January 24th, 2011
I have purchased a fair amount of flour that under normal circumstances I will not be able to use before the expiration date – which by the way, is surprisingly soon. I have read that if you freeze flour for at least 24 hours then any trace of insects/eggs will be killed. I’m assuming this extends the storage life. True? If so, for how long? And if not, what else can I do to extend the safe storage time?
Great question! Yes, putting your flour in the freezer will kill any bugs and eggs in the flour – but you need to leave it there for about three days. The best place to store flour is in a cool, dry place in a sealed container. Wheat flour won’t last long unrefrigerated and should be stored in the freezer always. White flour will store well for several years past the expiration date if kept in the freezer. However, for indefinite long-term storage, you might do well to purchase whole grain and store it with diatomaceous earth (food grade) sprinkled over it at a rate of ½ cup to 5 gallons of grain. (This will kill any insects that might be in the grain.) When you need some flour, mill the grain yourself. There are any number of grain mills available, although I personally prefer the Family Grain Mill from Pleasant Hill Grain.
For the past ten years we have gotten 5 gallon buckets from a local bakery (they get their frosting for cinnamon rolls delivered in them). I wash the bucket and lid and let them dry in the sun, then line the bucket with a large “plastic” bag, pour in the rice, beans, flour, sugar, etc., seal the plastic bag, and finally clamp on the lid. I use a permanent marker to label and date each bucket so rotation of their contents is easier.
These buckets stack well (4-5 high is as high as we can reach). They are strong enough to hold up for years of use and are not too difficult to reopen when we need to resupply our kitchen stock. Mice and such have never invaded the buckets and if you put a bay leaf or two inside each one, mealy bugs and such will also leave the contents alone. There are better answers, better buckets, better lining for them, but these also take more money which is not an option for us. Hope this helps someone.
Dear Frugal Prepper,
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