Wed. Oct 20th, 2021

Floods, storms, and hurricanes, as well as long-term calamities like the big coronavirus pandemic of 2019-2020, all necessitate food stockpiling, as food is on level one of Maslow’s hierarchy of fundamental needs for physical survival. Canned foods, in particular, are frequently suggested for any short- or long-term situations.

What is the finest canned food to have on hand in an emergency? The finest canned foods to buy and store for emergencies are those that are healthy (high in protein, vitamins, and minerals) and have a lengthy shelf life to get you through any disaster at any time.

There are times in life when we have little control over what will happen next; as a result, we must adapt to any scenario. In the best-case scenario, we prepare ourselves properly and fight through the difficulty, whatever it may be. Emergencies can strike at any time, without warning, and we must be prepared to respond.

Natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, and other diseases (such as the current COVID-19) require us to shut ourselves inside and push through the difficulties. In this post, we’ll look at the best-canned foods to keep on hand in case of an emergency so that we’re ready for anything.

It’s crucial to note that dehydrating the things you wish to stock up on can be the best option. It is better from both a financial and a health standpoint. If this strategy isn’t practical for you, buying canned items is a close second.

You won’t be able to cook anything on your own in an emergency, so you’ll need to acquire and preserve all of your canned items. Canned food is a fantastic alternative because it is easy to store and has a longer expiration date.

Meat eaters, vegetarians, and vegans have a variety of options. We compiled a list of the most critical canned foods to keep on hand in case of an emergency.

Vegetables and legumes in Cans

When it comes to canned vegetables, this is a must-have. These are essential for a balanced diet, and you can get as many as you like.

Furthermore, the liquid inside can be used to make a great soup. It’s critical to stock up on nutritious foods like beans and chickpeas, which are high in protein and calories and will keep you fuller for longer. Peas, maize, mushrooms, and any other basic product are also viable possibilities.

Fruits in Cans

In a canned state, you can find any type of fruit you can think of. They’re vital because they’re high in vitamins and can fit into almost any diet. Apples, pears, bananas, mangos, oranges, grapefruits, cherries, apricots, pineapples, and berries are some examples (raspberry, blueberry, strawberries, bilberries, cranberries, grapes, etc.).

Meat and seafood

Frozen beef is also available, which is why it ranks third on this list. Cans of meat, on the other hand, will survive much longer if there is no electricity. These are a must-have for meat-eaters: chicken, pig, turkey, sausages, and even various types of fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, and so on).

Other Non-Basic Canned Foods to Have on Hand in Case of Emergency

Fortunately, soup is simple to prepare, but if you can’t, canned soups are your rescue. Almost any type of soup, including cream soups, can be found. You can choose from mushrooms, broccoli, tomato, and vegetable soups, among others.

Although sauces may not appear to be necessary, they might actually assist you in preparing a quick meal. You may quickly cook some pasta and combine it with a canned, ready-made tomato sauce, for example. You can make any sauce to pair with rice, spaghetti, potatoes, or whatever other sides you like.

What Are the Best Canned Foods?

Simply determine the products you or people you live with (family members, friends) require. Because everyone is different, their preferences will differ as well. It’s critical not to overlook the basic items we mentioned earlier, such as vegetables, fruits, and some meat choices.


When getting soup components is difficult, canned soups come in handy. And there are occasions when you have the ingredients but not the time to prepare the soup. That’s when you go for a can of soup that simply needs to be warmed up.

Canned soups come in a range of flavors, so there’s something for everyone—vegetarians, vegans, and non-vegetarians alike. The best-canned soups are as follows:

Amy’s Organic Black Bean Vegetable Soup
Progresso Traditional, Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup
Dinty Moore Beef Stew


Although canned vegetables do not have the same freshness and purity as those purchased at a farmer’s market, they are a lifesaver in a need. Not to mention that they are less expensive than their fresh equivalents, making them ideal for emergency situations.

Furthermore, canned vegetables are equally as nutritious as fresh vegetables, according to a report published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. Canned tomatoes, for example, are more nutritious because the procedure increases vitamin B, vitamin A, and carotenoid levels.

