Pantry Ideas

Canning, Dehydrating, Freezing, Fermenting, etc.

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Pantry Ideas

Postby SilverFlame819 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:45 am

Wasn't sure where to put this, so I guess here'll do.

Once I was helping fix up a house that had a FIFO can rack built INTO the basement. It wasn't nailed down in the basement, but it was built there, and there was no way to remove it without tearing it apart. It was the coolest rack I've ever seen, and I wish I had a picture, but it was before I had a camera on my cell phone. It was about 12' long, 4' deep, and 6' tall. You could slide it around, but they had it positioned to where there was a "hallway" behind it, so you could walk behind it and fill the cans from there. I really like that design a lot. I keep seeing the racks where you load them from the front, then they roll to the back, drop onto a lower shelf, then roll toward you again. It is such a waste of space to me. You only get 5 shelves of product, rather than 15, because of the vertical space wasted. I'd rather have the area behind the rack open to walk behind so that I could put a greater variety of products on the rack. When you compare the space you're wasting on the 5-shelf model to the space you're wasting for a walkway behind the shelving unit, I think you lose out more with the 5-shelf design.

ANYWAY, so this stock-from-behind rack was completely homemade, and seriously the best design I've ever seen. The top several shelves were designed for the smaller cans, then there were a couple shelves for larger cans, then a single shelf at the bottom for the 1-gallon cans. The bottom 2-3' were cupboards to store the 5-gallon buckets in. All of the shelves had little boards for dividers to keep the cans rolling straight, and it was all stained a nice color. You could tell someone had REALLY put time and thought into it, and I can only imagine how they felt when they moved and couldn't take it with them. It was the best rack system I've ever seen! (Did I already say that?)

I've seen some really nice pantries since then, but haven't put much thought into how I'd like my own pantry to be designed. So what do you guys think? Do you have dreams of how you want your pantry to look, or have you found cool pix or plans online that you have kept for reference? I'd love to see them!

Glancing around online tonight, I found this video. It's a pretty simple little project that looks great at the end, and is a sweet space saver, because you can line your walls with them, and they only take up like 4" of space from the wall.

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Re: Pantry Ideas

Postby mannytheseacow » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:03 pm

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Re: Pantry Ideas

Postby mannytheseacow » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:37 pm

I'm traveling this week and trying to balance the options of eating fresh, eating processed prepackaged stuff, and just fasting. Walking through the hotel lobby this morning I was digesting your post, silver, and I saw the vending machine above with the wonderful green sticker on the top. I think my favorite pantry is the garden, with a greenhouse being a stout second. :lol:
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Re: Pantry Ideas

Postby SilverFlame819 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:02 pm

Haha! I didn't even notice what it said at the top. That's hilarious! :)
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Re: Pantry Ideas

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:28 pm

I saw the sign Manny and it gave me a good chuckle. :lol: Although I do consider M & M's with peanuts a Health food. :lol:
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Re: Pantry Ideas

Postby Lollykoko » Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:59 am

Very nice video on the pantry shelves. They had a lot of attention to detail and made a quality unit, IMO.
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Re: Pantry Ideas

Postby dave brenneman » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:38 pm

That pantry unit looks like a great system if you have a need to store many of one kind or brand of can.

I tend to have lots of varied cans around, makes it less easy to come up with a system. But I also don't have a lot of long-term food storage.

Looking at their setup makes me wonder if a version for mason jars would work. As long as you didn't drop them in from too great a height...
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Re: Pantry Ideas

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:40 pm

I think they did a great job on the design and construction of that shelf unit. If you don't get to town often in the winter [ or in the summer for that matter ] it would be great to store a lot of cans in a very small space. I get to town pretty often, and I have a lot of storage space under the steps to the basement for canned goods, either home canned or store bought. So for me I just put things on the shelf and them have to look for them when I need them, no system, no rhyme or reason to my system, just canned goods set out in pain sight on a shelf so you can see them. Even though they are in pain sight it often take me awhile to find what I need. :lol: but if it is down there, I normally find it. ;)
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Re: Pantry Ideas

Postby Lollykoko » Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:36 pm

Cans come in a variety of sizes, but they are almost all "standard". A family size can of corn, peas or green beans are the same height and diameter, while asparagus comes in a can that is taller and smaller. Of course canned mushrooms, single serving veggies, tinned meats (whether 6 ounce or 28 ounce), large tomato containers and chili mixes would all need appropriate slots for ease of use. But mixing things inside of those slots would be perfectly acceptable, IMO, and could be the answer to "what side dish vegetable do you want this evening?" If the corn and peas are both in the same chute, whichever is on the bottom goes into the pan! :) And if you don't buy beef in family size containers for the days when you just can't face cooking and need something fast, well then you have more room to store tuna or white meat chicken in narrower slots.

I am one of those folks who keeps a fully stocked pantry. After all, you never can tell when my son and family might wind up being here for a week while a 100 year flood has their home unavailable to them. (Yes that did happen just last year) Or that I will fill bags for the local food pantry, or someone who is going through a rough patch. But it gets frustrating when I pull a can of asparagus off the shelf and find it expired two years earlier. :( That said, if there is no rust, I'll eat it anyway. :lol: My dream pantry might need a half dozen of those fancy wall units, on casters so they can be moved easily to find out what else is available. But, I buy some canned goods by the case (once a year is usually often enough to keep me in supply) and canned clams by the 6 pack. Not everyone does that sort of thing.

I wouldn't suggest using this sort of thing for glass jars. A shelf unit with a slight slope might work, but there would still be potential for breakage as the jars roll down to fill the space just vacated by your dilly beans.
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Re: Pantry Ideas

Postby SilverFlame819 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:37 pm

Totally agree with you, Lolly. I like a stocked pantry as well. Currently I am using up all the stuff in my pantry, to get down to only the basics that I use a lot of, since I plan to be moving into an RV soon, and won't have the pantry space that I currently do. Plus, I just have crazy stuff in the pantry that I bought for weird recipes, and will probably never use again... Like spelt, tahini, wheat germ, etc. So every weekend off from work, I make some new, weird thing. (Most of the truly bizarre stuff is being made into dog treats... The dogs are loving it!) :D

I think a slanted shelf system would be better for glass jars too. I was wondering about that as I watched the video. But I was thinking that the glass jars are supposed to be kept upright, aren't they? You could do a flat shelf with a walk-behind area, to push them all forward and load the new ones from the back... I wonder how easy it would be to get some of the plastic divider systems that C-stores use for drinks in the cooler? Those work great for glass jars on a slanted shelf. The jars slide easily on them... I bet you could build a similar system with just using wood dividers though, and installing a plastic piece underneath them. Coroplast, or something. Coroplast would be awesome because it comes in 4x8' sheets, so it would be wide enough for the whole shelf, and you could just cut off any excess.
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