Sunday, January 10, 2016

All Purpose White Flour Storage

Long term storing of All Purpose White Flour is rarely discussed. It's like its taboo and that probably started back at Y2K where some fool said “you can't store it because it will go rancid” or cited some other internet nonsense.

Because the rumor mill said you can't long term store white flour, some people feel lost or left out of proper food storage and having familiar baked goods to eat during disaster times. The worst time to be eating foods you don't like or have to do without is during a disaster.

Well, good news! I looked into this rumor years back and sure enough it is Bull Flop! True it doesn't store 30 years but it does store 10 years!! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) sells it in #10 cans with an oxygen absorber sealed inside and states it is good for 10 years. So that opens the door to us using Mylar Bags with absorbers sealed inside to get the same shelf life.

I also found that the older flour may gain a very slight off-odor. This can be removed by sifting the flour to reintroduce oxygen back into the flour that the Oxygen Absorber removed.

So there you go, store away! Follow good long term storage methods and procedures and you'll be eating just like normal during the worst of times.

Below is the exact copy of the email that the LDS Store people sent me when I questioned the long term storage of white flour:

Dear Mike,
Thank you for your email regarding the storage life of White Flour.
The flour is good for only 10 years for storing.

Thank you,
Annette, Global Service Center"

Link to retail LDS Store:

Here’s how I store My All Purpose White Flour

I practice post SHTF baking most every weekend. Sometimes using the home electric oven, sometimes the propane camp stove with a Coleman Camp Stove Oven and lastly using my Rocket Stove with the Coleman Oven on it.

I normally bake breads but sometimes just baked goodies like cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls etc. On average during non-disaster times I’ll go through 25 lbs every 4-5 months.

Over the years I’ve tried many different ways of storing flour but this is what I found to be the best way and is what I use today.
  • For 10 plus years store in Mylar with Oxygen Absorbers in 5 gallon buckets.
  • For about 2 years of daily use simply pour the flour into a sanitized 5 gallon bucket with a Gamma Seal Lid.

In this photo is what I find best for daily flour use, a 5 gallon bucket with a Gamma Seal Lid. If you look close you can see in the top-center of the flour a slight impression from the Gamma Lid when it was screwed on. In this bucket is the entire contents of a 25lb bag of flour. Perfect!

How much bread can you bake from a 5 gallon bucket of flour?
  • A 25lb bag or a 5 gallon bucket full of All Purpose Flour will produce 26 loaves of bread. (3 cups flour per loaf)
  • If Home Milling Wheat Grain, Hard Red or Hard White into flour a 5 gallon bucket of wheat grain when milled will produce 40 loaves of bread. (2 cups grain after milling produces 3 cups flour)

Just a caution about depending on milling your own flour from wheat grain:
  • A common issue with living off home milled wheat grain (red or white) is some people, adults myself being one and some children honestly can't eat a full-time diet of it because they get nauseated from it. These people need some All Purpose White Flour to bake with.


  1. I have flour stored in 5 gallon buckets in mylar bags and oxygen absorbers and closed with gamma lids,.....have been doing this for years. I never knew that it was supposed to go bad....ha ha.

    1. You did good!
      I think any dry food but not oily food can be stored long term and still be good. It may lose some of its vitamins etc but still plenty good to fill the stomach with.

  2. Mike,

    It's good to have the option to be able to buy flour already stored for you or like you mentioned you can store it yourself in 5 gallon buckets with oxygen absorbers, and mylar bags.

  3. We store some white flour (our household doesn't have a problem with WW flour one bit) in mylar bags for certain items like french bread and buttermilk biscuits. I love WW biscuits, but we just can't get over having white flour biscuits with biscuits & gravy. WW biscuits just seem too sweet with the sausage gravy. I've had some white flour as old as 2 1/2 years and didn't taste a difference, but that's about as far back as my personal "testing" went....and the testing wasn't so much of a planned test as it was a flaw with my rotation of stock (i.e. it got lost in the back of the pantry shelves).

  4. The flour stored in the #10 cans gets a "tinny" taste to it after several years. It ruins any food made with it. We made playdough with ours so we didn't waste it. We buy flour in the plastic buckets now because of this issue.

    1. I'm curious where you buy white flour packed in 5 gallon pails? Is the bucket lined with a Mylar bag and oxygen absorbers? Also I discovered that if you aerate the old tinny tasting flour with fresh air it is still good. Have you tried that?