Allen’s Popeye Spinach
Farmer’s Market Foods Canned Organic Pumpkin
Libby’s Sliced Carrots
Muir Glen, Organic Stewed Tomatoes
Ortega Peppers

Meat and Meat Products

Choose canned meat and meat products if you want your meat and meat products to endure for years. Even in an emergency, these can provide you with protein-rich cuisine of your choice. The more grass-fed canned meats you can find, the better.

For sandwiches and other quick meals, you’ll also need a regular supply of canned meat items. Here are some possibilities for you to consider:

Mary Kitchen Corned Beef Mary Kitchen Hash
Hormel Beef Tamales Spam Classic Yoders Bacon Full Case HORMEL Canned Ham Hormel Beef Tamales Spam Classic Yoders Bacon Full Case


Contrary to popular belief, the nutrients in canned fowl are not lost during the canning process. So, in case of an emergency, consider stocking up on canned chicken, turkey, and other poultry products.

There are a plethora of canned chicken dishes to choose from. Most of them taste as if you spent an entire day preparing them, but they’re actually quite quick and simple. You might want to try:

Chicken Taco Soup: With all of the ingredients listed, all you have to do now is combine them, boil, simmer, and serve—a quick and easy supper for any occasion.
Homemade Lime Chicken Enchiladas: Another quick and easy dish that may be frozen for later use.

You can use canned poultry products like:

Kirkland Signature Chicken Breast
Swanson Premium White Chunk Chicken Breast
Valley Fresh Organic White Chicken
Spam Oven Roasted Turkey
Keystone Meats All-Natural Canned Chicken


Canned fish, like its fresh counterparts, is nutritious, according to Consumer Reports. Protein and omega 3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to cardiovascular health, can be obtained in the same proportions. Furthermore, a USDA study discovered that canned red and pink salmon has more omega-3 fatty acids than fresh salmon.

Also, because the canning process softens the bones, you can get a lot of calcium from canned whole fish. In fact, one of the most well-known American entrepreneurs, Tim Ferris, admits that he never travels without canned fish.

There are a variety of tinned fish selections. You may eat it directly from the can, make seafood salads with it, or even better, experiment with it.


Fresh bread will be difficult to come by in an emergency. If you’re in a total lockdown, for example, you can cook on your own if you have the materials, but even better, you can raid your cupboard for some canned goods.

While the bread may not be as fresh or sandwich-worthy as you prefer, it can be used with other ingredients such as beans and eggs.

Pancake batters

Having pancake ingredients on hand gives you piece of mind, knowing that you can make something wonderful at any time. It doesn’t have to be just pancakes. You may make crepes, waffles, muffins, and even cookies using the pancake mix.

Quaker Aunt Jemima Pancake Cups
Stonewall Kitchen Farmhouse Pancake & Waffle Mix
Augason Farms Buttermilk Pancake Mix

Ghee and butter

Butter is a terrific component to have in your kitchen, whether you want to spread it on bread, flavor it, or use it in other cooking methods. Even if you’re in a pinch, you can rely on canned butter. It can last up to three years, if not longer.

So, if you can’t get to the shop to get butter on a regular basis, don’t abandon all of your favorite recipes. Look for canned butter and butter powder, such as Augason Farms Butter Powder, which is shelf-stable.

If you prefer ghee to butter in a butter vs. ghee debate, you should also keep bottled ghee on hand. After all, lactose-intolerant people who can’t have butter will like ghee. The PATANJALI Cow is a cow from Patanjali, India.

Nut Butters

Nut butter not only adds exquisite flavors to our life, but it also provides a wealth of nutrients. You’ll be ingesting monounsaturated fats in your diet because you’ll be consuming the same content as nuts. High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the good sort) is increased by these fats, whereas Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is reduced (the bad kind). Jif Creamy Peanut Butter is one of the greatest you’ll discover, and it will last you for years.

Seeds and Nuts

During an emergency, canned nuts are one of the best sources of protein and other essential nutrients. You can use them in soups or eat them as a snack, whatever option you want.

Walnuts, pistachios, almonds, macadamia, cashews, pecans, peanuts, hazelnuts, and other nuts can be found in the following high-rated nut cans:

Deluxe Mixed Nut Planters with Hazelnuts
Heart-Healthy Snack Nut Mix from NUTRITION
Gourmet Virginia Diner Virginia Peanuts, Salted
Gourmet Savanna Orchards Mix of Honey-Roasted Nuts
Choose from NUTRITION Wholesome Mixed Nuts Planters, which include cashews, almonds, and pecans.

