Can storage rack systems are designed to keep your emergency food supply and canned food off the ground, organized, and within easy reach when you need to access your supplies quickly. Providing a practical, tidy, and space efficient solution is the name of the game for the best can storage rack shelves and if you’re looking to keep your pantry fighting fit, reliable food racking is an essential element to your food storage strategy.
If you’re preparing your home to ride out any number of potential storms or periods of adversity, then the chances are, you’ll be thinking about your current level of food resilience during a possible crisis.
Deploying an emergency food supply strategy of some kind is the key consideration when it comes to home nutrition preparedness and at the center of any well prepared home food plan, is an efficient and durable storage solution.
Enter the humble can storage rack system.
Storing food (as with storing most things) is a process which can quickly lead to disorganization of your system and a chaotic cluster of canned goods making the checking of expiry dates difficult at best.
With a high quality shelving or can storage racking solution in place, any emergency canned goods you build into your resilience plan will be easy to store, easy to check, and most importantly easy to reach and monitor during an emergency or disaster.
The Best Can Storage Rack Systems and Food Storage Solutions
We’ve taken a look at the best can storage racks and food supply shelving systems currently on the market to provide an overview of those we think provide the most practical solution to the widest number of potential use scenarios.
Whether you’re looking for a simple can storage rack that can be set up in the corner of the kitchen, or a comprehensive FIFO system for use as part of preparing a fully-stocked pantry, the units and racks in this part of the guide will walk you through the best choices for your individual requirements.
High Capacity Can Storage Rack Systems
If you’re planning to build a comprehensive food storage system, the chances are you’re going to want to build it around a physical storage solution that allows for maximum capacity (to cover you for the longest period of time) and maximum organizational efficiency.
The best high capacity can storage rack systems are designed to provide optimal space utilization – allowing you to store the largest amount of food with the most efficient physical footprint.
On top of this, high capacity food storage shelving and racking units put a much needed emphasis on practical organization and accessibility, both of which are critical when storing, monitoring, and using a large emergency or canned food stockpile.
With this in mind, you’re going to find some excellent FIFO designs within this category, reducing the need to check the shelf life of your supplies and making it super simple to access and consume your food in the most efficient way possible.
If you’re looking for one of the best high capacity can storage rack systems on the market, the FIFO 200 has got you covered.
Offering one of the highest storage capacities, this unit is able to hold up to 200 cans, allowing you to build a highly organized, high volume storage system into your canned food strategy.
As with the other best can storage rack options out there, the FIFO 200 includes built-in adjustable spacers, allowing you to store cans of different sizes.
The name probably gives this one away, but the ace up the sleeve of this can storage rack is its first in, first out design which means the unit provides an automatic rotation of your stored cans, giving you access to the oldest first and allowing easy monitoring of expiry dates and shelf life.
A stackable design also makes this can storage rack modular, meaning you can expand the capacity even further if you’ve got the space in your pantry, allowing for a two-tiered storage solution for up to 400 cans at a time.Learn More About the FIFO Can Rack 200 Here
Medium Capacity Can Storage Rack Systems
A good place to start with any food storage strategy is to begin by building up a wide range of foods that you eat on a regular basis and that also have a long shelf life.
Generally speaking, you’re going to find a good combination for this can be struck by combining canned foods and dedicated emergency preparedness and food storage ingredient pantry supplies, both of which provide good shelf life, easy preparation, and are simple to store.
As with anything in emergency preparedness, this task is a marathon and not a sprint (if you begin the task ahead of time), and due to this, a good tactic is to implement a food storage and shelving system that allows you to grow your stockpile over time, providing you with adequate capacity as your need for storage space increases.
The dedicated can storage rack systems within this size range and price point strike a good balance between budget and storage space making them well suited if you’re building a new food storage pantry from scratch.
Canned food storage shelves and racking within this bracket generally offer a variety of both FIFO designs as well as standard ‘stack as you go’ systems.
The important thing to remember with the latter option here, is that while often benefiting from a lower price tag than FIFO racks, simpler shelving units require considerably more effort when it comes to monitoring the expiry dates on your stocks going forward.
The FIFO Can Tracker is a can storage rack designed to hold up to 54 cans in a ‘first in, first out’ system.
As with other racks built around this concept, the Can Tracker’s ability to serve up the oldest canned goods first means minimal wastage from expired foods.
This food shelf system is perfectly suited for use in an emergency food pantry or home food supply and is designed to store cans from 4 to 15 ounces without a problem.
If you’re looking for the most efficient way to organize and monitor the shelf life of a canned food supply in your pantry, then a FIFO style system is definitely the way to go, allowing an at a glance review of expiry dates without rummaging through piles of cans or constantly updating a manual system.
A modular design means the Can Tracker can be easily expanded to increase its capacity if required – simply connect additional units and your storage system is multiplied with minimal fuss.Learn More About the FIFO Can Tracker 54 Can Storage Rack Here
Low Capacity Can Storage Rack Systems
The can storage racks within this category can really be considered the entry level solutions to canned food storage and organization, providing a good starting point if budget and space are the primary considerations.
