How do you store flour?

Gail H
Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

I am currently keeping my flour in the freezer, but I have produce that needs the space. The flour definitely needs to find new accommodations. I'm not sure freezing is the best option anyway, as I've read that it destroys Vitamin E. Does anyone know if that's true, by the way?

Since we're gluten free, I have many kinds of flour. My current bread recipe calls for four flours and one starch. Some of the flours are difficult to come by, so I stock up when I can get them. As a result, I have at least a dozen types of flour on hand. Should I try to vacuum seal them in canning jars? I will have to make sure that they don't have moisture from being in the freezer; I'm not sure how to accomplish that.

Thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated!


  • Jimerson
    Jimerson Posts: 291 admin

    I think freezer/fridge are the only options for keeping the flour from going rancid long term. Vacuum sealing will help a little though if that is not an option for you!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,513 admin

    I agree with Jimerson. Mine is kept in either or both.

    I do only grind a small amount at a time to keep the nutrients locked in the grain as long as possible. I keep the grain in the freezer to kill insect eggs.

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,915 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If it is a flour you use a lot then you might be able to get away with the air-tight canisters otherwise I find freezing is the way to go, I have heard that putting flour in the refrigerator is gets stale.

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    Well, a pure starch should keep indefinitely, last I heard- it's the oils in flour that go rancid. So, if you have to prioritize freezer/fridge space, perhaps just refrigerate whole grain flours?

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Gail H I mix dry ingredients whether it is for a cake, cookies or cornbread...mix all dry, label and freeze. When I am going to bake one of these categories, I quad it: So when I put the dry in my bowl/mixing bowl, I add all the other dry and do that for 3 other helpings and freeze those. So the next 3 cookies, or cake etc I just pull out one of the mixes from the freezer and finish the batter and bake. It is so much faster and more convenient. And it keeps the flour fresher than if it were sitting on the shelf.

    Also, for my veggies, sometimes I will juice a bunch of a recipe, for example, when I juice beets, I also juice carrots and berries and anything else I might want to mix to tone down the beet juice a bit...then I mix and match the diff ingredients and freeze so when I want a glass of juice I just pull it from the freezer and let it sit long enough to thaw to drinkable...That way I am preserving my veggies for max flavor and freshness as well as my flour/s.

    Dehydrating some of your veggies might be another option for you so you get the most storage for the freezer and pantry room that you have and the really nice thing about dehyration is that not having to keep it cold the dehyrated food should be shelf stable for a year in many cases..This might negate the need for another freezer pulling electricity..Just some potential ideas for you just after midnight...

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    I read something several years ago about storing grains and flours by canning them. If I remember correctly you put them in a canning jar with good lid and ring and then into the oven at a prescribed time and temp. I don't remember the specifics but Google might lol. Has anyone ever tried doing this?

    As for bugs, I find bay leaves extremely effective. My best guess is it keeps the eggs from hatching (it's pretty much a guaranty that there will be some in any grains/flours you buy). This was a tip from my mom, and I've used it for about 40 years now lol.

  • tomandcara
    tomandcara Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭

    My wife's cousin is a rancher who once observed "If a bug won't eat it, I don't think I want to eat it!"

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For flour, rice and beans, a short period of time in the deep freeze kills all the pre purchased tenants. I do this with all my beans, flour, and rice and it works. I usually freeze for up to 2 weeks just because I am busy and it doesn't hurt it to stay in the freezer, but like you I don't have room in my small freezer to keep things like that in it for extended time. To date I have plenty of beans and rice flour out of the freezer for 6 months and still no bugs.

    For the beans you may not have room for, use spearmint gum. I picked up that tip from a prepper on line about 5 years ago. Have not tried it but I think I will for my next bag of beans...watching it close enough to see if even one menace emerges and if so, a swift trip to the deep freeze and out with the gum 😕

  • Gail H
    Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

    @blevinandwomba That's a good thought about starches. I will fish them out of the freezer and after they arrive at room temperature, I will transfer them to canning jars and seal them.

  • Melinda
    Melinda Posts: 123 ✭✭✭

    If you aren’t going to use the flour within several months, vacuum sealing it will make it go a little bit further. Just don’t use if you open and it smells rancid.

  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭

    I buy 50 pound bags of flour and keep them in 5 gallon buckets in my basement. It stays about 50 degrees in there in summer and down to the teens in winter. I will use the flour I buy within a years time. I have never had rancid flour doing this. Do you have more than a year supply? Or access to cold storage aside from a freezer?

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,275 ✭✭✭✭

    In Oregon we have ceiling heat and my flour is stored near the floor in my kitchen. Sometimes it finds a better home in a cupboard. Some of it goes into a container. @herbantherapy has a great idea to store it in her basement. I also have #10 cans with a white wheat in them. They seem to keep well for long periods of time. No rancidity.

  • Gail H
    Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

    @herbantherapy We live in the Mid-Atlantic, so we have pretty brutal heat and humidity in the summer. We also don't have a basement. I do keep some produce in the utility room in the summer. It's on the lowest level of the house and has a concrete floor. It also has no windows so it stays quite cool. I put the produce in large terracotta flower pots set on the floor and put a damp, lightweight dish towel over them. I'm not sure that would work for flour, though. Maybe I will seal some in a small jar and see what happens.

  • Meme Grant
    Meme Grant Posts: 13 ✭✭✭

    I have sailed for many years, and had to store all produce for long periods, many places you cannot get many things so you stock up when you can. I am celiac, so have the same issue with non gluten flours.

    There are two issues, rancidity and weevils.

    For rancidity, I would order whole grain from the mills and grind as needed if needed to store for more than 6 months, kept it in the bilges so it was always cool.

    For weevils there are 3 ways to beat the monsters, for short term, about 3 months, put bay leaves in the bin. Longer than that I would store in tin or glass with a tin lid, and either put in dry ice if it can be found but more would usually burn a birthday candle on top and put the lid on. Both of these methods use up the oxygen and the little monsters cannot hatch.

    Kept grains at sea for over a year that way.

    Hope that helps...

  • Leediafastje
    Leediafastje Posts: 97 ✭✭✭

    I too buy flour by the 50 lb bag and store it in large food grade containers in my low temp. storage room. I always do as @seeker.nancy and top with 2 or 3 bay leaves. I've never had bugs or problems with flour going rancid.

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