How To Store Flour Long Term

Jacob Moore

Last updated May 12, 2021

As you foray into the morning every day, you need a hearty breakfast that helps you put your best leg forward, and nothing beats freshly baked bread!

Cooking without flour is very difficult as you need flour for making breakfast, lunch, or dinner. When you have different flours in your pantry, you automatically get the choice of making a wide variety of dishes to feed your family.

If you are a survival expert or prepper, you already know the importance of bulk buying, but this bought food would waste if not stored properly.

However, as mentioned earlier, these flours are very sensitive to the environment and tend to deteriorate if not cared for. Fret not; we have a pervasive list of ideas that will help you store flour for the most prolonged period.

Reasons Why Flour Goes Bad

how to store flour

Many people feel that dry foods have a long shelf life, but that doesn’t mean they won’t go bad; flour is one such product that can quickly go bad.

If you leave a bag of flour in your pantry, there are immense chances of your flour going bad because of:

  • Oxidation – Oxidation is a process that causes your food nutrients in the flour mix to break down as the air interacts with its nutrients. Whole grains like ragi, buckwheat, oatmeal have incredibly high chances of getting oxidized. This process will make the oils of the grains go rancid, thus emitting a foul smell.
  • Mold – Mold will easily impact the quality of your flour. People living in high humid areas tend to face this issue quite often. General humidity and temperature fluctuations aid the flour to absorb moisture from the environment, thus resulting in a bad case of mold. You can smell the mold before you could see it.
  • Absorbing Various Smells – Flour is excellent in soaking and absorbing smells of its nearby surroundings, and it can pick up the scent of any pungent ingredient in its vicinity. If you have a massive bowl of garlic powder seasoning or onions, chances are your next batch of pancakes will have an underlying smell of these ingredients.
  • Insect infestation – Insect outbreak is a ubiquitous thing that happens when psocids barge in and infest the entire stock of your flour. This infestation has nothing to do with having a clean and hygienic environment; flour provides excellent living conditions; thus, they usually thrive there. Females can end up laying 100 or more eggs at a time, which will surely make your flour unfit to eat.

Safe Ways To Store Flour

To tackle this issue of fowl flour, you can take few preventive measures that will guarantee a pantry full of fresh flour for all your dietary needs:

Keeping the flour airtight

flour in jar

You need to keep your freshly purchased or milled bag of flour in an airtight lock. You can either opt for an airtight container with a tight seal or resealable plastic bags.

If you wish to keep everything extra secured, you can try investing in a vacuum sealer and vacuum bags that will keep your flour safe for over two years.

The vacuum creates a seal that keeps the air away, which slowers the oxidation process. This airtight process also helps in keeping the strong smells at bay.

Freezing the flour

As mentioned earlier, the colder and darker the place, the better your grain flour stays put. Freezing your flour is exceptionally ideal as it keeps the food fresh for the most extended period.

You can expect your whole grain flour to be in the most pristine condition for six months with this method. Always opt for keeping the flour away from the door; this will decrease the chances of the kitchen light touching the flour every time you open your freezer.

Storing your flour in the freezer for four days kills any existing pests and their chances of infecting again in the future. You will need to let the flour come to room temperature before using it, but that’s a minor inconvenience you can easily overcome if the result is fresh and clean flour.

Refrigerate the flour

fridge

If you are prepping, chances are your freezer is overflowing with other perishables like fruits and vegetables; in such cases, it is a good idea to store your flour in freeze.

Keep the flour bag away from the light and deep inside the fridge in a corner. This method won’t guarantee you the most prolonged freshness; nonetheless, it is better than keeping your flour at room temperature.

Storing in a cool and dark place

If you live off-grid or wish to use flour constantly, using the products mentioned above won’t be much of your help. You can try to put your flour in an airtight container and store it in a cool and dark place that you can easily reach.

Most people keep their stock underneath their flooring in a cubby or the basement; Both are viable options provided the place is clean and humidity-free. You can expect a shelf life of two to three months when stored at room temperature.

How To Store Flour Long Term

tips on how to store flour

If you plan to store white flour (self-rising flour or all-purpose flour), you can keep them safe and edible for three months under room temperature.

If you keep that in the fridge, it will surely last six months and a year. It will last two years without any issue when kept in the freezer.

Flours like whole grains or whole wheat don’t last as long as white flour because of the abundance of natural oils in the grains. You can expect any whole grain flour to last one year in the freezer, six months in the fridge, and one month at average room temperature.

