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How long will flour keep in the freezer?

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I have several bags in the big basement freezer that I forgot about... does it ever go rancid? We're talking 2-3 years at the most. They are just in their original paper bags, not a canister or anything like that.

I assume off smells/taste would be a problem as well.

Thanks!

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  1. I've never previously heard about freezing flour. We always just store it in a cupboard but we'd use it up within a few months. Can't help with an answer, I'm afraid.

    1. I freeze flour, particularly whole wheat. And I keep it a long time, maybe even a year. Flour and nuts and chicken stock dominate my freezer space.

      1. the biggest concern would be odors from the freezer may have penetrated the paper bags. the smell test will tell you if the flour is rancid or if the flour has absorbed freezer odors. if not, the flour is fine to use.

        1 Reply
        1. re: janniecooks

          depends on the type of flour--a year would be the maximum. I'd err on the side of caution--toss it and get new flour. Here's some information on freezing flour. I found it very useful.

          http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tip...

        2. According to StillTasty.com, my go-to resource for such questions, both white and whole wheat flours will keep up to two years frozen: http://www.stilltasty.com/searchitems...

          1. I purchased a BIG bag of flour at costco a few years ago and, based on what I read then, divided it up into large ziplocks and rotated them through the freezer, leaving each batch in the freezer for something like 3 months (don't recall anymore). I'd read that nearly all flour will have icky but rather harmless weavils hatch after too long storage, and that freezing for that period kills the eggs.
            I found I much prefer KAF and switched, but I've used some of that once-frozen flour every now and again when I run out and it seems the same as new. Certainly no gross weavils found!
            Consider my reply possibly ill-informed as I don't recall my sources, but it has seemed to work and the flour is now a few years old - stored air tight (double freezer ziplocks) in dark cupboards.