The right container is key to long-term flour storage. Refrigerating or freezing flour extends its life and keeps it safe from pests. If you don't have room for the flour in the fridge or freezer, use a simple trick to reduce the risk of insect larvae and then store it in the right conditions for maximum shelf life.
Keep flour fresh in an airtight container such as a freezer bag. This keeps the flour at the correct humidity and prevents it from taking on odors. White flour has a shelf life of six to 12 months and will keep for up to two years in the refrigerator or indefinitely in the freezer. Whole wheat flour has a one to three-month shelf life and will keep for six months in the refrigerator and a year in the freezer. Allow the flour to reach room temperature before using it for baking so the recipe's ingredients react correctly.
Fresh flour can contain moth or beetle eggs that remain in the product after milling. Freeze the flour to 0 degrees Fahrenheit in freezer bags or other airtight containers for seven days. Freezing the flour kills eggs and larvae so that pests don't develop in the flour during long-term storage. Choose a cool, dry place for storage. Heat rises, so put the flour on a low shelf where it's coolest. If you use freezer bags for flour storage, put the bags in tins, jars or crocks to protect them from rodents and insects.
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