how long can you store flour?


boulangere January 1, 2014
I go through a lot, even at home, so I turn it over quickly. I store it in bins out of direct sunlight (I had a bin of all-purpose flour that got just enough sun one winter when the sun was low on the horizon that it went rancid. Once you smell rancid flour, you will never, ever forget it. I dumped it, washed the bin, then moved all of them to the other end of my work table where they get no direct sun at all, whatever the season. If you store yours in a cupboard, and again, one that doesn't receive direct sun so it stays temperate, you should be absolutely fine. I do store wheat germ in the refrigerator because its high fat content makes it more susceptible to rancidity.
ehsny December 31, 2013
I keep all types of flour, cornmeal and nuts in the freezer since we seem to get pantry moths fairly often. I do a lot of baking and haven't noticed any adverse effects.
SeaJambon December 31, 2013
As LBF indicates, so much is about temp/humidity fluctuations and the type of flour. Here in the Pacific NW where both are pretty steady, I routinely keep flour in the cupboard until used -- which can be as much as a year until I get to the bottom of a particular bag. Same for cornmeal, although I've noticed some pantry flies hatching in cornmeal that is stored that long. I've never thrown out flour because it has gone bad but have thrown it out due to bugs.
LeBec F. December 31, 2013
p.s. flour is cheap, so if you have some old (1 year plus) flour in a cupboard, i'd chuck it. Refrig/frzr flour can last "forever" though that is probably an exaggeration.
LeBec F. December 31, 2013
Alot depends on the temperature of the storage place, because flours do go bad or rancid (cornmeal is especially fragile).But old/bad flour will not hurt you; it just doesn't taste that good. It is best to store them in the frig or frzr, where they will last . So if you want to use a flour now that sat in a hot(no AC) room over the summer, i'd toss it and start anew. In the winter I keep my all purpose flour in a spot away from the heat and my whole wheat and cornmeal i keep refrigerated.
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