Top 5 canned food to stock on hand

There are so many food options to stock up on. Here I talk about canned food and my top 5.

Canned food is by far the easiest food to stock up. As long as the can isn’t compromised, it can last forever.

I’ve compiled a list of 5 groups of canned food that I like to stock up on. Within those 5 groups, you can customize it to your families tastes and preferences.

As long as the can isn’t compromised, it can last indefinitely. If you open one 30 years later, it may be a softer consistency than if you open it right after buying it from the store.

Canned meat

My favorite store-bought canned meat to have on hand is chicken. If you’ve had canned chicken, you know it smells a little bit different than fresh chicken. This is true to all canned meats.

When it comes to home canned meat, my favorites are chicken, ground beef and beef roast. All of the meat is tender and delicious. I love it all.

Canned meat is full of protein and is great for stews, soups, casseroles, tacos and so much more.

Canned Vegetables

There are so many options when it comes to canned vegetables. This is where you can pick and choose based on what your family likes. Some of the ones I buy most often are:

  • Corn
  • Carrots
  • Green beans

Canned potatoes

Some people may turn their nose up at canned potatoes, but they are fantastic in soups and salads. I have even fried them, though fresh ones fry up better. You can try mashing them for mashed potatoes, but they don’t get as smooth either.

I prefer my home canned potatoes. I’m surprised at how well I enjoy them, and they don’t fall apart like I was expecting. I make a potato salad using them and they hold their shape and taste just as delicious as fresh ones. They are also great in soups.

Canned beans

Another protein that can have many uses. It’s common knowledge in the prepper world that when combined with rice it creates a complete protein.

Some canned beans options:

  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Chili beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Baked beans
  • Great Northern beans
  • Cannellini beans
  • Navy beans
  • Chickpeas

Canned Soups and Chili

I’m not huge fan of canned soups, but if you ever need it, they offer a great hearty meal.

There are lots of varieties to get but be sure to look for ones that have less sodium and offer protein as well as carbs.

My family loves chili and so I make sure we also have chili on our shelf.

Foods I tend to stay away from

These things are awesome to have, and I have them all on my shelf, and as long as you rotate them, you should be fine. However, if you find some that are past the expiration dates by a little bit (years) then the food may start tasting not quite as good as you are hoping. Here’s why:

Canned fruit – Fruit in cans that is passed the best by date is still fine to eat, but it takes on a metallic taste. Acidic food can break down the lining of aluminum cans and fruit such as oranges are acidic.

Canned tomatoes – Same reason as fruits. Tomatoes are acidic. I do keep a lot of these on my shelves, but I do rotate through them that they never reach their best by date.

Canned evaporated milk – Canned food can last years after the best by date however, in my experience, I found that evaporated milk can get chunky and have an off smell to it. I prefer to store dry milk over evaporated milk.


If you haven’t started having some extra food at home, it’s not too late to start. These 5 types of canned food are good options to get started. Just choose foods your family likes so that you’re able to rotate it.

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