid-drying needed. I have heard of others using the oven method of dry-canning nutmeats, to preserve their freshness longer than just refrigerated, but one would STILL have to freeze them after fully cooling the jars to room temp, as oils will not avoid going rancid in a dry-canned jar, eventually. I'd rather just freeze them for the holiday months then wait for the new crop
I do not oven can dry goods--but I do oven can anything that can be processed in a hot water bath canner. I've do everything from tomatoes to jam and from pickles to pie filling. I did get an oven thermometer and I heck my temperature setting frequently. I set my oven to 212 degrees. Then I can everything for 1 hour. I have a commercial size oven so I can run about 4 cases of quart jars through the process in 1 hour. I know this method is not approved and is even strongly discouraged. I have been canning now for almost 50 years, and have never had a problem. But like the lady says, do your research and decide for yourself what is best for your family in your situation.
I didn't know that you could oven can! I have always needed a solution to long-term storage for dry goods. I will try this soon and let you know my progress. Thanks
Heidi said…
Fantastic article! I have several bags of beans and rice and I am going to oven can them this week! Thanks for sharing these tips!
Frugal Hausfrau said…
The first time I canned dry goods was when I washed out the quart mason jars I always keep my beans/pasta/rice in. The jars were still hot and as I sat there I heard pop pop pop!!

Thanks for sharing with Fiesta Friday this week!

I have yet to find mason jars or seals here in Spain. Lots of people do oven canning and they use whatever jar they have on hand. I can't bring myself to do it, so I opt for small lots of jams and pickles that can go in the fridge right away.
Oombawka Design said…
I've never heard of Oven Canning Dry Goods before - this is fascinating. I've canned and preserved using a boiling method before for wet goods. Thank you for sharing this with us at our weekly link party. You are being featured tomorrow at our 366th Link Party :) Here's the link in case you would like to share your feature: https://oombawkadesigncrochet.com/2020/09/knit-this-adorable-bat-crochet-a-pocket-wrap-or-learn-to-oven-can.html
We hope to see you again soon, Rhondda
rosieposie said…
I oven canned, flour,beans, pasta, pepper,salt and many other things over 5 years ago and they are all still sealed.
Jeannie said…
I've never had an issue using my vacuum sealer to seal up bags of flour/dry goods, as long as I make sure the dry ingredients are in a bag that is over a lip before being put in the machine - usually I just lay the bags flat in a shallow tray or dish, and feed the bag into the sealer from there - seems to work fine and then they store flat in my pantry. Does require sifting afterwards though, which I have the Kitchenaid attachement for, to get it back to 'fluffy' texture. Any problems with texture or settling after oven canning?
Amanda said…
Thanks for sharing! I've been on a kick of dehydrating all the things for longer term storage and I'd like to try dry canning some of them with a food safe dessicant packet added.