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Southern Arizona Preppers Message Board › how long do you expect this will last?

how long do you expect this will last?

A former member
Post #: 534
Unopened protected box of saltines? TIA KC
Joe P.
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 150
As a general rule of thumb, 2-3 years. Can be extended if you vacuum seal the container.
A former member
Post #: 536
That is wonderful news- thank you!
Lewis M.
user 12510492
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 90
At about two years the shortening in it will begin to turn rancid. This can happen in as few as 18 months or in the case of mre crackers 60 months is not unheard of. I had a box of saltines fall off the back of a shelf and miss a couple of rotations they were stale at 26 months, my dogs still did tricks for them so they were not completely inedible.
Joe P.
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 153
The real issue with crackers of any type is humidity. In May, Saltines can last a good amount of time opened, come monsoon, they can go off in a few hours. The key is to get the moisture and air away from them. I have a quart jar packed with Saltines from back in my experimenting days that are about 3 years old. Because of this thread, we ate them with chili a couple of nights ago. They were as good as the day I packed them. Just as a FYI, there are special Tupperware containers made just for crackers. The container and a couple O2 absorbers should really extend their life.

If you are planning on storing crackers for the Zombie Apocalypse, you may be better served by learning how to make hard tack.

I've made hard tack from recipes found on civil war historical sites. There is 4 year old hard tacks in my stores held vacuum sealed bags. Every year, I open one of the bags and test. So far they taste as fresh as the day I made them 4 years ago!

A point of interest is the stories you heard are true, you can break your teeth on these hard tack crackers.

During the Civil War, to soften them the soldiers would soak them in coffee or water and pan fry them in bacon fat. (haven't tried that, but if it has bacon, it has to be good!) Or, just pour hot chicken soup over them for a survival chicken and dumplings, kinda sorta.

Here is the recipe I used

3 cups flour (whole wheat seems to have the best flavor and does not get as hard as white)
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon salt (more or less depending on how salty you like stuff)

Mix all the ingredients together. This can get tough as the dough is very stiff.

Roll out to 1/4 inch thick on a metal sheet pan, make perforations along lines you want to break them and to help with even baking and drying. Bake at 350 F for around an hour until they get fairly hard. Don't let them brown too much. If they are a little leathery at this point, they will harden as they cool. Let them cool on the pan. If they stick, just wait till cool and they lift right off the pan when hardened.

Tucson, AZ
Post #: 46
Flour, water, and salt. The same ingredients are used for making flat bread in many cultures. Hard tack, matzoh, tortillas, pita, etc. If you're going to eat it right away, you can add the oil/butter/fat to the dough when you mix it. If it's going to be stored, then wait until you serve it to add the oil/butter/fat. Because, as everyone knows, fat is flavor.

The only reason I see for making it thicker would be to keep it from crumbling while traveling in your pack with a pile of other stuff. And I would guess that a main reason for making it into bread instead of just carrying around a container of flour would be to keep from losing the flour if your container developed a leak or to keep from having to carry a heavy clay jar (back in the day, before metal cans and/or seal-able glass or plastic containers.
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