How Many Pounds Will a 5-Gallon Bucket Hold?

Everyone involved in food storage has wondered at one time or another, “How many pounds are in a 5-gallon bucket?” How many pounds of wheat? Of oats? Of sugar? Beans? However, do not panic if you don’t know the answer. It is difficult to remember, even for people engaged in food storage for a long time now. Also, I do not find it something you should bear in mind for eternity, considering we now have so many tools to remind us of information like this one. But worry not, you will see a guide further.

How Many Pounds Will a 5-Gallon Bucket Hold

On the other hand, if you haven’t asked yourself how many pounds will a 5-gallon bucket hold, or a #10 can for that matter, you most probably will at some point. As you start getting into food storage, you will hear things like a #10 can, a gallon can, and a 5-gallon bucket. Why though? Well, these are the most common containers in that people store food. They are also the most common sizes you can find.

5 Gallons to Pounds

However, the problem we all run into is that many food storage calculators tell us to store X number of pounds of wheat, beans, sugar, or any other variety of things. Also, each item weighs a different amount per gallon. But they don’t tell you how many 5-gallon buckets or number 10 cans, that is. So, this can make it hard to know how much to buy.

  • If you have three 5-gallon buckets, how many pounds of wheat can you fit in that bucket?
  • Or maybe you get 50 pounds of sugar: how many 5-gallon buckets do you need? How many #10 cans?
  • And beyond that, how many and what size oxygen absorbers do you need?

Aaak! Oxygen absorbers!?! As if figuring out how many pounds are in a 5-gallon bucket isn’t hard enough. Well, I have a solution! A quick printable.

However, before I get to the printable that helps you with the “How many pounds?” problem, you will also need to know how to use oxygen absorbers. You can find an article that will teach you all about how to use oxygen absorbers the right way.

How Much Will a 5-Gallon Bucket Hold?

Alrighty, on to the printable now. The “How much will it hold?” image below will send you print a chart that will answer the “How many pounds are in a 5-gallon bucket?” question for the most common long-term food storage items, as well as how many oxygen absorbers you need.

printable storage guide table

Also, we choose fourteen different food products when answering the question regarding gallons to lbs:

  • Brown Sugar;
  • Cornmeal;
  • Dry Beans;
  • Lentils;
  • Lima Beans;
  • Oat Groats;
  • Quick Oats;
  • Split Peas;
  • Wheat;
  • White (cane) sugar;
  • White Rice;
  • Whole;
  • White flour;
  • Wheat Flour.

Even though we know you are always a click away from those answers, it’s always faster and more efficient to have them right in your kitchen. Therefore, print the chart, stick it somewhere in your kitchen, and consult it whenever you need it.

Suggested Read: Gift For Preppers

Final Thoughts

Finally, it’s your turn to share your experience when it comes to measuring gallons to pounds.

Tell us what you know, and of course let me know if my printable helped you at all.

+ posts

Becky is a wildlife enthusiast and pet and livestock care expert with a diploma in canine nutrition. With over a decade of experience in animal welfare, Becky lends her expertise to Simple Family Preparedness through insightful info about pets, livestock, bee keeping, and the practicalities of homesteading.

18 thoughts on “How Many Pounds Will a 5-Gallon Bucket Hold?”

  1. Hi Misty,
    I read all the time that people put their beans and grains in the freezer for a day or two to kill any insects before long-term storage. My question is, doesn’t the freezer cause the grains to get moist, and possibly subject to becoming moldy? If so, how do you accommodate for this moisture?

    • You probably have already gotten the answer to this, but you can freeze for 2-3 days things like dry beans and rice…maybe more. I’ve done both of those. I don’t anymore because I’ve listened to many preppers (reliable food storage people) and one who is a chemist science-y last who has canned with her mom all during her childhood and now through her life (in her 70s now… I think). If you’re using mylar bags, whether in a 5 gallon bucket or not, the oxygen absorbers will kill any thing that would be in them. RoseRed Homestead says that even bugs need oxygen, so absorbers would be sucking the oxygen out. Now, back to the freezer situation. If you freeze, you will need to let your rice, beans, what-have-you sit at room temp for several days to even a week maybe and “dry out” from whatever moisture may be there. Hope you already found this info out, but if not, I hope this helps.

  2. Hi! I just tried clicking the link for the downloadable chart, and I got the error message pasted below. Would you please check the link?

    AllAccessDisabledAll access to this object has been disabled8PJ34GQEECPPCSNXQ0eykeir1Rwm+y32Rnyor6f2XTf8speoeonCV9/xB8ZkvKTdO

  3. I have a sheet like this too, but has a lot more food types. I gathered the info from several places, including my own calculations. I’ll see if I can’t send it to you somehow since I can’t attach it to a comment and you can do some math to generalize the #10 and 6 gal bucket weights by volume. I buy the 5 gallon buckets (they also have 3 gal) from Wal Mart bakery since their buckets are square instead of round and only a dollar. I line them with a cheap trash bag and then the mylar bag with oxygen absorbers since they used to hold frosting and those are really greasy and no amount of washing got them completely feeling like the outside of the bucket.

  4. Thank you so much! Quick question: do you store your food items inside a mylar bag and THEN inside a bucket or just the bucket with oxygen absorbers? Do the calculations above reflect totally full buckets, within an inch…? Thank you!

    • HI Jennifer. Great questions. Always put your food in a mylar bag and then a bucket. And the calculations can’t be 100% exact b/c weight will vary slightly depending on who you buy what from, but they should be within a few inches.


Leave a Comment