A couple of questions about storing flour.

I’m putting this here as it concerns foodstuffs, rather than GQ.

When I get flour home from the store, I place it in either an airtight glass jar with a clip that clamps the gasketed lid tightly, or in a plastic container with an airtight lid.

So my questions:
Does this actually prevent weevils and other tiny critters from moving in?

I’ve also heard that by the time you buy the flour, there’s already critter eggs in it so while storing it in an airtight container may retard the growth of a new weevil colony, it won’t prohibit it. What have you heard?

Putting it in the freezer overnight might help even more.

Storing in an airtight container will keep new beasties from getting in, but it’s true that eggs could already be in the flour. They have to come from somewhere, you know? I recommend that you put new bulk foods (flours, grains, pulses, beans) in the freezer for 3 days before moving them to an airtight container in your pantry.

Good idea, folks. I’ll do the freezer thing next time I buy something prone to pests. Thanks!

I’ve actually gotten into the habit of just storing my flour in the freezer all the time. (I have a big freezer, but limited shelf space.) Is there any reason NOT to do this?

It seems to scoop out the same, as does white sugar from the freezer. Brown sugar seems to need a few minutes to recover from being frozen.

I guess the only reason not to would be because of limited freezer space, but I need to clean out my freezer anyway. Another plus is getting the containers off my limited counter top space.

For baking purposes, it’s often best if all of your ingredients are at room temp. So I don’t think there’s anything wrong with storing flour in the freezer, but I would let it come to temperature before using it.

freezing keeps the eggs from hatching, it also kills larvae and adults.

if you let the eggs hatch, 2 days to 2 weeks, and freeze before the larvae get big (about 2 weeks) then you kill these off. do this a couple times and then there will be no more eggs, from the earlier infestation, and you could store at room temperature.

cold containers and materials from the freezer can have moisture condense on it wetting the contents some.

If you’re going to store it in the freezer, I’d suggest putting it in a couple of heavy freezer bags first. Smells from other food may get into the flour otherwise.

Another good reason to store it airtight is to keep any bugs it may contain from spreading to other foods.

the larvae will chew through plastic bags (zips) to escape and become adults. they might not always but they can.

And, vice versa, the adults can chew through plastic bags to get into stuff.
Anyway, one more possible reason not to store stuff in the freezer is that if you take it out of the freezer and leave it open on the counter, water will condense on the cold stuff. Probably not a huge problem for beans or something, especially if they’re going back in the freezer. Possibly an issue for flour; though probably OK if you’re aware of the potential problem. Definitely an issue for sugar or something else that strongly attracts water and can react to it.

I always store sugar and flour in the freezer. If I don’t they always get buggy regardless of the container. I do tend to not use much flour or sugar and this is in south Georgia which is a good bit buggier than some other areas. I haven’t had any condensation problems either- just measure out what you need and return the sack to the freezer right away.

I always keep a bay leaf or two in my flour containers - I find it keeps the little buggers at bay. (Ha ha, I crack myself up!)

I do the same. And then, often, I end up throwing it out for tasting like freezer… :slight_smile:

I only store specialty flours in the freezer…the ones that get rarely used like almond flour, barley, buckwheat, whole wheat. I buy my regular, all-purpose unbleached flour 25 pounds at a time and store it under the sink in big Tupperware containers. The “working” container is also Tupperware, or a Rubbermaid canister set at church. Haven’t had a bug in flour since that government surplus flour we used in Home Ec classes back in the 70’s.