I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not I want to write about more than just recipes on here. After all, cooking takes at least a little bit of skill and is more than just dumping stuff in a pot and calling it a day (though I hate the word “dump” those recipes are pretty great). Before starting a recipe you have to take certain things into account. Do I have the equipment needed? Are my ingredients fresh and in-date? Oh crap, that spice I’ve had for two years and so desperately need RIGHT NOW is a clumpy mess at the back of the cabinet.
Me? My issue is baking soda. I always wind up opening the box, I use it once, and then I don’t need it again until over a month later. The box says to replace after 30 days, so now ugggggh I’ve got to drag myself to the store and get a new box just so that my cookies, bars, cake, what-have-you doesn’t fall flat.
But the good news is that is completely unnecessary! So long as you store it properly, baking soda can last a really long time, way more than just the 30 days the box says. (Boxes are liars – you’ll notice I don’t like them)
So today we are talking about how to test that baking soda hiding in the back of the cabinet and the best storage methods!
So what do you need?
Simple! Just a bit of vinegar – either white or apple cider – whatever you happen to have on hand. You don’t even have to measure anything out; just grab a small bowl and spoon some baking soda into it, then pour a slight amount of vinegar straight into the bowl. It should fizzle and bubble up nicely just like that volcano we all made in the third grade. (Be warned, if you put a lot of baking soda and vinegar, like more than a spoonful or two each you might wind up with a mess). And to decide the best way to store it, we’re testing out three methods: keeping it open, sealing with tape, or covering with foil. The factory seal is our control.
Now in most cases it will still fizzle, as you’ll see below even the open box I’ve had in my pantry to close to a year still fizzled. And it will still work that way, but if you want it to have the 1-2-punch that a freshly opened box has, you’ll want to make sure that the bubbles make it expand to at least twice its size.
FYI – the factory seal photo is slightly misleading (sorry!) because that bowl is bigger than the rest and I wasn’t ready to snap a photo at the exact moment it bubbled, so it’s about 3 seconds after the initial reaction. This process happens very quickly so make sure you are paying attention! Notice how the tape had quite a big reaction with more, but smaller bubbles? That’s exactly what we’re looking for.
The open box still fizzled, but it had rather large bubbles and fell flat way more quickly than the others. The foil seems to have had a similar, but slightly better reaction.
How to Test Baking Soda: Results
So now you’ve learned how to test your baking soda. Super easy, right? I had one of those “Why didn’t I think of this sooner?” moments when I learned it myself. But now for the question of how to store baking soda, the answer is pretty simple. So long as it is in a dry, cool, place you can store it however you’d like! All of the baking sodas above are technically still viable according to our test.
However, to get the most of your baking soda, keep it airtight. The tape – covered box gave the best results, hands down. Tape is a great option, but storing it in a plastic bag or container would work as well!
So that ends our very first how-to. What did you think? Would you like to see more posts like this? Let me know!
And make sure you test your baking soda now! I’ve got a couple really great recipes coming up where fresh baking soda is essential. Happy Cooking!
Until next time. X
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What You’ll Need:
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