Long-term Storage Options and Why Freezing Flour is Important
As a common baking ingredient, flour is often purchased in bulk and stored at home. However, it is crucial to store your flour properly to keep it fresh and prevent it from going bad. Improper storage can cause the flour to turn rancid and become unusable in your baking recipes. Additionally, bugs and insect larvae can be found in most commercial flour purchased today, which is why proper storage is essential to avoid such pesky creepy crawlies.
In this article, we will discuss long-term storage options and why freezing flour is important to keep it fresh for extended periods of time.
Once the flour and other dry goods have been frozen for 2-3 days and completely thawed, it's time to transfer them to appropriately sized sealable plastic storage bags. To further deter bugs and rodents, I like to place a bay leaf or two in the bottom of these storage buckets. This extra step helps ensure that my dry goods are safe from any potential pests and will stay fresh for a longer period.
The Best Way to Store Flour
To keep your flour fresh and free from bugs and mice, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. The ideal temperature for flour storage is between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit (10-12 degrees Celsius). If you have enough room in your refrigerator or freezer, consider storing your flour there instead of on the shelf.
The best way to store flour is in an airtight container or bag with an oxygen absorber pack, which can be purchased online. Keep the container on a shelf in your refrigerator or pantry, away from direct sunlight. Freezing or refrigerating your flour until needed can also extend its shelf life by 10 times.
To ensure that any meal worms or bug larvae in my flour, and other bulk dry goods are dead, I place them in grocery bags and leave them in the freezer for 2-3 days.
Refrigerate or Freeze Flour
If you have a few bags of flour, it's easy to keep them in the pantry, where they'll be safe from pests and moisture damage. However, if you have different types of flour that require different temperatures, keep them in separate containers to keep them fresh for longer. For instance, use flour kept in the refrigerator within a week, or flour stored in the freezer for up to three months.
Properly Stored Flour Lasts Longer
Properly stored flour will last longer than you might think. Whole grains are more nutritious than refined grains, but whole wheat flour has a shorter shelf life than refined flour. Whole wheat flour should be stored in an airtight container and kept refrigerated for up to 12 months or kept frozen for up to six months.
Refined white flour can be stored in its original paper bag, but not the plastic bag that the flour came in. Never store flour in a cardboard box unless it goes straight into the freezer. Once you open a paper bag of white flour, store it in an airtight container with a lid to keep out any moisture or pests. White flour can last up to one year when stored properly at room temperature.
To further prevent insects and pests from invading your flour, add oxygen absorbers inside the sealed containers of flour. You can also add a few dried bay leaves to the inside of your buckets when storing flour and other dry goods for long-term storage.
It's also essential to label and date your food preps that are stored in buckets. I prefer to store 1-month/30-day preps in individual waterproof buckets as it makes it easy to count and relocate them at a moment's notice.
Storing flour properly is essential to minimize spoilage and prevent it from attracting bugs or going rancid. Proper storage methods, including long-term storage options and freezing flour, will keep your flour fresh and ready to use for extended periods. By following these simple tips and tricks, you can store your flour effectively and avoid any unwanted surprises in your baking recipes.