Plus, how to tell if your baking powder is still good to use.
Whether you’re one of those who cook only for special occasions like birthdays and holidays or those who cook almost daily, you probably have a stash of baking powder somewhere in your kitchen. Baking powder is a leavener that makes baked goods light and airy and helps them rise.
Unfortunately, if you use inactive baking powder, that is, baking powder that has gone bad, in a recipe, you may end up with treats as hard and flat as hockey pucks. It’s not really the look, taste or texture you want, especially for a special occasion.
How and where you store baking powder largely depends on its freshness, potency, and availability when you need it. So avoid baking disasters by storing your baking powder correctly. Here’s how.
The correct way to store baking powder
The best place to store baking powder so that it stays fresh and active for as long as possible is in an airtight container, away from direct sunlight, from the oven and stove, and preferably at a temperature stable (around 70°F), explains Penny Stankiewicz. , chef-instructor of the art of cake decorating at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York.
Fortunately, most baking powder is sold in an airtight container and you can store it there, without needing to transfer it to another container. If you have a pantry, this is a good place to store baking powder.
Read more: The difference between baking powder and baking soda
Why you shouldn’t store baking powder in the refrigerator
“It’s best to store baking powder at cool room temperature rather than in the refrigerator,” says Chef Stankiewicz. “The powder can capture humidity from the refrigerator, as well as unwanted food flavors.”
Just think about the fact that people intentionally use baking soda to absorb moisture and odors: baking powder does the same thing. Unless you want it damp, smelly and possibly inactive, store your baking powder out of the refrigerator.
Can you store baking powder in the freezer?
“If you’re trying to store baking powder a little longer, you can put the covered container in another airtight container and freeze it,” says Stankiewicz. “This can help extend shelf life.”
This is because the freezer tends to be a drier environment than the refrigerator, she explains. “But buying in small quantities and using them is the best approach,” she adds.
How long does baking powder last?
Baking powder should be used within six to 18 months from the date of purchase if unopened and within three to six months once opened, according to the USDA’s FoodKeeper app.
Although it’s technically safe to use baking powder past its expiration date, Stankiewicz doesn’t recommend it. “The best practice is to buy small quantities that you will use within a few months,” she says. “I wouldn’t entrust my special cake to baking powder close to its expiration date. It will lose some of its ability to leaven your baked goods as it ages.”
How to tell if baking powder is still good
If you’re not sure how old your baking powder is or if it’s past its expiration date and you don’t have time to run to the store, you can easily test it to see if it’s still active.
“Baking powder is activated by liquid and by heat,” Stankiewicz explains. “You can test its freshness, or leavening power, by putting some in a bowl and pouring hot water over it. If it bubbles, it’s good to use, but if there is little or no bubble activity, it’s best to buy a fresh one. can.”
Store your baking powder in a tightly closed container in a dry place away from light and heat to extend its shelf life. Try to use it within three to six months of opening it, and if in doubt, test it by adding hot water to a small amount of baking powder in a bowl. If it’s bubbling, it should be good to get started on that fabulous baking project you have in mind.