Storing Your Food Using Compressed Gas Such As Nitrogen or Argon
For the person who is just preserving a few buckets, this is the most expensive way to go as there is so much equipment involved. However, the gas itself is cheap, and if you are planning on preserving hundreds of buckets of food, this method will become the cheapest. This method will also prove to be less of a hassle than dry ice as you will be able to seal the buckets immediately after inserting the nitrogen and won't have to wait for the dry ice to melt.
- Nitrogen Bottle
- Pressure reducing valve and gauges
- Wand (a hollow, rigid tube connected to the end of the hose which is pushed to the bottom of the bucket for the actual nitrogen purging.)
- Hand held valve at the top of the wand (optional: You could use the valve on top of the bottle but this would be a real pain).
You should be able to get the majority of the equipment you need at a welding supply store.
After you get your nitrogen apparatus set up, adjust your output pressure to between 60 and 70 PSI. Fill your bucket with the product, set the lid on top, off-centered just a bit so there is access for the wand, then stick the wand to the bottom of the bucket and open the valve. Stick a lit match, cigarette lighter or candle over the top of the bucket where the gas will escape, then open the valve, starting the purging operation. Its' a pretty good indication that most of the oxygen has been removed when the flame goes out. If you time this, you should only have to use this flame technique for four or five buckets until you get a pretty good feeling for how long you will need to leave the nitrogen on for each bucket. After you have inserted the nitrogen, immediately remove the wand, slide the lid over onto the bucket and seal the lid. If you want the best job you can get, you can always seal one oxygen absorber inside the bucket to capture any residual oxygen left in the container. In my opinion, a mylar bag isn't needed as there will only be such a small amount of oxygen absorbed that the vacuum created by this will be minimal.