how to store flour

No one likes it when they open their flour container while making baked goodies only to find weevils or other gross bugs in it. So, how do you store flour in a way that keeps bugs out?

To store flour and keep bugs out of it, put the flour into a durable airtight container. If storing flour long-term, put a few basil leaves in the flour or around the container. Don’t store flour in the original bag, as bugs can easily get inside, even if the top of the bag is sealed.

To learn more about what containers you should store flour in and about the shelf life of different types of flour, keep reading.

How to Store Flour to Prevent Bugs

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When storing flour, if you want to keep bugs out of the container, you will need to make sure that it is airtight. Luckily, a lot of food containers that are sold nowadays are airtight, so you won’t have to search for an airtight container that suits your preferences for long.

Also, many of these airtight storage containers are quite large, so you can easily purchase flour in bulk, which can help you save money over time.

Pro Tip: I personally use and love airtight containers that fit 5-lb bags of flour, that you can get on Amazon.

If you specifically want to keep weevils, otherwise known as flour bugs, and other flour-loving bugs out of your flour container, all you need to do is place a few bay leaves (Amazon) in the flour. They are easy to see, as they are large and dark compared to flour granules, so you can easily avoid scooping the bay leaves into your baked goods.

Also, the bay leaves likely won’t affect the taste of the flour, but they will keep bugs out, so there is no harm in putting them in your flour. If you plan to store flour long term, replace the bay leaves once the bay leaves are no longer fragrant.

How to Store Flour Long-Term

To store flour long-term, put it in an airtight plastic, metal, or glass container. You can also store it in a mylar bag, but make sure you put an oxygen absorber inside if you do so.

Pro tip: If you want to learn more about how to store food in mylar bags, be sure to check out my article, Long Term Food Storage in Mylar Bags.

If you want to store flour for a really long time, put your flour container in the freezer or fridge. However, you will likely need to put the flour in an airtight Tupperware container, as you don’t want moisture seeping into the flour, as it can cause mold or mildew to form, making your flour unusable.

Although most people store dry ingredients like flour on the counter or in their pantry, when storing flour for a long time, you should avoid doing so. Your pantry is a relatively good place to store flour as long as it is a cool, dark place, but the counter is not a good place for you to store flour, as prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause your flour to expire faster than expected.

Does Flour Expire?

Even though many people think that it does not expire because it is a dry ingredient, flour does expire. In fact, depending on the type of flour, it only has a shelf life of between 3 and 10 months. However, many people use flour in baked goods after it has expired and suffer no negative effects.

Luckily, it is easy to determine if your flour is good or bad, even without knowing the expiration date that was put on the bag that you likely threw away soon after purchasing the flour. If your flour is discolored, has mold in it, or smells bad, it is expired and you need to throw it away immediately, as it can likely make you sick.

The Best Containers to Store Flour in

how to store flour - the best containers

The best materials for your airtight flour containers to be made out of are plastic, glass, and metal. However, the following containers are some of the best containers to put flour in.

Prep Solutions by Progressive International

These flour storage containers, available on Amazon, are what I personally use for most of my flour storage. Apparently, I’m not the only one that loves them, because they are highly rated by other customers. These containers are made of durable plastic and have airtight lids that are easy to open and close but will definitely keep bugs out of your flour.

They also have a leveler that attaches to the inside of the container, that makes it easy to precisely measure your flour. The nice thing about the leveler is that you can remove it when filling the container, and then snap it back into place.

Large Food Storage Containers 5.2L

These 5.2 Liter containers also available on Amazon, are rated 4.8 out of 5 stars by consumers and are quite large. They even come with labels so you can easily label them, which is great if you have multiple types of flour in your home to sit dietary restrictions or preferences.

Shelf Life of Different Types of Flour

Each type of flour has a shelf life that you should stick to. To ensure that you stick to the shelf life of your flour, label the container with the date that you purchased the flour on, the “best by” date, or the expiration date that is listed on the bag. However, we have compiled a table with the shelf life of various types of flour for your convenience.

Type of FlourShelf Life at Room TemperatureShelf Life in Freezer
Whole Wheat or White Whole Wheat Flour3 months1 year
All-Purpose Flour6-8 months1-2 years
Bread Flour9-15 months2 years
Self-Rising Flour4-6 months1 year
Oat Flour3 months1 year
Coconut Flour3 months1 year
Gluten-Free Flour3-6 months1 year
Almond Flour3 months9 months
Barley Flour3 months9 months
Rice Flour3 months1 year
Cake Flour1 year3 years
Pastry Flour6-8 months2 years
Vital Wheat Gluten Flour6-12 months2 years
Sprouted Flour6 months1 year

Keep in mind that while the shelf life of flour is a good thing to use to determine if your flour is good or bad, if you see any signs that your flour has gone bad, throw it away immediately, even if it is before the shelf life has ended.

Overall, it is relatively easy to keep bugs out of your flour as long as you store it properly. As tempting as it might be to keep your flour in the original bag, avoid doing so, as bugs can easily get in.

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