What size container do you store your flour in?
I’m about to invest in some lock n lock containers to store my flour, pasta, sugar, rice etc in.
I know it depends if you bake often, make your own pizza or pasta but as a rough guide; how much flour do you store? Also the whole point in buying the air tight containers is to stop any moisture from getting into the flour, and to stop bugs (weevils) from going walkies in my pantry.
I’m not interested in buying in bulk (as it’s not money saved if it goes in the trash at the end of the day) but the last thing I want is to need an extra cup of flour while making some cookies. So apart from having individual containers, is it possible to have one big container that you can use to store that extra pound of plain flour, bread flour, pasta, rice, sugar etc in? And in this case would I freeze the flour for 48 hours and then place it in the airtight container?
And also can pasta and rice carry bugs too? And if so do you freeze it like the flour?
And one more question, doesn’t the process of freezing the flour introduce moisture into the package which causes spoilage?
I've never frozen flour (??), it just doesn't seem to hang around the house that long and there is a ready supply a 5 minute walk from my house.
We typically buy, AP / Bread / Cake flour in 5 Kilo bags, and store it in containers that are 10-15% larger so we don't have to be 'right out' before we replenish. We don't necessarily even dump the flour out of the bag it came in either.
Any / all food can host bugs if not stored correctly...
I have often fantasized about having the space to keep cansisters but I am stuck with a tiny kitchen, no counter space, and a non-existent pantry. Yet I bake sourdough bread every week and a the moment have about 20 pounds of flour (in 5-lb bags) on hand in my refrigerator. Each opened bag is placed in a zip-loc plastic storage bag and waits on a refrigerator shelf until needed. It has worked nicely for me.
I keep my flour in a rubbermaid canister- actually three, one for all purpose, one for brown and one for bread flour. I buy it in 20 lb bags and store the bags in plastic storage bags in my basement pantry that is quite cool. In the summer I freeze the brown flour because I bake less often and brown flour tends to go rancid more quickly. it is perfectly fine when thawed out.
Rice can certainly have bugs and bug larvae. The larvae would not necessary be killed by freezing. I can not remember every seeing bugs in pasta but I suppose it is possibe although not very welcoming to the bugs because pasta would not be easily digested.
A home economist once warned me that it is very likely that bugs are more attracted by sugar and syrup in your pantry than flour. So make sure your sugars are in tight containers too.
I have a lot of different flours. I keep them all in really big airtight jars I found at Cost Plus. I always leave a bit of room in my jar, as it makes scooping and levelling easier without flinging flour everywhere.
Here they are on the company site (is that OK to post? So sorry if it isn't)
I refrigerate flours I don't use as often, but I never freeze it. If the container is perfectly air tight, how could moisture get into the flour?
white flour and pasta flour, etc refrigerated always and whole wheat in the freezer as it can go rancid much faster and I use/keep more of it on hand usually. I usually keep it inside large ziplock freezer bags. Rice and pasta in the pantry cupboard but also in airtight glass jars. I am constantly obsessing about whether or not the seals are sufficiently airtight. I have never seen bugs on rice or pasta but I've seen brown rice go rancid within a shortish period and I once saw pasta at a friend's house that looked to be going white in an abnormal way and I wondered if it was some sort of bug larvae. IN any case, I try to keep smaller quantities of those as I just can't shake the idea that they could go off!
I have some Snapware plastic storage containers that claim to be far less air/gas-permeable than other plastics although they do have the 7 in the recycling triangle I wouldn't want to use them for liquids. I also use metal-lidded glass jars. All-purpose flour stays at room temperature but I refrigerate or freeze whole-grain flours since they spoil much faster. The other staples you mention are all kept room temp in jars.
Do not freeze flour unless it is already in an airtight container - returning it to room temp for storage means condensation which you want on the OUTSIDE of the container - not a damp paper bag. This may be an old wive's tale, but I was told to put a dried bay leaf in the flour canister to keep the crawlies away. It doesn't flavor the flour.