I love to make (and eat) buttermilk fried chicken but I always get carried away with the amount of flour I use. I am fully aware of contamination due to raw chicken, but is it safe to keep the excess seasoned flour used to coat the raw chickens in an airtight container and use it solely for this purpose? Before storing the flour I sift out any larger pieces.

  • 2
    You can use some of that flour right away if you're making gravy. Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 21:37

8 Answers 8


It is not a good idea.

You can certainly prepare your seasoned flour mixture and keep it in bulk. Just transfer it as you need it to the container where you do the actual breading or dredging; then you don't need to discard the entire amount.

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    +1 Don't forget OP that flour and seasonings are relatively inexpensive. It's one of those cost-to-risk ratios that leans heavily towards throwing out the flour and starting from scratch. Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 16:54
  • Does the same apply to pork? Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 18:10
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    @TheoretiCAL Yes, it is universal to all meats and seafoods.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 18:29

If your chicken goes into the flour, you've got a contamination risk...which can't be sifted out. While the likelihood that you poison yourself and your guests is minimal, particularly if you refrigerate, use in the next day or two, and cook thoroughly (certainly don't cross contaminate by mixing the sifted flour back into your unused flour)....I wouldn't take the chance. Instead, get better about portioning your flour..toss the excess.


As everyone's already pointed out this is a BAD idea... BUT I make too much flour all the time too.

What I choose to do instead of throwing out the left over seasoned flour (considering it's touched raw meat) is to add some egg to the flour and mix it thoroughly. I then fry that dough in the pan just like I did the flour and egg covered chicken, beef, eggplant, ect.

Once it's cooked through I have a little chef's treat to enjoy!

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    Well, I do this also when I make a schitzel, but I do it because of the leftover egg, not the leftover flour. It's relatively easy to dose the flour, but the egg is ... how to say ... quantized :-) So you often end up with half an egg or more left.
    – yo'
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 9:57
  • 1
    I do the same thing too. For something like chicken Parmesan, I'll take the seasoned pancake and cover it with sauce and cheese and treat it just like another piece of chicken. Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 15:06

Safe depends on your definition of the word. If you wouldn't mind ending up with E. Coli or Salmonella, then I guess you could call it 'safe'.

Otherwise, no of course it is not safe.



Keeping the flour seems like a bad idea, as explained in the other answers. The obvious solution is to stop getting carried away and using too much flour! Alternatively, instead of dredging the chicken through the flour, you could try sprinkling the flour on by hand. As long as you're careful to use one hand for the chicken and one for the flour, your unused seasoned flour hasn't come into contact with the raw chicken so you can store it like any other flour.


After our family makes fried chicken. We mix the leftover flour and egg together and pour in pan after chicken is taken out. Stir around and chop up into little bits then you have some of those little crunchy chicken in a bisquit snacks.


The game you're playing is that you have a tub of flour whose viable lifetime is only as long as raw chicken (or possibly even less, if the damp flour where the chicken has touched it is a particularly good culture medium).

This is a difficult substance to manage. I think I've done it, but only because I wasn't immediately cooking all of the chicken, and I saved the flour to do the rest of it. Hence I didn't keep the flour any longer than I kept the chicken that contaminated it.

I'm not dead, but like I say I'm not entirely confident that the salmonella or whatever won't thrive better in the flour than it did in the chicken.


Bacteria need moisture to grow. There is moisture as well as bacteria in the flour after use. Storing as is after use would be crazy. But what if you allowed it to completely dry after use and then store? Raw eggs are considered "contaminated" but mix them with flour, make egg noodles, let them dry and you can store them forever! For that matter you can do the same thing with meat itself (jerky). So I don't think the safety experts have full answered the question. My feeling is that the answer to the original question should be a qualified "yes."

  • Yes, drying out sounds reasonable, but what about freezing the flour?
    – Hutchette
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 15:29

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