How to Store Flour Long Term

Do you have a lot of flour and are unsure how to extend its shelf life and store it long term? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Flour is a tricky food item to store because it can go bad in a number of ways – mold, insects, and oxygenation are the most common problems.

bean flour

However, you can store your flour for months (or even years) without any issues with the right tips and tricks. In this guide, we will discuss how to store flour properly and extend its shelf life. Let’s get started!

How Does Flour Go Bad?

There are many ways that flour can go bad. However, we will cover the four most common ways:


You may not be able to see them, but insects can infest your flour and cause damage. Insects like moths and weevils will lay their eggs in the flour, and the larvae will start to eat through the flour. This will make the flour less nutritious and cause it to have an off-flavor.

To kill insect eggs and larvae, freeze flour for at least 48 hours. This will kill any existing insects and prevent new ones from infesting the flour. If you think your flour is infested, it’s best to throw it out.


Oxygen is another enemy of flour. Make sure to get out as much air as possible when storing flour. Over time, oxygen will cause the flour to lose its nutrients and become less fresh. The flour will also start to develop a slightly rancid flavor.

Absorbing Smells

Flour is very absorbent and will easily pick up smells from its surroundings. If you store your flour in an area with strong odors, the flour will absorb those odors and taste bad.


Mold is the most common problem with flour. Mold can grow on flour that is stored in damp or humid conditions. If you see mold on your flour, it’s best to throw it out.

Storage Tips

Now that we’ve covered how flour can go bad, let’s talk about how to store it properly. There are a few things you need to keep in mind when storing flour:


Flour should be stored in a cool, dry place. The ideal temperature is below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If the flour gets too warm, it will start to go bad more quickly.


Flour should be stored in a dark place. Light can cause the flour to lose its nutrients and become less fresh.


Flour should be stored in an airtight container. This will help keep the flour fresh for longer by keeping oxygen and moisture out.

How to Store Flour Long Term

There are many ways to go about storing flour long term, but some are better than others. We will discuss the most popular flour storage methods below.

Original Packaging

If you keep your flour in its original paper packaging (usually a paper bag), it will only last for less than six months. This is because the packaging is not airtight, so oxygen and moisture can get in and cause the flour to go bad.

Airtight Containers

An airtight container will keep the flour fresh for up to one year. The most popular airtight containers for flour are canisters or jars with tight-fitting lids.


You can also store flour in the freezer. Just be sure to thaw the flour before using it. This will keep the flour fresh for up to two years.

Vacuum Sealed

Vacuum sealed is another excellent way to store flour. This will keep the flour fresh for up to three years.

Mason Jars/Plastic Containers/Buckets with Oxygen Absorbers

You can also store flour in Mason jars, plastic containers, or buckets with oxygen absorbers. This will keep the flour fresh for up to five years.

Mylar Bags with Oxygen Absorbers

Sealed Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers are the best way to store flour long-term. This method will keep the flour fresh for up to ten years.

Dry Oven Canning

This method of storage is considered controversial. Some people claim that it doesn’t work, while others swear by it.

If you decide to try this method, you will need to put the flour in an airtight jar and place it in a cool, dry oven. Then, turn the oven on to its lowest setting and let the flour heat up for about an hour. After the hour is up, turn off the oven and let the flour cool in the oven before removing it.

Storing Flour FAQs

Q: Is there a difference in storing white flour versus storing whole grain flour?

A: In their original packaging, both white flours (such as self-rising flour, bread flour, and all-purpose flour) and whole-grain flours (such as whole wheat flour, oat flour, and rice flour) will only last for about six months before going bad. However, whole wheat flour will go bad more quickly than white flour if not stored properly. This is because whole wheat flour contains more fat, which can go rancid, and natural oils, which spoil quickly.

Q: What is the best way to keep insects out of my flour?

A: The best way to keep insects out of your flour is to store it in an airtight container. You can also put the flour in the freezer for a short period of time to kill any insects that may be present.

Q: Can I store flour in the refrigerator?

A: No, you should not store flour in the refrigerator. The humidity in the fridge can cause the flour to go bad more quickly.


Storing flour properly is essential if you want it to last. Be sure to keep it in a cool, dark, and airtight place. There are many different storage methods for flour, so choose the one that best suits your needs, and you’ll always have fresh flour. And if you have any questions, be sure to check out the FAQ section. Thanks for reading!


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