Nutritional seeds such as pumpkin, chia, hemp, sunflower, and flax seeds have a variety of health benefits that you don’t want to overlook in your emergency supply. You may use them to make powerful smoothies by blending them with fruits and vegetables, or simply peel and consume them as a snack.

Milk from animals

Milk provides a slew of health advantages. It’s one of the best sources of protein and minerals, not to mention one of the easiest to digest. In the event of an emergency, you can use any type of milk you want.


Juice is one of the most effective ways to remain hydrated. It is palatable, unlike water, for individuals who do not drink water. Furthermore, juices include nutrients derived from the fruit. Because you might not be able to get fresh juice in an emergency, it’s critical to have canned juice on hand.


The United States Drug Administration (USDA) recommends that an average adult consume two servings of fruit each day. Any type of fruit can be used to make these servings.


Cheese is not only healthy, but it’s also delicious in dishes like the classic mac and cheese. However, canned cheese has a negative reputation due to claims that it contains no natural cheese and is therefore unhealthy. Science Direct, on the other hand, clearly lists the components so you know exactly what you’re putting into your body. The majority of canned cheese has a one-year shelf life.


If you wish to eat corn during the off-season or during a crisis, you should stock your cupboard with cans. It only loses a small amount of vitamin C during canning, but this is minimal given that taste, cooking time, and other nutrients are all preserved—all at a reduced cost.

Beans and Other Leguminous Vegetables

Many dishes feature legumes such as beans, peas, lentils, and other legumes. They’re not only a cheap source of protein, but they’re also high in nutrients like iron and vitamins. Their fibre content may also aid with cholesterol reduction.

For many vegetarians and vegans, legumes are a delicacy. They’re also simple to add into soups and tortilla preparations.


Tomatoes are a nutrient-dense food that may be used in a variety of ways. Make a sandwich with them, boil them, or stew them; you’ll reap the nutritional benefits of better skin, heart, and overall wellness. Furthermore, because of its plentiful lycopene, it is one of the most important components of an anti-cancer diet.

When it comes to canned tomatoes, you have a few choices. You can have them whole, peeled, crushed, diced, or stewed. You can eat them right out of the can, or you can boil or stew them further. Remember that boiling and stewing tomatoes reduces the vitamin C level while increasing the lycopene concentration.

You’ll need canned tomatoes because getting fresh tomatoes in an emergency is difficult, if not impossible.


Is your food stale? No problem, simply smother it in the sauce! Canned sauces may be the best flavor enhancers you can rely on in an emergency.

Milk made from coconut

Because coconuts don’t survive very long, you’ll have to resort to canned coconut milk.

Adding water to shredded coconut, draining the liquid, then bottling it results in canned coconut milk. As a result, you may rest assured that you’re getting actual coconut milk, albeit one laced with preservatives. If you prefer dairy-free products, canned coconut milk is your best bet in a pinch.

Fruits that have been dried

Dried fruit is one of the few fruit options available in an emergency. They’re abundant in antioxidants and fibre, but there’s one drawback: they’re high in sugar. However, you can counteract this by drinking plenty of water and eating the dried fruits in moderation.


Canned cereal has a longer shelf life than cereal that is put in a box. You can count on tinned cereal to last you a decade if you have to be distant for that long.

Furthermore, tinned cereal may contain extra minerals and vitamins that you can ingest when you don’t have access to goods that provide these elements. One of the best ready-to-eat, long-lasting cereals is Future Essentials Canned Cocoa Rice Krispies Cereal.

Keeping Canned Foods on Hand in Case of Emergency

You should also know where to store the products and for how long they should be kept. You should purchase canned items with a longer shelf life and store them in a dark, cold location.

Check the cans at least once every six months to be sure they haven’t expired. We all have a tendency to forget when we bought something, so double-checking could save you money when the time comes.

Pay attention to any indicators of spoilage, since this is extremely vital advice. If one can become spoiled, the other may get contaminated as well, posing a serious health risk. Given this, it is preferable to consume canned items prior to their expiration date.

Labeling your cans would be a huge help. Some will last for a long time, although the label or markings on the can may fade.

You won’t chance opening something you don’t want if you label them yourself and check your cans to make sure the name and expiration dates are still readable. A few extra minutes spent on minutiae can sometimes make a significant impact afterwards.

You should also have at least one can opener, but two would be even better. If you don’t have this opener, a knife will suffice. This is a more messy and dangerous method of opening a can, so don’t rely on it. Make certain that your children do not attempt to open cans on their own, since this can be extremely dangerous.

Tips to Help You Build an Emergency Food Supply

With all of the wonderful canned foods stated above, you may become overwhelmed by the range of options and question what to buy to maintain a healthy diet in a crisis. But don’t get too worked up over it. Here are some ideas to help you store the best canned food selections efficiently, in addition to the items to buy.

Begin with a strategy.
First and foremost, do not be alarmed. Relax and make a plan. To build an efficient food saving plan, you must ask yourself the following questions:

  • How long are you planning on storing food?
  • For whom are you putting the food aside? Do they have any allergies that you should be aware of?
  • What are some of the most basic meals that you and your family can eat?
  • What are your favorite long-term treats?

The first important question is how long you expect the emergency will persist; knowing this gives you a head start on what to buy and what budget you can work with.

The Department of Homeland Security recommends that you stockpile supplies that will last at least 72 hours. This will, however, depend on the nature of your emergency, as natural disasters can last only a few days while a pandemic can last much longer.

Because you can always consume canned food after a long period of time, it’s preferable to go overboard with the duration based on your budget. You can stockpile two months’ worth of goods; even if you only consume half of the stockpile during the emergency, the canned food can be used for months, if not years, if properly stored.

Prioritize the fundamentals.

Always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always Don’t stock up on snacks and forget about the major elements for your regular meals. It will be a waste of time and money in these uncertain times.

Consider this: what are the most common foods from which you can receive the most essential nutrients? Sort the highest in importance after you’ve written down your responses, and continue doing so even during snacks. Remember to pack filtered water, as safe drinking water may become scarce.

Focus on Nutritious and Delicious Foods

During an emergency, you may dump any food you can get your hands on into the pantry. However, this is unwise because you may become unwell as a result of all the trash you consume.

Rather, focus your buying on the healthiest foods available. You may receive nutrition from a variety of delectable foods if you use the correct canned items. Even in times of uncertainty, make sure you invest in your health. When a disaster comes, do your best to eat healthful foods and stay as healthy as possible.

Purchase in Large Quantities

Bulk purchases are usually less expensive. Because you may require a large amount of food during an emergency, buy as much as you can in one go. When purchasing canned items, opt for larger, more inexpensive packs rather than single cans. This way, even if the emergency lasts longer than expected, you’ll feel confident that you’ll be able to get through it.

Take some seeds with you and think about starting an indoor garden.

During situations such as pandemics, you may be forced to stay indoors for an extended period of time. Even if you can get to the limited supplies accessible at grocery stores, you risk being exposed, and you may not be able to buy the goods you want. Indoor gardening, on the other hand, can help to alleviate this problem.

You may produce food hydroponically with the help of ready-made kits from Amazon. This would not only allow you to grow your own food wherever you are, but it would also give you with a consistent supply of fresh fruits and vegetables grown under your supervision.

Even better, indoor gardening keeps you occupied during a crisis, which can be dreary when you’re sitting around doing nothing. Indoor gardening can provide you with ingredients to use with canned food, such as:

Spices like basil, cilantro, mints, and celery among others
Spring onions

Bottom Line Canned Foods to Stock for Emergency

Canned foods may not be our top priority, and they may not even be considered. However, if we think about it, they are our best option in the event of an emergency.

Given the global uncertainties, we have enough reasons to stock our cupboards with canned meals for the time being. Finally, canned food is useful for everyday use as well, so don’t underestimate it.

By Beth

I'm Beth Nunes, the proprietor of preparing in the city. My family is the most important thing in the world to me. I couldn't bear the thought of my three small children going hungry, so I became obsessed with finding simple and practical ways to be prepared for the future by building food storage and gathering other emergency preparedness items.

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