A few months ago I read an article in the Countryside magazine about oven canning dry goods. When properly sealed these canned items are good for decades. I thought it was a great idea and tried it. I canned flour and rolled oats...but you can do any DRY good...beans, rice, cereal.
I bought a 50lb. bag of rolled oats for $25. I filled 12 half gallon jars(twice, plus some on the counter), packing them tight by "stomping" the jar on a folded towel. Didn't want to break the jar. The next step is to place the open jars in a preheated oven(200degrees F)for one hour. When the time is up, open the oven and start placing the lids and rings on the jars. It's hot so be sure to wear an oven glove or use hot pads. The OV glove works best because I had my fingers free. Once the lids are snug, take the jars out of the oven and place on a towel lined counter to cool. As the jars cool, the lids seal. This process kills any larva or critter that may have been in the oats or flour. Ever open a bag of flour in the back cupboard only to find tiny black bugs? ick. I usually store my flours and oats in the freezer...but that takes up space I need for meat.
I have been using the oats and flour... they are great. The only thing I have found is that I need to sift my flour before using it. since it is packed down in the jars it seems clumpy and I like it nice and fluffy.
I save money buying in bulk, it is sealed and I don't have to worry about bugs or rancid flour. Plus, with the shaky economy, I have a stock pile to help get through the winter.
Now, I have friends who oven can food, but I don't trust that method. I either water can or pressure can my foods. Since I didn't grow up learning how to can, I stick to the proven safe methods. I would hate to go through all the prep work and expense of buying the products only to have it spoil due to poor storage methods.
But the dry goods seems pretty safe and as I said I have been using them without any issues.
I hope this inspires someone else to try it. It took about 2 and a half hours total time investment filling the jars and heating for an hour and cooling .