Flour is a powder obtained from ground cereals, such as wheat or corn, and many others, used in a wide range of recipes, but do you know how to preserve flour?
Generally, it is possible to keep flours at room temperature for 6 or 8 months. You can slightly extend the shelf life by refrigerating the flour to last a year. For the long term, it is possible to freeze the flour to remaining in good condition for 2 years.
If you want to learn how to store flour correctly, you just have to continue reading.
General concepts of preserving flour
There are several flours types, but the storage guidelines are the same for all, and most have the same shelf life.
Only a few, such as wholemeal flours, usually last less because of their oils. But the common, either when preserving wheat, corn, or almond flour, should follow the same storage principles.
On the other hand, an essential tip after buying any flour in a food establishment is to place the flour packages in the freezer and leave it there for 48 hours.
It will eliminate insects or pests that may have developed in the flour after being stored too long on the shelves. Apply this tip every time you are not going to use the flour soon after buying it.
Store flour at room temperature
Flour preserves well at room temperature, as long as you place it in a dark, dry, and cool place, as moisture and direct heat accelerate its decomposition process. 
To store the flour properly at room temperature, you need to follow these steps:
- Step 1: Transfer the flour to an airtight container.
Transfer the content to an airtight container after removing the flour from the freezer (if you followed the tip above). The container must be clean and well dried.
It is not advisable to store flour in its original packaging, especially if it is paper-made.
- Step 2: Tag.
Label the container with the current date to control it, especially if you will keep it during a long season.
- Step 3: Store in a dry and cool place.
Although the airtight container gives excellent protection, you must consider other variables for the perfect storage. To be more specific, it is necessary to avoid exposing the flour to light, heat, or humidity that would accelerate its decomposition.
If you carefully follow the instructions, the flour (wheat or corn) can remain in the cupboard for six or eight months. On the other hand, whole wheat flour will only be able to last about three months due to the oils it contains.
Keep flour in the fridge
Now, storing the flour in the fridge may seem like a strange option since it is more likely that the flour absorbs moisture. Still, it represents an excellent alternative in scorching places.
To store the flour in the fridge, you need to do this:
- Step 1: Place the flour inside an airtight container.
The container must be in excellent condition. When closing, it shouldn’t filter air since flour absorbs the smell of other foods, and it should be able to keep the moisture away.
You have to make sure that the container is dry and well cleaned.
- Step 2: Tag.
It is always important to place the storage date to know how long you have stored it.
- Step 3: Store in the fridge.
The container should not be placed near the walls of the refrigerator, as they are usually very damp.
If you put these simple tips into practice, you can preserve the flour in good condition for a year or a little longer. But if the flour is whole, it can only be refrigerated for about six months.
Keep the flour in the freezer
The dry air in the freezer provides an ideal environment for the optimal preservation of any type of flour.
To store flour in the freezer, you must:
- Step 1: Transfer the contents to an airtight container.
The container must be suitable for freezing. In addition, it must be completely dry and free of fat.
- Step 2: Tag.
Write the storage date to know exactly how long it has been there.
- Step 3: Save to the freezer.
If you follow all these steps, the flour may be in the freezer for two years, but it will last a year if it is wholemeal.
How do you know if the flour got bad?
There are some symptoms where you will realize if the flour is in poor condition.
One is the smell. If the flour smells rancid or damp, it is a sign that it is spoiled.
If there is the presence of bugs or insects in the flour, it means you stored it incorrectly, and it is no longer safe to use it.
If it changes color or there is a presence of mold, don’t use and discard it.
How long does the flour last?
Flour is one of those products that can last a long time if stored well. Here is a summary:
|Flour at room temperature||6 – 8 months|
|Whole wheat flour at room temperature||3 months|
|Chilled flour||1 year|
|Refrigerated whole wheat flour||6 months|
|Flour in the freezer||2 years|
|Whole wheat flour in the freezer||1 year|
What is the best way to preserve flour?
If you keep the flour isolated in an airtight container, it may be ok in any environment. However, if you plan to use the flour regularly, it is better to store it in the cupboard at room temperature.
But if you live in a very hot place, or summer is hitting hard, the fridge represents an excellent storage alternative.
The freezer is a better alternative to the fridge since the environment is much drier than humid, which is favorable to keep the flour in good condition. Still, it is meant for long-term storage, not regular use.
If you like this type of content, I invite you to continue exploring this site. It has an extensive list of topics related to food preservation.