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Keeping Flour Fresher Longer

By Cook's Illustrated Published March 2009

Here's how to prolong the life of an essential kitchen ingredient.

Shelf Life

All Purpose Flour: 1 year

Whole Wheat Flour and Cornmeal: 1 year (in freezer)

Do transfer all-purpose flour out of its paper bag and into an airtight container to protect it from humidity.

Don't leave whole wheat flour or cornmeal in the pantry; they contain natural oils that will go rancid in as little as 3 months.

Do enclose whole wheat flour and cornmeal in zipper-lock bags and store them in the freezer.

Leaving the flour in its paper bag will not prolong its freshness.

Taking the flour out of the paper and storing it in an airtight container will extend its shelf life to 1 year.

Cornmeal and whole wheat flour are best stored in the freezer.