While some of the best options in this category build a FIFO design into the units, the number of cans that these racks are built to hold, negates the requirement for automatic rotation to a certain extent, particularly if you’re only looking to store enough food for around a week.
Lower capacity can storage racks are also a good choice if you’re after a supplemental storage solution to compliment an existing, larger scale racking or shelving system, acting as a good ‘overflow’ unit for those extra cans that you don’t have room for in your main supply.
Providing enough space for storing up to 36 cans is a great choice if you’re looking for a budget-friendly storage rack that does what it says on the tin.
The inclusion of 6 adjustable dividers is a nice addition to this system and allows the storage of a variety of different sized cans – an often overlooked practicality when it comes to finding a can storage rack in this price range.
A chrome finish means that this can rack organizer is resistant to rust, adding to the durability of the unit and making it a good add-on to a basement pantry or in other areas where a hard-wearing finish is important.
Add to this, a sturdy construction and you’ll have a tough time finding a small can storage rack within this bracket that’s designed for the practicalities of use in both everyday and emergency situations.
With the exception of the top shelf, there’s a degree of manual work required to check the expiry dates of older cans with this unit (as it’s not FIFO), but if you’re looking for a quick and easy, low budget storage solution, this storage rack is a solid choice for the money.Learn More About the SimpleHouseware Stackable Can Rack Organizer Here
Providing the capacity to store up to 36 cans of varying sizes, this canned food organizer is a good choice if you want a cost effective can storage rack for effective space usage.
This can storage unit doesn’t utilize a ‘first in, first out’ design so as with many of the lower priced food supply shelving units, you’re going to want to implement a manual checking regime with this kind of system.
One of the advantages offered by can storage racks like the Sagler is the ability to stack with other units, effectively increasing the total capacity of your storage system – combine with additional racks and you’ll be able to significantly increase your inventory for minimal cost.
A chrome finish is a welcome addition to this can storage shelving unit, making it a good choice for a kitchen while also providing increased durability for areas such as a basement, garage, or dedicated pantry cupboard.Learn More About the Sagler Chrome Stackable Can Organizer Here
Can Storage Rack Systems – What You Need to Know
The ability to efficiently store and access an emergency food supply is one of the key factors in minimizing stress and maximizing success in a crisis.
If the grid goes down and the lights go out, the last thing you’re going to want to be doing is worrying about accessing your food stores.
In these instances, a cluttered pile of cans and pouches is not going to be an asset.
The Importance of Building an Efficient Food Storage System
Any number of situations can see you needing a quick and reliable access to a supply of food that doesn’t depend on refrigeration to ensure your home food security.
From natural events like winter storms, to man made crises such as a power grid failure, or even an electromagnetic pulse event, being able to call on a fully stocked and reliable food storage system can make all of the difference if disaster strikes.
The ability to effectively and efficiently organize, monitor, and access your emergency food pantry is a critical consideration if you’re planning on hunkering down at home when times are tough.
If you find yourself without power and need to access your food supply quickly and without stress, a good quality flashlight paired with a well organized food storage system becomes a winning combination.
Beyond the sudden impact emergencies or disasters that can take place though (what I call ‘flash events’), there are also those instances when an emergency food supply can literally pay dividends.
In the event of a major economic downturn, recession, or all out financial collapse for example, access to an adequate supply of food for a set period of time can become a lifesaver.
Making the investment ahead of time in a food storage strategy which combines, pantry supplies, emergency meal kits, and a dedicated storage can rack or shelf system is an excellent way to hedge against an uncertain financial future.
Many people who have already begun to stockpile an emergency food system are all to aware of this secondary advantage to preparing a food storage strategy, often viewing it as an insurance policy against disaster or economic hardship as well as a hedge against longer-term inflation and price rises.
If you’re planning an emergency food supply, with these factors in mind, the shelf life, storage practicalities, and the amount you actually keep in your pantry, become the key considerations for maximizing your returns if you ever need to call on your supplies.
It’s because of these priorities that the best can storage rack units and emergency food supply shelving systems become a critical component to the success of a well executed food storage strategy.
What Makes the Best Can Storage Racks Different?
So what’s the big deal with a specifically designed can storage rack and how do they differ from standard run of the mill storage shelves?
Well there are a couple of key differences that separate this kind of pantry storage rack from the rest, and these largely come down to durability and accessibility, and in the case of the best racks on the market, the ability to check and get to the oldest cans first when needed is a key feature that’s included.
Many of the best can storage shelves are also designed to work as part of a larger, modular system if needed, meaning you can stack units if you require more space up front and can easily extend the storage capacity of your racking system as your requirements change over time.
Stock Rotation and FIFO Can Storage Rack Systems
If you’ve already started preparing a food storage pantry, then you’re probably very familiar with the concept of rotating your stockpile to ensure that the foods with the shortest shelf life are the first to hand and also the first to be consumed when needed.
