Should Whole Grains Be Stored in the Fridge?

By: Bob's Red Mill | May 12 2021

If you're an avid grain lover like we are, chances are you want to make sure your grains last. While there are many ways to store whole grains, one of the most questioned storage methods is to keep them in the fridge. Now, if you asked Bob where he believes grains should be stored, he'd tell you to purchase a refrigerator dedicated to grains only. However, not everyone has the ability (or space) to add an extra fridge in the house. And while many grains store well in the refrigerator, not all of them have to be placed there. Keep reading to discover more about grains, fridge storage and where you should store each grain to extend its shelf life.

Storing Grains in the Refrigerator

Nearly every type of whole grain can be kept in the fridge. However, that doesn't mean it has to be. When storing fresh whole grains, the most crucial factor is that they are stored in an airtight container, no matter where you place them afterward. An airtight container will ensure that environmental factors like moisture and bugs don't contact the actual seed.

How to Store Different Types of Grains


Amaranth seeds on a table

An ancient grain, amaranth contains all of the essential amino acids and is a complete protein source. Naturally gluten free, it makes for a tasty hot cereal or rice substitute. Amaranth can also be added to your favorite baked goods recipes for a unique boost of texture and nutrition. 

How to Store Amaranth:

Amaranth is best stored in a cool, dark and dry place. When storing amaranth, you want to make sure it's kept in a tightly sealed container preventing any moisture from entering and damaging the grain.

Buckwheat Groats

The hulled seeds of the buckwheat plant, Buckwheat Groats boast a mild, nutty flavor that makes for the perfect addition to salads, soups and grain bowls. A classic European ingredient, buckwheat is a gluten free grain you don't want to miss out on.

How to Store Buckwheat:

Buckwheat is one grain that is best stored in the refrigerator or freezer. No matter where you choose to store buckwheat, it should be stored in an airtight container to ensure that moisture and insects can't reach it. When stored in the refrigerator, buckwheat will last up to 2-3 months. If stored in the freezer, it will keep significantly longer, lasting nearly 6 months.

Pearl Barley

pearl barley

Pearl barley is the ideal grain to reach for if you're in a rush. Not only is it great for you, but it tastes delicious when added to risotto, soups and salads. Bob's Red Mill Pearl Barley has the bran partially removed, which results in a quicker cook time. 

How to Store Barley:

Barley is a grain that can be stored nearly anywhere. Best stored in a cool, dry area, barley will keep well in a pantry, refrigerator or freezer. When preparing barley for storage, we recommend using a tightly sealed container of plastic or glass. If you choose to store barley in the refrigerator, make sure it is tightly wrapped to prevent moisture absorption. Because barley does not keep well in the heat, if you live in a hot climate or are storing it during summer months, refrigerators or freezer storage is the best option.


One of the most famous ancient grains around, Farro is a relative of modern-day wheat and used in several different recipes. Add farro to soups, casseroles, salads and pilafs. Its hearty and chewy texture and nutty flavor are sure to liven up any dish.

How to Store Farro:

Like barley, farro keeps best when stored in a cool, dry location away from heat and light. Because of this, a cool pantry, refrigerator or freezer is the best place to store farro. When stored properly, farro will remain fresh for up to 1 year. 

Hulled Millet

organic millet seeds in a ceramic bowl on wooden rustic table

An ancient grain that's naturally gluten free, Millet is quick cooking and absolutely delicious. Its pleasantly mild and sweet flavor makes it the perfect addition to whole-grain salads. Or, if you're looking to switch things up in the kitchen, use millet as an easy alternative to rice in a pilaf or stir fry.

How to Store Millet:

Though millet can be stored in the refrigerator, it is most commonly kept in the pantry. To keep millet fresh, you'll want to store it in a tightly sealed plastic or glass container and place it in a cool, dry area. For refrigerator storage, keep millet in a full and sealed glass jar. When stored in a cabinet, millet will remain fresh for up to 2 months. However, when kept in the refrigerator, it will maintain freshness for 4 months or longer. Because partially filled containers of millet can soak up moisture, the glass jar must be tightly sealed and fully filled if stored in the refrigerator. 

Rolled Oats

Old Fashioned Rolled Oats are one of our favorite grains around. A delicious and healthy hot cereal choice for early mornings, rolled oats can be used to create muffins, cookies, bread and homemade granola.

How to Store Rolled Oats:

One of the easier grains to keep fresh, oats can be placed in sealed containers of plastic or glass. To properly store your oats, make sure they are placed in a cool, dry and dark cabinet. When stored correctly, oats will keep for 1 year or longer. 

Now that you know how and where your favorite grains should be stored, it's time to revamp your pantry. Use the tips listed above to store the grains in your kitchen properly and extend their shelf-life. From a dark, cool cabinet to the refrigerator, there are several ways you can keep your grains to ensure freshness. From everyone at Bob's Red Mill, we wish you health and happiness!


  1. Marilyn W
    I stored pearl barley in airtight Tupperware for several months in a pantry. Upon opening the seal the barley had formed into one semi-solid chunk. When I took the barley out the Tupperware was pitted. Why would that be?
    1. Whitney Barnes
      Hi Marilyn - Hm, that's a good question for our Customer Service team. They can be reached at 1-800-349-2173 or [email protected]
  2. Olly
    My barley smells like yeast but looks fine. It’s been opened for 6 weeks but stored well-sealed at room temperature. Is the yeast smell normal?
    1. Whitney Barnes
      Hi Olly - Our Customer Service team may be able to help more. Contact them at 1-800-349-2173 or [email protected]
  3. Den Steiner
    I purchased four bags of Farro from your company. The bags are stamped "BEST BY 30 AUG 2025".
    This is almost two years from today but your website says if stored properly Farro will last "up to one year".
    Which guideline is correct?
    Thank you
    1. Elisabeth Allie
      Hi Den! Please follow our Best By guidelines. Hope you enjoy the farro!
      1. Den
        So it will be good for two years if stored properly?

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