The Best Way to Store Flour Isn’t What You Think

Have you ever pulled a two-year-old bag of flour out of the cupboard and wondered if it was still good to use? As a recipe developer, I go through a bag of flour every couple of weeks, so I wondered how long does flour last and how the heck do I store …

Have you ever pulled a two-year-old bag of flour out of the cupboard and wondered if it was still good to use? As a recipe developer, I go through a bag of flour every couple of weeks, so I wondered how long does flour last and how the heck do I store it? Is there any way to know when it’s gone bad? “I advise people to remember that flour is perishable—it’s not salt, it’s not sugar, and it’s definitely not inert. Take care of it,” says Martin Philip, an award-winning author, baker, and baking ambassador for the King Arthur Baking Company. Taking a closer look at different types of flour the grains themselves will help give us the answers.


Types of Flour

All whole grain kernels are comprised of three parts: the bran, the endosperm, and the germ. The bran is the outer shell, the endosperm contains starch and protein, and the germ carries the genetic information of the grain and fat. That fat turns rancid over time, which is why some types of flour are best kept cold, while others are stable at room temperature.

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This Minimalist Ice Box Saved My Icy Beverages—& My Sanity

Despite what seems to be the popular opinion these days, my low-stakes hot take is that pellet ice is terrible. On the other end of the spectrum, the giant two-inch cubes in your whiskey glass are no better. Perhaps the worst version of ice are those s…

Despite what seems to be the popular opinion these days, my low-stakes hot take is that pellet ice is terrible. On the other end of the spectrum, the giant two-inch cubes in your whiskey glass are no better. Perhaps the worst version of ice are those stabby crescents that come clanking out of the built-in ice dispenser of your parent's '90s refrigerator and taste distinctly of “freezer."

Convinced there was no “worthy” at-home solution for on-demand ice that was worthy of my hard earned money, I resigned myself to using the usual standard plastic ice cube trays that every rental apartment freezer has. After all, they worked well enough. They froze water into a perfectly reasonable size and shape, and stacked nicely without needing too much space in my perpetually packed freezer. They release easily with a quick twist. The downside? I only had a few dozen cubes at any given time. I’d try and squirrel a zip-top bag of them away for future use, but they inevitably got lost somewhere behind three-month-old leftover stew or Parmesan cheese rinds and I’d forget about them.

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How to Store Basil & Stop It From Wilting Immediately

It may be the herb that turns thick slices of mozzarella cheese and tomato into a Caprese salad, or what perks up marinara sauce, lemon cocktails, and grilled corn. Unfortunately, basil is also a ticking time bomb: The very second I buy it from the mar…

It may be the herb that turns thick slices of mozzarella cheese and tomato into a Caprese salad, or what perks up marinara sauce, lemon cocktails, and grilled corn. Unfortunately, basil is also a ticking time bomb: The very second I buy it from the market, it slouches and slumps. Its arms are touching its toes before I even get it into my kitchen, and over the course of the week (if that long!), I inevitably watch the once-perky bunch lose the will to live. It pains me, the defeatist feeling that there’s nothing I can do to keep my basil alive. In the blink of an eye, a bunch of basil leaves will lose their vibrant green color and turn brown (or worse)

There are lots of tips for the best way to store fresh basil leaves—and I’ve tried most of them, with little repeated or sustained success. So it’s time to approach the issue more strategically, testing the methods side by side in order to determine which one will be the true lifeline.

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The Easiest Trick to Save Your Leftover Smoothie

During the pandemic, everyone seemed to cycle through new routines: baking sourdough bread, getting together with old friends for virtual happy hours, or falling in love with a new at-home workout. I started habitually drinking smoothies at least once …

During the pandemic, everyone seemed to cycle through new routines: baking sourdough bread, getting together with old friends for virtual happy hours, or falling in love with a new at-home workout. I started habitually drinking smoothies at least once a day. I found myself completely reenergized after polishing off a pint glass filled with blended dragon fruit, bananas, peaches, pineapple, and mixed berries. My newfound ability to power through any sign of an afternoon slump was accompanied by an overzealous hand in the kitchen. I went from carefully measuring each type of frozen fruit before adding it to the blender to eyeballing everything. I lost my practiced touch and ultimately dumped the excess smoothie down the drain day after day…that is, until I was scrolling through Instagram one night and watched a story posted by my colleague, Food52's Associate Editor Caroline Mullen.

She had whipped up a green smoothie earlier in the day and poured the leftovers into a silicone ice cube tray to freeze. I was immediately impressed and subsequently face palmed—why did I never think of this before?

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Winter Clothes Begone! Here’s How to Store ’Em Properly.

By the time the temperatures rise and the sun begins to set later in the evening, one thing is true: You’re about this close to chucking your winter coat out a window. After months of putting it on, taking it off, and essentially lugging it everywhere,…

By the time the temperatures rise and the sun begins to set later in the evening, one thing is true: You’re about this close to chucking your winter coat out a window. After months of putting it on, taking it off, and essentially lugging it everywhere, you’re more than ready to not lay eyes on it again until Thanksgiving. And while no one would blame you if it somehow went missing, there’s a better way to go about transitioning out of your cold-weather wardrobe: proper storage.

“If you live in a climate that has big seasonal shifts, storing out-of-season clothing will create more breathing room in your closet and make it easy to get dressed with ease—who wants to wrestle through an avalanche of heavy coats and sweaters to find their favorite summer dress?,” says Shira Gill, organizing expert and author of Minimalista. “Relocating out-of-season clothing and accessories will enable you to get dressed in a snap without hunting for the items you need for the current climate.”

