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You probably don’t think much of storing flour, but perhaps you should give it a little extra thought!

Wheat flour is a kitchen staple used in everything from cookies to fried fish. If you’ve ever wondered if you’re storing flour correctly, you’re not alone.

Regardless of if you’re just starting out or if you’re a seasoned baker, many people simply don’t know how to store whole wheat flour.

Luckily, it’s a very easy process to learn!

If you’ve been storing flour incorrectly, now is a good time to begin practicing the correct storage methods.

Today we’re going to dispel some of the myths surrounding flour storage and show you how to step up your flour storage game.

It can make a huge difference in your cooking and baking.

How are whole grain flours different from standard flour?

Whole wheat contains three essential parts: the germ, the bran and the endosperm.

During the process to make traditional all-purpose flour, the germ and bran are removed.

However, a lot of nutrients reside in these forgotten elements!

Whole wheat flour retains much of the germ and bran, making it healthier than the stripped version.

While whole wheat flour is much higher in nutrients, it’s also higher in oils that cause the flour to decompose more quickly. 

So, it has a shorter shelf life, but it will also help make your life that much healthier!

This is why it is so important to always practice exemplary storage methods when keeping whole wheat flour.

How to prep flour after purchase

Did you know that the steps to good flour storage begin as soon as you purchase the package from the store?

It’s true!

While flour is shelf-stable, it can contain microorganisms that you may not know are present.

To kill potential bugs, larvae and eggs, it’s best to place flour in the freezer immediately after you get it home.

It’s tempting to simply throw it in the pantry, but it’s worth taking a couple extra steps!

Leave it in the freezer for at least 2 days, and then move on to storing the flour in your pantry as usual.

Select your flour storage container

As it turns out, most people do not store wheat flour in the correct container.

Choose a large food grade storage container that is made out of strong plastic or glass. Keeping four in the bag long-term is not a good idea.

Make sure that the chosen container has a tightly sealing lid. If you have a lid that clamps down over the side of the container, now is the time!

Tightly sealing the flour prevents pests from creeping inside and ruining your ingredients. It also keeps other odours out, too!

Flour is an essential component to any kitchen, but it has a tendency of smelling (and tasting) like whatever is around it.

If you do not want your cookies to taste slightly like fried fish, seal your flour well!

Where to store whole wheat flour?

Flour is best kept in cool spaces away from sunlight. If stored properly, you can keep flour for up to six months or possibly a year.

The warmer the environment, the faster flour expires. 

Though whole wheat flour has a higher nutritional content, it typically expires quicker than more refined flour. 

It contains higher levels of natural oils which cause it to spoil much faster than other types of (less nutritious) flour.

So, if you want whole wheat flour to last, stick it in the fridge or freezer!

The cooler temperatures will slow the growth of bacteria and will keep flour good for a longer period of time.

The freezer will keep flour good for up to a year.

Pro tip: label flour with the type of flour and the date that you put it in the fridge/freezer to track its expiration date.

How to know when whole wheat flour goes bad

It’s pretty to know when raw meat goes bad, but how do you tell when flour is expired?

A simple way is to smell the flour. When flour becomes rancid, it smells somewhat sour. 

If your whole wheat flour still has that fresh, bland smell, it’s good to go! 

But, if it smells off, it’s probably rancid. In this case, it’s time to use some fresh flour.

How to store whole wheat flour

Who knew that storing whole wheat flour could be so complicated? Let’s break it down into a few manageable steps.

  1. Freeze the flour to kill microorganisms.
  2. Move whole wheat flour to a tightly sealed glass or plastic container.
  3. Clearly mark the container with the date and type of flour inside.
  4. Store flour in the fridge or freezer to extend its shelf life.
  5. Monitor the smell of flour. Throw it away as soon as it begins to smell off or rancid.
  6. Replace whole wheat flour every 6 months to a year for best results.

Featured image credit: Image ID: 174250094