The advantages of this strategy are obvious, allowing you to store and consume your supplies in the most efficient way possible and making sure that nothing expires or gets wasted.
With a pantry rotation like this in place, you’ll also be able to get an ‘at a glance’ overview of the general state of the shelf life of any food on your shelves – simply check the dates of the nearest cans and packets at the front of the stockpile to see how far you are from the earliest expiry date.
With this simple rule of food pantry storage in mind, a FIFO (First In, First Out) can storage rack is designed to make sure that you’re always going to be able to quickly see those items that expire first and allowing you to grab the can you need before automatically moving the next can to the front of the line for next time.
As the name suggests, the simple design mechanic behind these kinds of can storage rack systems means that the first can you add to the rack, will be the first that’s available when you need to access your food in an emergency or disaster situation.
Taking Stock – Maintaining Your Food Supply Storage System
At the center of any well considered emergency food supply or pantry is a system of storage that is efficient, well organized, and easy to access when needed.
It’s undeniable that any element to a storage system that takes the legwork out of monitoring your supplies (like a first in, first out system) is going to make the process of storing a long life food supply, much easier from a practical sense.
With that being said, there are some good steps that can also be taken alongside implementing a solid storage system of racks and shelves to make the going even easier when it comes to building and maintaining a food supply at home.
Making a list – How to Optimize Your Food Storage System
One of the simplest things you can do as part of building a new emergency food storage system at home (or growing/reviewing an existing one) is to utilize a series of checklists to ensure the state of your supplies is maintained and monitored on an ongoing basis.
At the outset, this may be as simple as making a list of the essential food items you need to hold in reserve as the baseline for your emergency nutrition stockpile.
Write down all of the daily nutritional requirements for those in your household and then use these figures as the foundation for calculating how much food you actually need to have on hand to see you through for a set period of time – are you looking to hold enough supplies in your pantry for a week, a month, or longer?
With this figure in hand, produce a set list of meals that meets these requirements and then write down the best long shelf-life options for obtaining these, either as pre-prepared emergency meal kits, or as canned ingredients.
Utilize a checklist as you begin to buy in the food supplies that meet the requirements set out for your planned meals – as you begin to bring new ingredients, meal pouches, or ingredients in, mark them off on your list and make a note of earliest expiry dates.
At this point, if you have a FIFO can storage rack or equivalent system in place, things are simple (at least for your canned supplies) as you’ll simply need to add them to the rack, mark off on your list that they’re now in your stockpile, and make a note of the earliest expiry date*.
* In a FIFO storage system, the expiry date you’ve written here for future reference will be the first available can to access from the rack if needed – the list simply provides you with an at-a-glance overview of how your stockpile is looking in regard to expiration dates without manually checking the shelf yourself.
If you have a standard or ‘manual checking’ shelving or storage rack system, this list allows you to see when you’re going to need to next check on your supplies, consuming those nearing the end of shelf life, manually moving the next can ‘forward’ on the shelf and making a note of the new expiration date at the front of the line.
Look to keep a couple of copies (ideally 2+ physical and 1 digital) of this list, and consider investing in a good quality clipboard that can be kept with one of the physical copies of your stock list in your pantry or storage area.
Protecting Your Supplies – Food Storage Safety and Security Options
It goes without saying that the most important consideration when it comes to the dependability of any emergency food pantry or can storage system is physical safety and security of your stockpile.
The safety of the food you eat is of course, of the main importance and it’s here that an easy to check or FIFO style can storage rack comes into it’s element, allowing you to easily check the expiration dates of your supplies.
The jury is out in regards to stated shelf lives on canned products but as a general rule of thumb, if you’re not sure if food is safe to eat, throw it out and replace it once you hit the expiry date.
Physical security of your stockpile is also an important consideration when planning a food storage strategy and will largely depend on where your emergency food pantry is located. If your food storage is away from the main property where you live (in a shed or external garage for example), then investing in a combination of physical security and surveillance measures is a good move.
An essential element to a food security system is of course a high quality padlock. Some of the best modern smart padlocks will provide you with a real-time log on a smartphone of any attempt to access the lock, however it’s important to keep in mind that this kind of feature is dependent on the communication grid being up for this functionality to be of any use.
If in doubt, invest in a conventional heavy duty padlock system that’s designed to keep people out at all costs.
The Last Word
With all of our rundowns and reviews, we reference as many expert sources, and real world user reviews as possible so we’re able to provide the most relevant and educational information on the most practical, durable, and ultimately best can storage rack options.
Choosing the best emergency food supply storage rack or pantry shelving system for your home and individual situation is always going to be slightly different on a case by case basis with needs and preferences sometimes varying considerably between people, locations, and uses.
With these factors in mind, this guide looks to provide our own opinions and advice on what we think are currently the best can storage rack systems available today, however, it’s always important to carry out your own due diligence to find the best solution for you when picking an appropriate canned food shelving unit or can storage rack that’s ideal for your home.