How long is the shelf life of a baking powder and baking soda?

Discussion in 'Baker Banter' started by ReadmeByAmy, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. ReadmeByAmy

    ReadmeByAmy Well-Known Member

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    In baking we are always using baking powder and baking soda to most of our recipes and we do had stocks of this items in our kitchen that is why how will I know if they are still in good condition? How long is their shelf life for me to know that they are still good to use? What if there is an incident you are baking and you are running out of time and you saw your baking powder had passed its shelf life already will you still use it? Do you think it is still safe to use it?
     
    ReadmeByAmy, Mar 24, 2015
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    DancingLady Well-Known Member

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    Unless they get wet and clump, I don't think there is any reason either of these items would ever go bad. They don't have anything in them that something would or could eat, and nothing I can think of that would break down. Baking soda is just sodium bicarbonate, so it will last pretty much forever if kept dry.
     
    DancingLady, Mar 24, 2015
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    Trellum Well-Known Member

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    Most brands expire after 3 or 4 years, that is if kept at room temperature and if kept in the right place and well covered, OP. If I were you I'd not use baking powder that has been in the shelf for 5 years or so. They might not expire per se, but they won't give your baked good the same lift they would if they were fresh,
     
    Trellum, Mar 24, 2015
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    Winterybella Well-Known Member

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    Well this is something I have been reading a lot about recently as I am sure I have baking powder that is well pass five years: some not opened. I keep forgetting to ask my mom if she wants the extra I have as I am sure I have more than my share.

    Anyway, from some of what I have read it can almost last forever, indefinitely. Yes I read that somewhere. It all depends on how it is stored it seems. Recently I searched to see how I could tell if it was still good and I did the test and mine was fine. I put a teaspoon or so in some hot water and once it bubbled or fizzled I knew I was good to go.

    Here is my latest set of reading.

    http://www.eatbydate.com/other/baking/baking-powder-shelf-life-expiration-date/
     
    Winterybella, Mar 25, 2015
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    Trellum Well-Known Member

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    Awesome! It's good to know there is an easy way to test baking powder! To be honest I always discarded mine after a while, mostly because I didn't trust the packing.
     
    Trellum, Mar 25, 2015
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    Zyni Well-Known Member

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    Well, I always heard it lasted forever too, but I swear mine went bad or something. Maybe I wasn't storing it well. I don't know. I just know stuff wasn't rising like it should, and my baking powder had been around awhile. It was passed the expiration date. I tossed it and got a fresh can, and it did make a difference. At least that seemed to be the issue.
     
    Zyni, Mar 25, 2015
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    wahmed Active Member

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    I think their supposed to last forever.
     
    wahmed, Mar 25, 2015
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    Shimus Well-Known Member

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    They are supposed to last forever -- In their natural state. You also have to take into account room temperatures, the item they were stored in (ceramic? Tin? Cardboard? each has their own way to damage the natural state given periods of time)

    Taking in factors like these, I would say even though they say it lasts forever to replace them if you don't use them every five to six years.
     
    Shimus, Apr 4, 2015
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    Winterybella Well-Known Member

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    I always felt like it was something that had a long life. I just wished I was more organised when it came to my shopping. My shopping can be a little sporadic at times. I so admire people who work with their grocery shopping list and the like. When I used to do more grocery shopping I would always pick up these little things that I hardly used but felt I needed and baking powder based on the amount I still have was one of those things.
     
    Winterybella, Apr 5, 2015
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    ReadmeByAmy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys for sharing all your ideas :)
     
    ReadmeByAmy, Apr 6, 2015
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  11. ReadmeByAmy

    Trellum Well-Known Member

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    Hehehe, I just checked today and found a bag of flour... expiration date 2013!!! LOL, I have no idea how that could happen! But yes, I also have the tendency to throw in things in the cart that I might not be entirely sure I'll be using, hehehe. Pretty annoying!! By the way, I use flour a lot when I make soups.... to thicken them. I love the flavor it adds when I add it to fried onions, then I let the flour get cooked... yummy!!!!!
     
    Trellum, Apr 6, 2015
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    Winterybella Well-Known Member

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    :) I would not be surprise if I had some from 1913:):). Seriously though, I feel like there have been times when I have had flour around for more than five years. I honestly never counted, but I know it's not a year or six months thing. With me I keep the flour in the fridge so I always think it's safe. I have never been into much of anything that;s made of flour so I never moved quickly until I started baking more often.
     
    Winterybella, Apr 12, 2015
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    Trellum Well-Known Member

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    Hehehehe, no kidding! I throw mine is it's too old, or if it has bugs, luckily until now I have only seen bug infested flour only once in my life. It's sooooo gross!!! Always check your well, I didn't know that flour had bugs until I got a whole cup of it and placed it in a bowl... grossest thing ever. To think I had used a spoon to thicken my broth a day earlier... yikes!!!
     
    Trellum, Apr 12, 2015
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    confettine Well-Known Member

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    By the way, you can test baking soda the same way you test baking powder, except that since baking soda does not have the added sour in it (tartar powder, I think it is, in baking powder?), instead of putting some water in your baking soda, you put some acid liquid like vinegar. If it fizzes, same as baking powder: it's still effective and you should be good to go!
     
    confettine, Apr 14, 2015
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    Diane Lane Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I keep baking soda around long enough to go bad per se, but I feel it gets less fizzy (non-technical term ;)) if it sits in an open container too long, so I replace mine frequently, but NEVER throw it in the trash. Baking soda has so many uses that I stick the open containers in the fridge to collect odors, pour it down the disposal while it and the water are running, even shake it into the carpet, which helps to deter fleas. This reminds me, I need to buy a few new boxes, specifically for baking. My baking powder is always sealed, so I don't worry about that as much.
     
    Diane Lane, Aug 7, 2015
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    Shimus Well-Known Member

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    Amending my earlier statement. It's been brought to my attention for max freshness you should replace the box every 2-3 years, not 5. Friend said he's been doing it now for six years, replacing on the third year of the six and it's made his stuff a lot more odor free and fresh then the box sitting in there for 5 odd years because it clumps, needs shaken or emptied and refilled to get maximum working effort out of it.
     
    Shimus, Aug 15, 2015
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    rocklobster Member

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    Oh god! i'm gonna have to check mine now haha :rolleyes:
     
    rocklobster, Aug 17, 2015
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