You can follow these guidelines that will help you determine the freshness of your flour within minutes:

  • Refined flour can stay fresh for two years, so you need not worry about these types of flours that often, but you should trust your sense of smell to understand the freshness. Usually, flour that has gone bad would smell sour, and that is your indicator of throwing away without thinking twice.
  • Whole grain can smell a little sour and funky, indicating the time to discard them.
  • It would be best if you always kept seed and nut flour like flax and almond in the freezer; they would smell a little burnt or bitter, allowing you to determine its edibility quickly.
  • Always try to get into the habit of labeling your containers to stay up to date. Try to write down the flour type, date of purchase, and date of manufacturing to keep track of the expiry date. It would be best if you immediately restocked new flour once it passes its expiry date.

How To Keep Flour Fresh Long Term

How To Keep Flour Fresh

Apart from the airtight, salable, and frozen methods, it would help if you kept these tips and tricks in mind to keep the freshness:

  • Try storing your flour in Mylar bags with added oxygen absorbers. This Mylar bagging option is an excellent method for prepping for years. Your flour would stay fresh for decades without any issue. These Mylar bags are made from metal that doesn’t allow moisture and heat to sink in; it even keeps the bugs away. To make it more time-proof, you can add oxygen absorbers that will suck the rest of the oxygen to keep your flour light and fresh. Whole wheat flour can last for ten years, while white flour will easily last for ten-fifteen years without any doubt.
  • Use the flour before the expiration date; this will ensure greater chances of consuming fresh flour. When buying, always purchase a very recently packed product; this will give you more shelf life.
  • It would help if you always filled your airtight containers to the brim. The lesser the air seeps into the container, the greater chances of it being safe. Seal away this tightly packed container and store it in a cool and dark place.
  • Avoid mixing old and new flour. Keep both of the flour in separate containers even if it increases the space. Consider using the old flour first and then moving on to the newer one.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you store your flour in a 5-gallon bucket?

Yes, you can easily store your flour in a five-gallon bucket. Usually, a five-gallon bucket can hold 125 lbs of mass so that you can fit a lot of flour into one.

If you have a big, home-cooked meal-loving family, you might want to keep many buckets. We highly recommend storing one single type of flour in one bucket.

Keeping two bags in one bucket can considerably deteriorate the shelf life of both the flours. Always buy a bucket that has great sealing power.

What are some of the best and durable containers to store flour?

containers for flour

While buckets are very robust and hearty, you cannot delve down your storage and remove the seal thousands of times; you will need few suitable containers to store the flour for a few days worth of stock.

We highly recommend that you try these best flour storage containers:

Enloy Stainless Steel Airtight Canister

If you have toddlers and teenagers at your home, we advise you to go with a stainless steel airtight canister as it won’t break or shatter as easily as glass or plastic.

This container will keep your flour safe from sunlight and air. The locking clam system secures its brimmed silicone lid onto the metal base with excellent support.

The top is transparent, which helps you identify the type of flour by just looking at it. This container is highly durable and requires gentle soapy water to clean.

Essos Glass Jars with Wood Lids Set

People who want to invest in a BPA-free set should consider buying this product without thinking much.

The glass jar has tight wood seals that prevent the flour from spilling. Apart from the obvious protection, you have a wide variety of sizes to choose from.

OXO 3106300 SteeL POP Container

This product is an excellent choice of container if you are bored with regular lid containers. OXO features a special button that instantly seals the container upon pushing.

You can press it again to create a makeshift handle for carrying the container. This container is durable and made out of BPA-free plastic, ensuring your flour stays fresh for a more extended period.

How much flour does a four-person family spend in a year?

On average, a family of four buys 10 kg bags of flour for each month, which makes it approximately 120 kg or 240 Lbs. The US has reported that the annual wheat consumption rose from 113 pounds to 146 pounds per capita from 1964 to 2000.

It saw a slight decrease after 2012 with 133 pounds per capita, but the consumption has increased ever since 2020. If you are talking about this much flour, it becomes highly economical to buy it in bulk.

Now that you have all the information related to the storage, you can easily buy these and store them without any issues.

Conclusion

That was our article on preserving and keeping your fine-milled flour safe.

Keep an inventory and avoid food wastage by sticking to the expiry date schedule.

Now that you have a foolproof plan to prevent the flour from going bad, we highly recommend bulk buying and storing for cost-effective meals, bread, and baking!

Jacob Moore

Jacob Moore is the founder of BasicFoodPrepper.com, and he has spent more time surviving in the wilderness than an average human being. A familiar face from the rural United States, Jacob has always wanted to live close to nature. Even after spending a few years in the buzzing world of cities and 9 to 5 jobs, he managed to get out to the outer world when he got a chance. Jacob would say that hiking is his passion, and he has spent up to several weeks in the wild.