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How to Wax Food for Long-Term Storage

April 15, 2019 3 min read

wax food apples

You may have noticed a glossy sheen on the fruits and vegetables in your local grocery store.

This is considered a wax food.

This wax coating actually serves a purpose; wax holds in moisture and slows oxygen penetration, which in turn slows the ripening process.

Wax coating allows preservatives to give food a higher shelf life, which is ideal for food storage. However, not all foods can benefit from this process.

So which foods work best for wax preserving?

I'm tackling that question today showing you how to wax your food for long-term storage.

The Best Foods For Wax Preserving

All foods were not created equal and some of them work better for wax preserving. Here's the food that best compliments itself to wax preserving.

Jams and Jellies

wax food jam and jelly

Paraffin wax has been used for many moons to seal the tops of jams and jellies.

It was used as a quick way to preserve the product, which keeps it from spoiling and prevents mold from forming on top of the food.

This wax food technique is reasonably straightforward.

Paraffin wax is melted and poured over the product, which creates a barrier from bacteria and oxygen, and as it cools, it forms a protective seal.

Although this technique has become less prominent due to canning, it still creates a way of preserving food for years.

Cheese (mmm… cheese)

wax food cheese

Imagine yourself in a crisis situation without the cheese.

Terrifying, right?

So how can wax food help you avoid this situation?

We’ve all experienced cheese covered in wax; there is a specific reason for that, cheese is an “aged” food, so when you cover it with wax, store it in a cool, dry place, you can keep this delectable-dairy treat almost indefinitely.

Not all cheeses will stand the waxy test of time, so the question is: which cheese can you wax?

Unfortunately, soft cheeses are not good candidates for waxing.

Moisture is the breeding ground for bacteria, so ooey-gooey cheeses are not the best in this situation.

However, hard cheeses, such as cheddar, parmesan, gruyere, Colby, and Swiss (yum), are all types of cheeses that are smoothly waxed safely store without refrigeration.

What Kind of Wax to Use?

how to wax food

Paraffin is excellent, but not always best.

A quick internet search can set you on the right path for what will work best for your specific cheese.

There are two ways to wax food: Brushing & Dipping.

Brushing uses low heat, 198-204°F (hot, but low compared to dipping).

Fill a metal canister with the desired wax and submerge it in a pot of water.

Once the desired temperature is achieved, the wax is then brushed onto the food.

  • Pros: Lower heat = safer and less possibility of burns. It leans towards the “cheaper” side because it requires less wax.
  • Cons: The wax is not hot enough to flash mold spores; thus, mold may develop on cheese under the wax.

Dipping uses high heat, 224-236°F.

Place wax directly into the pan and melt completely.

Use proper utensils, such as tongs, to avoid injury from the high-temperature wax.

  • Pros: Mold spores on the cheese surface stand little chance under such extreme heat, and there is no messy brush to clean.
  • Cons: High heat = the need for extra caution and risk of burns. More wax is needed since the entire surface is submerged.

Clean Up

Paper towels and hot water are going to be your friends during clean up while making wax food.

A quick wipe followed by a solvent, such as turpentine, can make for a comfortable cleaning situation.

Quick tip* dedicate a “throwaway” utensil to wax clean up.

It is easier to chuck a cheap utensil than to spend the time cleaning a brush that you want to keep.

Wax is water repellent, airtight, and bacteria resistant (when done right).

These are food storage qualities that can make or break your nutrient intake in a crisis situation.

Plus, who doesn’t want jams, jellies, and cheese in their food storage arsenal?

Conclusion - How to Wax Food

Waxing food can be an imitating thing to start doing.

If you follow this guide on how to wax food, I think you'll be well on your way.

However - there is an easier solution to long term food storage and it comes in the form of our long term buckets.

valley food storage long term kits

These are the best option you can get to ensure you have emergency food for up to 25 years.

They include everything you need and come with our satisfaction guarantee - which isn't BS. I use these kits everyday and have a stockpile sitting at home. 

Click here to discover our long term food kits now and find how easy long term food storage can be!