Saturday, July 20, 2019

30 Day Preserving Challenge: Day 21 ... Preserving Flour

How do you preserve flour and why would you want too?

There are several ways to preserve flour …

in jars using a vacuum sealer

in the freezer …

and the method I used …

What method did I use?  I oven-canned it!!!

I started out with a 25 lb bag of self-rising flour that I purchased at Sam's Club.

I washed the jars and then sterilized them in the oven.  The jars have to be absolutely dry, no exceptions.  After filling the jars and wiping off the rim of the jars with a dry cloth (remember absolutely nothing wet is to be used in this process), I set them in a preheated oven of 190 degrees (180 - 200 degrees is the recommended range.  If your oven runs hot adjust your temperature accordingly, just don't go below 180 degrees. If your oven runs cool, adjust your temperature but don't go over 200 as you don't want to bake/cook the flour.).  I left them in the oven for 40 minutes.  At 35 minutes I put the lids in the oven to warm up, not on the jars, but separate.

At the end of 40 minutes I took the jars (I used 8 half gallons and 1 quart) out of the oven, wiped down the rims of the jars again with a completely dry cloth and added the lid and ring.  The jars were hot so I used a hand towel to help me handle them.  I set them aside to seal.  (Side note:  It can take up to 24 hours for these jars to seal.  If any have not sealed after 24 hours, I'll vacuum seal them.)

We have one more question to answer, why would you want to preserve flour?  Here's why … ground up grains can have insect eggs that would hatch out in a few weeks/months time. Who wants to open a bag/container of flour and find insects crawling around in it, not me! Any one of the methods I've mentioned would take care of that issue!

Which method should you use … the one that is easiest and that you have the equipment to do.  I've used all the methods except for the one that uses mylar bags.  I could have divided the flour up into gallon zip lock bags and froze it, leaving it in the freezer.  I could have froze it for a few days, took it out of the freezer and let it come to room temperature, wrapping the bag in plastic wrap really well and storing in a tub.  I also could have vacuum sealed it in jars using my Food Saver, but I chose to oven can it instead.  Why?  Because it's been a while since I've oven-canned anything and I just don't want to forget how to do it or lose the skill!


She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

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  1. We buy buckets with a lid for $1 from our local Krispy Kreme store. They require a really good washing on hot soapy water. They are great for our 25 pound bags of bread flour and rice. As a kinesiologist I can actually check for insects and eggs before I buy so I don't worry about that when I store food. Does heating the SR flour compromise the baking powder?

    1. Lana, it's good that you can check for insects and eggs before buying!!! I haven't noticed a problem with compromising the baking powder when oven-canning... I really hadn't even thought of that! I'll be watching for any difference when I use it next.

  2. Great advice! I have a rule that any dry goods that come into my kitchen are portioned, vacuum sealed and frozen. I leave them in the freezer until I need them, or the freezer space. All flours, pasta, rice, oats, dried fruits and cereals are frozen. I know in my mind that the protein from weevils can be nourishing and has been known to keep POWs alive, but my "erk" factor won't allow it so into the freezer it all goes :)

    1. Cath, LOL, I am with you 100% on that kind of 'protein!!!' I have the same 'erk' factor!!

    2. My nephew, who is special ops in the Army says to be sure to pull the legs off grasshoppers before you because them they are hard to get down with the legs on

    3. Lana, let's hope I don't ever have an occasion where I have to do this!!!

  3. Dear Patsy, Thank you for the directions on how to oven can flour. Since Jim died I do not bake like I used to but cannot see buying flour in small amounts when I am able to buy it cheaply at Costco. I wish they had self-rising at Costco. I also do not want to use precious freezer space for flour. Thank you so much for explaining this process.

  4. Just a side note...I always use work gloves while handling hot jars. They're alwsys with my canning supplies.🤩


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