Flour Tortillas Shelf Life: Does It Go Bad? How to Tell

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If you keep yourself stocked with tortillas as we do, you might find yourself asking:

Do flour tortillas go bad?

Simple Answer:

Tortillas are just a form of flatbread, so yes, they go off as any bread does. Flour tends to go stale very quickly because it can easily dry out or go the other way and get too moist.

Eating a stale or moldy tortilla won’t make you sick, but it will be a very unpleasant dining experience!

Well, we have been there so today we are here to help! 

In this article, we will teach you how to tell if your flour tortillas have gone bad and give you some tips on how to store them.

Read on. 

What Are Flour Tortillas, Exactly?

We have all indulged in a good taco or burrito but have you stopped to ask what exactly flour tortillas are?

Tortillas are a type of unleavened flatbread made from corn or wheat flour. Today, we will be focusing on the wheat flour variety, flour tortillas. 

They are found in many countries in South America, but they originated in Mexico. They are fried in a skillet until blistered on both sides to cook them.

Do Flour Tortillas Go Bad?

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So, as we mentioned briefly, flour tortillas do eventually go bad. But if you store them correctly, they can last a good long while.

Before we get into shelf life and storage tips, let’s take a closer look at what a good and bad flour tortilla will be like. 

A fresh flour tortilla will be:

  • Flexible- The most obvious way to tell if a flour tortilla is fresh is how easy it is to manipulate.  

They are made to be wrapped, rolled, and folded, so you want your tortilla to be soft and bendable.

  • Fresh flavor- Another critical way to tell if a tortilla is fresh is simply to taste it.

The flavor should be slightly salty with a warm, bread-like body to it. It should be pillowy soft, and flaky in texture.

Fresh flour tortillas are basically heaven in a bite, so you’ll know right away if it’s past its best.

Ok, so now that we know what a good flour tortilla looks like, what does a bad flour tortilla look like?

  • Dry and brittle- If left in the air, all the moisture will be sucked out of the flour. This will leave the tortilla feeling very dry.

This drying out also makes them very brittle, so they will break when you try to fold them.

  • Stale flavor- An old tortilla is going to taste old. Like it’s been left in a cupboard for too long. 

If your tortilla tastes like anything but fresh bread, we recommend discarding them immediately.

  • Odd smell- If you open the packaging and get hit with a strange smell, the tortillas have likely gone off.

Fresh tortillas will have little to no odor, so a smell might indicate that there is mold in the packaging. 

  • Mold present- Your tortillas will rarely develop mold, but this can happen if you store them incorrectly.

The mold will start off as white and fluffy in small spots around the edges or on the surface.

The longer you keep the tortillas, the more the mold will develop. It will start to cover the whole surface and become green and blue in color.

If this happens, we recommend you should discard them immediately and clean out your cupboard or fridge so the mold won’t contaminate the rest of your food.

You might also like: Do Tortillas Go Bad? How Long Can It Last?

How Long Do Flour Tortillas Last?

This all depends on how you store them.[*] We have a little guide below on how we recommend storing flour tortillas. If you follow that, they will last you a long while.

If you choose to store the tortillas at room temperature in a pantry, they will last up to 1 week.

The key to this shelf life is storing the tortillas in a Ziploc bag or airtight sealed container. This will stop them from drying out.

Do I Need To Refrigerate my Flour Tortillas?

We highly recommend storing your flour tortillas in the fridge.

The flour tortillas can last three weeks to a month in the fridge if stored following our instructions below.

The container will keep them from drying out or getting too moist. The fridge will keep them cool to prevent mold growth and prolong their shelf life.

It’s a simple extra step to ensure that your tortillas don’t go bad before using them. This is also a handy money-saving trick.

What is the Best Way to Store my Flour Tortillas?

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The main thing you need to consider when storing flour tortillas is that they must be kept away from moisture or air.

Moisture will cause them to mold. Air will cause them to dry out.

Follow these simple steps to help your tortillas last as long as possible.

  1. Remove the original packaging– This can sometimes carry mold spores that make the tortillas go off quicker.
  1. Place in a sealed container– Either a Ziploc bag or an airtight plastic container is best. This will stop the tortillas from drying out.
  1. Store in the fridge– Refrigeration will triple the tortilla’s shelf life, so this is what we recommend.

And that’s it! These are three simple steps to make sure you never have to deal with bad tortillas again.

Can I Freeze my Flour Tortillas?

Yes, you can!

This is a great way to save your flour tortillas if you think you won’t use them before they go bad.

The best way to freeze your tortillas is to:

  1. Transfer them from the original packaging into a fresh Ziploc bag
  2. Squeeze as much of the air out of the bag as possible.
  3. Seal well.
  4. Label and date the bag and transfer it to the freezer on a flat surface.

If frozen using these instructions, the flour tortillas can last 6-8 months.

Learn more: Can You Freeze Tortillas? Yes, Here’s How

What Happens If You Eat Off Flour Tortillas?

While stale tortillas won’t make you sick, we know that there’s nothing worse than eating a dry, old tortilla. At worst, it will taste really old and break apart in your mouth.

If the tortilla is moldy, it won’t be harmful, but it will taste really unpleasant.

Either way, you don’t want to be eating a bad tortilla, so make sure you are storing them correctly.

FAQ

Conclusion

So what have we learned today?

  • They last up to a week if stored in a cupboard or pantry
  • They will last between 3 weeks and a month if kept in the fridge
  • If your flatbread is dry and brittle or moldy, discard it immediately

Has all this talk of tortillas made you hungry? It’s definitely made us crave a burrito, that’s for sure!

We hope this little guide has given you some great tips for keeping your favorite wrap as fresh as possible. 

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