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How to Store Flour Correctly: the Tricks to Store it Long Term and Avoid Flour Bugs

Keep your flour fresh by storing it in airtight containers, with glass being ideal for its non-absorbent qualities. Store flour in a cool, dark pantry or refrigerate it to prevent bugs and extend its shelf life. White flour lasts up to a year while whole grain for about three months. Flour can also be frozen to keep it fresh for over two years.

By Cookist

We've all been there: a cupboard full of half-empty flour containers, each waiting for their turn to shine in your next baking adventure. Unlike sugar, flour doesn't last forever. It can go bad, and worse, it can develop bugs. And no one wants a surprise guest in their batch of cookies, right? So, how do you store flour to keep it fresh and bug-free?

What's The Best Container for Flour?

For white flour, whole wheat flour, or specialty flours like almond or coconut, airtight containers are the way to go. Plastic or glass? Both work well, but glass has the edge because it doesn’t absorb odors and stains, and it’s easier to clean. Plus, there's something satisfying about seeing your neatly organized ingredients through clear glass jars. Plastic containers, on the other hand, are lighter and less prone to breakage. Whichever you choose, make sure it's airtight to keep moisture and pests out.


The Best Place to Store Flour: Fridge, Pantry or Countertop?

Now, where should you store your flour? The pantry is usually the go-to spot, but it’s essential to keep it in a cool, dark place. Heat and light can speed up the flour's deterioration. If you want to go the extra mile to prevent bugs, you might consider storing your flour in the refrigerator. Yes, it takes up valuable fridge real estate, but it can significantly extend the shelf life, especially for whole grain flours which have more natural oils and spoil faster. Just remember to bring it to room temperature before using it, unless you’re aiming for some really interesting baking results.

How Long Does Flour Last?

When stored correctly, most white flours can last up to a year in the pantry and even longer in the refrigerator. Whole grain flours, because of their higher oil content, typically last about three months in the pantry but can stretch to six months if refrigerated. But how do you know if it’s gone bad? If your flour smells musty, sour, or has developed a weird taste, it's time to toss it. And if you spot any bugs, well, that’s a definite no-go. We’re aiming for baked goods, not baked…bad surprises.


Can You Store Flour in the Freezer?

Yes, you can store flour in the freezer, and it’s actually a great way to keep it fresh and bug-free for an extended period. Freezing flour can extend its shelf life to two years or more. To store flour in the freezer, use airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags to prevent any moisture from getting in. Just like with refrigerated flour, you’ll want to bring it to room temperature before using it to ensure your dough or batter behaves as expected. Plus, it’s a perfect excuse to clear out some space in your freezer – those old ice packs and forgotten veggies can make room for something more essential.

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