I do the same thing. I have a relatively small (holds about 5lbs) food safe plastic container that holds what I need for immediate use. The remainder stays in a cool place in my pantry in the sack (tightly curled over and clipped with one of those massive office binder clips). I take more out as the smaller container needs refilling.
Another friend puts large purchases directly in a large plastic bin and wheels that out as she needs it. You probably already know that the bins you purchase at a large Lawn & Garden chain are NOT what you want in this circumstance -- instead, make sure your bins are "NSF" which means certified food safe.
- food buckets with lids. I think they run from 5 gallons and up. Try restaurant supply stores (~$12-$16, lids sold separately) or online.
- Ziploc bags. Only problem is that the largest size made for food storage is 2 gallons. There are larger oversized bags, but they aren't rated for food use.
-The Container Store sells large plastic bins with hinged lid, for pet food. The largest supposed holds about 25lbs of dry pet food. ~$27
- if you have a large stock pot, you might be able to put the flour in that.
I use a Winco 18qt square food storage container for my bulk flour and sugar. I keep them on the floor of my pantry, and refill as needed.
AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
Figure out the best, largest space where you can keep all but five pounds of it at a time (unless you have a pantry floor where you can keep more). Measure the space. Go to a restaurant supply store. Buy a tightly lidded container in whatever size and shape will best fit your space. I'd be inclined to try to make a large flat rectangle work, as it would be handy for other storage needs. I.e., I'd be looking ahead, beyond the current project, when you don't need to store 50 pounds of flour at a time. I'd buy something to use for out-of-season clothing, sports equipment, etc. And I'd buy a very large scoop at the restaurant supply store, to make it easy to bring out five or ten pounds at a time. ;o)
Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.
Agree with most others. Keep it in the bag (tightly sealed - i use the jagunda binder clip trick too!) and take out what you need. I use an 8 quart (fits about 10 lbs) round plastic food-grade bucket with lid. Got it at Restaurant Depot. They sell larger ones too. I use my tupperware 8 qt. pitcher for a flour scoop. Try to keep the big bag several inches off the floor, to keep away from critters.
Ask your neighborhood baker if they have any empty storage containers.
I'd suggest against plastic or cloth bags. Bugs love flour and even ziplock type bags don't slow some types of moths down....they can be a big problem around here, I once had to toss almost everything in my pantry due to grain moths. Everything goes in glass or thick Tupperware now.
I couldn't agree more. Sooner or later, if you store flour (and other attractive foodstuffs) in paper, cloth or plastic bags, they're going to get you. (And remember, you could be bringing them into your house in infected containers so proper containment is a double-edged sword.)
A little off topic but related: Flour's properties change for the worse sooner than it goes noticeably rancid. Rose Levy Beranbaum advises keeping whole wheat no longer than 3 months, white flours no longer than 12 unless refrigerated or frozen.
June is a trusted source on General Cooking.
Back when I was catering and doing huge amounts of baking, I purchased a heavy duty trash can with a tight fitting lid. I lined it with a heavy food-grade plastic liner and stored my flour in there. Never had weevils in the 10 years I did that.
I usually put whole (and closed) chili peppers into all my grains and it never effects the flavor or taste of them. I imagine it would work for large bags of flour, as well.
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