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How Two Editors Finally Tackled Their Least-Organized Spots

When my husband and I moved into a house in the ‘burbs, we were astounded at just how much space we suddenly had…until we filled it up with enough cleaning products and power tools to start our own general store, and had no idea how to organize them. I…

When my husband and I moved into a house in the ‘burbs, we were astounded at just how much space we suddenly had…until we filled it up with enough cleaning products and power tools to start our own general store, and had no idea how to organize them. It doesn’t help that as a market editor, my job involves a lot of hands-on testing and learning about new-to-me brands—which means a revolving door of products at my literal door.

Home52’s senior content lead, Arati Menon, has a different kind of problem: not enough storage space. While living in an apartment in New York hasn’t (yet) taught her to be a minimalist, it has turned her into a bit of an expert at finding storage where there is none. Still, there remain quirks (and messes!) in her space that need additional wrangling.

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This TikTok Hack Is Saving Our Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is good for adding an intense, red hue, deep tomato flavor, and body to bolognese sauce, chili, and marinara sauce. Need to dress up as a vampire for Halloween in a pinch? Tomato paste is there in all its faux-gory glory. But nobody’s perf…

Tomato paste is good for adding an intense, red hue, deep tomato flavor, and body to bolognese sauce, chili, and marinara sauce. Need to dress up as a vampire for Halloween in a pinch? Tomato paste is there in all its faux-gory glory. But nobody’s perfect. If you’ve cooked with tomato paste before, then you know well that most recipes call for only all for a tablespoon or two of the paste; since most cans of tomato paste are sold in eight-ounce quantities, it will take a lot of chili and marinara sauce to get through the entire can. And whoever finishes an entire can without it going bad? Seriously, email me. I want to know. And mold, as always, creeps its way in and finds a way to ruin the leftover tomato paste before you can even make a dent. So instead of crossing your fingers and lying to yourself, saying “I’ll definitely use this all up before it goes bad,” listen to the beauty and brains of TikTok.

In a recent video posted to the social media app, TikTok user Rebeca Huffman addressed this very issue. “It’s the saga of the wasted tomato paste,” she begins. Instead of letting mold and rust fester in the can, she came up with the easiest way to store tomato paste, hands down. Grab a snack-size Ziploc bag, scoop the tomato paste into the bag, and pat it down to remove all of the air and flatten the contents. Next, seal the bag, take the spine of a knife (aka not the sharp part of the blade), and create perforations by scoring the bag to create four distinct rectangles of tomato paste. Place the bag flat down in the freezer and let it harden completely. Next time you need just a tablespoon or two of tomato paste, break off one of the individual squares and add it to whatever you’re cooking. Most days, TikTok makes me feel old and out of touch, but after this hack, I’ve never felt stronger.

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Don’t Ever Let Green Onions (AKA Scallions) Go Bad Again

We’re putting aside the confusion about scallions vs. green onions for a second (for a record they’re the same thing) to talk about how to store green onions. When you pick up a bunch of green onions from the grocery store, you’ll find that they’re del…

We’re putting aside the confusion about scallions vs. green onions for a second (for a record they’re the same thing) to talk about how to store green onions. When you pick up a bunch of green onions from the grocery store, you’ll find that they’re delicately packed into bundles and stacked into piles. Because of their thin skin, green onions don’t last long without proper care. Don’t just throw them in the back of your fridge and toss a package of deli meat, more produce, and a bottle of sparkling water on top. Treat them with some care, dang it!

Think of green onions (or scallions) like flowers. They need moisture to stay fresh and are best when they’re upright. So we’re going to make a bouquet of them: Grab a mason jar or tall glass with water and submerge the green onion's root in an inch or two of water. Leave the green top out of the water, while keeping the white part generously damp. From here, you can store them on a windowsill because who doesn’t need a little bit of sunshine, or in the refrigerator on the bottom shelf.

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Apparently We’ve Been Storing Rice All Wrong

I recently decided to switch up my bedtime routine, by which I mean turning off the psychological thrillers on Netflix that kept me up until 1:10 am and switching to reading. I’ll fall asleep faster, I thought. I won’t have nightmares of Penn Badgley i…

I recently decided to switch up my bedtime routine, by which I mean turning off the psychological thrillers on Netflix that kept me up until 1:10 am and switching to reading. I’ll fall asleep faster, I thought. I won’t have nightmares of Penn Badgley injecting me with a bouquet of poisonous herbs, I thought. I’ll wake up inspired to write more and, God forbid, better.

But as I made my way through Ruth Reichl’s Garlic and Sapphires (a long overdue read for this food writer), she mentioned a cooking hack that ultimately did keep me up for hours: “[If] you’re buying any quantity of Arborio or carnaroli rice, keep it in the refrigerator. It goes bad faster than you would think,” she wrote in the headnote for Risotto Primavera, her adaptation of Le Cirque’s unexpectedly fantastic recipe.

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Does Butter Need to Be Refrigerated? Well, It Depends.

Do you store butter in the fridge, freezer, or at room temperature?

When I floated this to home cooks on social media, the most common answer wasn’t, actually, any of the above. It was all of the above. Read More >>

Do you store butter in the fridge, freezer, or at room temperature?

When I floated this to home cooks on social media, the most common answer wasn’t, actually, any of the above. It was all of the above.

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