This is the best way to store your extra flour

Buying in bulk saves you money and time on regular trips to the grocery store, but with that comes the need to know how to store foods properly and the space to do so. Food & Wine ran into a slightly amusing, heightened version of this common food storage issue when writer Margaret Eby ordered a 50-pound bag of flour online. 

After having trouble finding the kitchen staple on a regular grocery run, Eby decided to order some basic foods in bulk from restaurant supply company Baldor. When the hefty bag arrived, Eby realized what they had gotten themselves into and quickly had to figure out a storage method for the massive sack. 

After much trial and error, the writer ended up purchasing a 33-quart dog food storage container with wheels and a lid to keep the precious powder safe from animals, dust, and moisture. While we don't necessarily recommend buying in bulk to that degree, there are some simple ways to safely store larger quantities of flour purchased, which will extend its shelf life.

How to store different types of flour to extend its shelf life

The Spruce explains while most people think they can just stick flour in a kitchen cabinet in the bag it came in, flour can attract bugs or spoil if not stored correctly. They suggest the best way to store refined flours (like white flour, bread flour, or cake flour) is to first freeze the flour in its bag for 48 hours. This will kill off any possible insect eggs that might have snuck in before you purchased it. After this freeze, they recommend transferring your flour to a food-safe container with a tight-sealing lid and storing it in a cool, dry spot out of the sun. Flour kept in these conditions should last a year before going bad. 

If you need your flour to keep for longer than a year, flour stored in the freezer should be okay for up to two years. For whole grain and specialty flours (like whole wheat flour, rye flour, or almond flour) The Spruce suggests you begin with the same freezing step described above, but only store these flours in the refrigerator or freezer, as they tend to go rancid much more quickly than refined flours due to the natural oils present. Kept in a refrigerator, these specialty flours should keep for up to six months, and in a freezer, they can be preserved for up to one year.