How to Store Flour Properly

Surprisingly, plain old white flour has a special requirement to keep it fresh and safe in storage. Here's what you need to know about how to store flour properly.

When you think of a long-term, low-maintenance pantry staple, a two-pound sack of all-purpose flour probably comes to mind. But keeping flour in the paper bag isn’t actually a good idea for storage. Here’s everything you need to know about how to store flour.

The Problem With the Paper Bag

The bag flour comes in is typically made of paper, which is not airtight. That means moisture can get into the flour. Even more unpleasant—tiny bugs and pests can get into the bag, which is just yucky.

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How to Store Flour

To keep flour as fresh as possible, follow these simple steps.

First, when you get home from the grocery store, pop your new bag of flour into the freezer. Leave it there for two days. That’ll kill off any weevils or eggs that may already be in the flour. (Here’s how to get rid of pests in the pantry.)

After 48 hours, transfer the flour out of the bag and into an airtight container. A plastic storage container with a tight lid is ideal, but a large Ziploc bag is totally fine, too. The impermeable container will keep out pests as well as moisture.

Most people find it easiest to keep flour in the pantry. Avoid warm, sunny spots. A cool, dry place is best. Flour will keep for at least one year.

To keep flour super-fresh, store it in the freezer or fridge (an airtight container is still best). It might be an especially good idea to do so if your house runs warm, if you live in a humid climate, or if you simply don’t go through flour very quickly.

Want more tips? These storage tricks keep foods fresh much longer.

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Kelsey Rae Dimberg
A former in-house editor at Taste of Home, Kelsey now writes articles and novels from her home in Milwaukee. She's an avid cook, reader, flâneur, and noir fanatic. Her debut novel, Girl in the Rearview Mirror, will be published in June 2019 by William Morrow.