Today I tried to use some outdated white flour stored in #10 cans. In the past I have been able to use outdated grains such as oats with no problem. But this flour had a tinny smell, and even a tinny taste. I thought I would try it in my muffins just to be sure and sifted it to remove some lumps. The muffins were NOT good. They were not light and fluffy and the taste was definitely off. I had personally canned this flour in October 2002 so it is 7 1/2 years old. But it hasn't always been stored below 75 degrees Fahenheit so I did lose some of the shelf life. The shelf life on this #10 can said 5 years (if stored below 75 degrees) which is a shorter-shelf life than whole grains. But it's got to be stored far cooler than that. And I believe it. So, as you store your flour, understand that it may not last as long if you store it above the recommended temperature. If anyone else has experienced this, please share.
I think I will be storing about 20-25 lbs. of white flour in a bucket with a Gamma lid. It's really a short-term product. As long as I have wheat, I really don't need to can white flour in #10 cans.
Here is an article on the shelf life of un-canned flour. Click here
"For every 10°F increase in temperature, the shelf life is reduced by almost 50 percent." (Food Storage for the Clueless, Clark L. and Kathryn H. Kidd, 1999, p. 271).