How to Store Flour at Home

flour and sugar stored in sealed mason jars
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If you just stick that bag of flour in the pantry when you get it home from the store, it isn't going to last as long as it should, and it could attract bugs. Yuck! Learn how to store your flour properly, so it lasts months (or years longer).

Refined Flours

(all-purpose, bread, cake, self-rising)

  1. Place your flour in the freezer for 48 hours to kill any weevil or insect eggs that may be present.
  2. Then, transfer it to a food-grade container (plastic, glass, etc.) with a tight-sealing lid. This will keep your flour from absorbing moisture, and ensure that insects and other pests can't get to it. It will also keep your flour from absorbing odors and flavors from other foods or products that are stored near it.
  1. Store your flour in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Flour will keep up to six months in the pantry.
  2. If you wish to keep your flour longer, store it in the freezer instead. It will keep there for several years, but is best used within a year.

To use: just scoop out whatever you need. There's no need to thaw it out or bring it to room temperature.

Whole Grain & Other Specialty Flours

(whole wheat, oat, rice, rye, nut, seed, etc.)

  1. Freeze the flour and transfer it to a air-tight container, as described above.
  2. Then, store it in the refrigerator or freezer. The high levels of natural oil in the flour will cause it to go rancid quickly, if it's stored at room temperature.

When to Replace Your Flour

As long as your flour still smells and tastes good, it's still fine to use. But definitely toss it as soon as you notice a decline in quality. There's nothing you can do to bring it back, once the oils start to turn.

More Storage Tips:

  1. Do not combine new and old packages of flour. This will shorten the shelf life of the new flour
  2. If your home doesn't have air conditioning, move your flour to the refrigerator or freezer in the summer
  3. Write the date on your flour when you buy it, to keep up with how long you've had it
  1. Be sure to write the type of flour on the container, too. It's easy to get all of those containers of flour mixed up.

Flour Substitutes

If a recipe calls for a type of flour that you don't use regularly, see if there's a substitute that you can use in its place. It'll save you from having to buy and store another bag of flour. Here are some substitutes to check out: