Storing flour long term is probably a problem for everybody. If you use a lot of it, you probably want to buy flour in bulk to get the best price, and so you will need to store it. If you do not use much flour, you might buy five pounds of it at a time, but will still need to store the flour until the next time that you use it. You can try storing flour in the refrigerator or storing flour in the freezer, but there is more to it than that. Check out the following tips and see if they will help you.
Flour Container Storage
If you buy the flour, and it is in the unopened paper bag, you can use that to store it. You can put that right in the cupboard, or store in the refrigerator or freezer. You might want to wrap the bag in plastic or foil in order to keep the paper from absorbing anything and passing it to the flour. If you open the bag, the best thing to do is to put the it into a different container.
Be sure that the container you put the flour in will not affect the flour. The best is a plastic container with a good seal. You can use metal containers also, however, be sure that they have a liner in them. The metal in contact with the flour can leave the flour with a metal taste, and can affect the length of the life of the flour.
If you are one of the types that only use flour occasionally, try to put the flour in a container where there is very little room left for air. As the flour gets used up, put it into smaller and smaller containers. Any air in the container with the flour will taint the remaining flour. If you use flour frequently, and have a lot of flour, try splitting the flour into several containers and use them one at a time. Again, this will limit the amount of air the flour comes into contact with.
Plastic bags are not good for long term storage, but will probably be okay if you use it relatively quickly. The plastic bags will still “breathe”, and air will affect the flour.
The temperature the flour is stored should be no more than 70 degrees. The key here is to keep the temperature constant. If you are able to store it at a lower temperature, go ahead and do so. The lower the temperature, the longer it will last. In a well sealed container in the freezer, the flour will last six months easily. But even at the lower temperatures, be sure to keep the temperature as constant as possible.
This was touched on above, but can use going over again. In trying put into practice rules for storing flour long term, it is important to remember that air is an enemy. Try to store it in containers where there is very little air. Both smells and moisture will come with the air, and both will lessen the life of the flour. The use of oxygen absorption packets is an option. However, when using the packets, be sure that the container is air tight, or else the air will just leak into the container, and the packet will just be a waste of money.
It is easy to see why moisture is something to avoid when storing flour. If you avoid getting air in the storage container, this will also keep out the moisture. Try to avoid exposing your flour to moisture when opening it to get some out.
Places For Storing Flour Long Term
So where can you put the flour to meet the above rules. Store your it in a cool dark place. You can put the container in the kitchen cupboard if it does not get hot. Put it in the refrigerator or the freezer if you have room to leave it there all the time. You can put it in the basement if you have one. Remember the rules on moisture thought, since the basement can get damp.
The above guidelines for storing flour long term should help you to easily get a life of 6-12 months out of your flour. As you can see, storing flour in the refrigerator or storing flour in the freezer is an option, but it needs to be done correctly. There are always examples of people getting years out of a batch of flour, so be careful and your flour should last long enough for you to use it all.