Although plenty of people are firm believers that flour lasts forever, the unfortunate truth is that flour goes bad. Depending on the kind and where it’s stored, flour can have as little as three months shelf life up to a whopping 20 years.
The keyword here is storage. Even finicky flours like coconut and gluten-free flour can have a longer shelf life if stored in an airtight container or resealable bags in the freezer with an oxygen absorber. For decade-long storage solutions, consider mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.
That said, I have discovered the very best storage options for flour. After all, the last thing I want to do is try and use old, bland, stale, and disgusting flour. No, thanks!
Let’s learn about flour storage.
- How to Store Flour for Long Term: 6 Ways
- Final Words
How to Store Flour for Long Term: 6 Ways
There are several great ways to store flour for the long term, whether you prefer to keep it in your pantry or don’t mind chilled flour from the freezer. As long as you follow these proper steps, you can extend the longevity of your flour to its maximum shelf life.
1. Original Packaging in the Pantry (Shortest Shelf Life)
The first option is to leave the flour in its original packaging – but don’t stop there.
If you’ve ever tried to open a package of flour, you know it can be tricky. You will likely end up with tears, rips, and a few splatters of flour on the floor. It’s a nightmare, and resealing the packaging is downright impossible.
All those knicks and tears will only equal one thing: easy access to air, moisture, and even rodents. What should you do?
You can keep your flour in the original packaging, but you must place it inside a resealable freezer bag. Get as much of the air out as possible. When putting it in the pantry, store it towards the back in a dry, dark, and cool area.
2. Airtight Container in the Pantry
The better option is to ditch the nuisance of the flour packaging altogether and opt for airtight containers instead. I bought these containers and have been thrilled with my purchase. They’re elegant, easy to use, and my flour (and other items) stay super fresh.
All you need to do is pour your preferred four into the airtight container and seal it shut. Make sure to place the container in the back of the pantry in a dark and cool environment, just as you would with the resealable freezer bag.
3. Airtight Container in the Fridge
There is nothing inherently “wrong” with storing flour in the pantry. It provides easy access to smooth, ready-to-go flour and doesn’t take up too much space, especially if you have an extra-large pantry as I do.
However, pantry storage will offer the shortest longevity. So, if you’re not planning to use the flour within a few months, I recommend opting for the fridge instead.
You can use the same containers listed above. However, I prefer to use shorter and wider storage containers for fridge storage. They’re not tall and lean as the ones mentioned above, so they are easier to store in the refrigerator.
Where you store your flour doesn’t matter much – hang it on the side or place it towards the back of the fridge. The main goal is to keep it away from liquids and strong-smelling ingredients that could potentially damage the flour.
4. Airtight Container in the Freezer
The flour will provide more longevity, but nothing beats the freezer. The freezer is the absolute best place to store any kind of flour, from all-purpose to almond and beyond.
Your trusty airtight container will remain the go-to for freezer storage. And, much like the fridge, the only thing to really consider is keeping the container away from moisture and robust scents.
Double-check to ensure that the container is sealed before storing to lock in freshness.
Flour texture won’t alter much when in the freezer, and you can scoop it out like you would if it was stored in the pantry. Nevertheless, flour should still come to room temp before using it. Too-cold flour can negatively alter your baked goods.
5. Small Resealable Bags in the Freezer
My absolute favorite way to store flour long-term is in small, resealable bags in the freezer. I typically store flour in one-cup increments. That way, I can pull out exactly how much flour I need and let it thaw, completely covered, on the countertop before using it in my recipes.
Not only that but storing in small bags frees up a lot of space in my freezer compared to using airtight containers. I don’t know about you, but my freezer is always full of appetizers, meat, and leftovers, you name it. Small bags can still find their way into my freezer with ease.
6. Mylar Bags with Oxygen Absorbers (Longest Shelf Life)
A less common but awe-inspiring way to store flour long-term is using mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. These unique bags are crafted with a metal-like material that blocks light, moisture, and oxygen – otherwise known as all of the elements that can ruin your flour.
If you want to stick to your resealable freezer bags or airtight containers, consider adding an oxygen absorber to extend the lifespan by months, years, or even decades.
The freezer is the best spot for your flour, whether you include an oxygen absorber or not. If you want to keep learning about this exciting topic, check out these frequently asked questions below.
How do you store flour for 2 years?
If you only expect your flour to last for two years, the best spot is in the freezer. Remember – you can opt for a big airtight container to house the flour or place it in one-cup increments inside resealable freezer bags.
Can you store flour for years?
When you use oxygen absorbers inside a resealable bag or airtight container, flour can last up to ten years and beyond. Using oxygen absorbers and mylar bags, flour can easily make it 20 years or more.
Can you use flour 2 years out of date?
If stored properly, flour can easily last two years beyond the “best by” date. Check for signs of spoilage, such as a musty or sour odor, discoloration, clumps, bugs, or an odd taste.
How do you store flour in a Mason jar?
To be honest, I have not stored flour in a mason jar. However, I don’t see why the process would be any different. Transfer the flour to the jar and place an oxygen absorber inside. Keep it in the back of your pantry.
There are many long-term storage options for flour. Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers are less common but provide the most extended shelf life. The other option is to stash it in the freezer in an airtight container or resealable bag with an oxygen absorber inside.
How do you store your flour long-term?About Michelle