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How can I store baking soda outside of the box it comes in? I buy baking soda in the orange box all the time however, I don't use it that often but hate leaving it in that box. Is there a proper way to store baking soda?

I don't want to store it in the open box in the fridge because it tends to absorb flavor and I want to make sure I don't store it in an improper container either.

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Can I ask if you really mean baking POWDER? Because the orange box is almost always baking SODA, which is not the same thing. If it's baking soda, then the answer from GeneratorHalf is fine, but if it's actually baking powder then I'd go with TMarshall. –  bikeboy389 Feb 20 '11 at 2:01
    
Son of a...you're right, bikeboy389. :( I can't believe I did that! –  BuildStarted Feb 21 '11 at 16:15

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You could always keep it in the box, but place the box in a large resealable plastic bag. That should keep it from coming in contact with off aromas or anything.

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Let me admit that I am answering this more from the position of a former Chemistry teacher than a cook. I never encountered this type of question as a professional cook, but I certainly did as a chemist. So please forgive the somewhat scientific answer.

The primary concerns in storing baking powder are keeping it dry and cool. Exposure to air in itself is not a big concern, but it's best to keep it in a reasonably air-tight container to prevent moisture in the air from effecting the baking powder.

The way baking powder works, is (primarily) by a reaction between the main ingredient (Sodium Bicarbonate), and a secondary ingredient which is some kind of acidic salt (often Sodium Aluminum Sulfate) when they combine with water and heat. A lot of fancy chemical "stuff" happens that you probably don't care about, that ultimately produces a byproduct of carbon dioxide - a gas. The gas causes tiny bubbles in the batter or dough and gives it a softer texture.

So if you want to store baking powder for a long time, you must protect it from water and heat. If you are ever in doubt about the viability of your baking powder, I'll suggest a simple test. Add a small amount of baking powder (1ts/5ml) to a small amount (2oz/50ml) of hot water. If the baking powder is still viable, it should become effervescent and produce small bubbles or fizz in the water. This tells you it will do the same in whatever you are baking.

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I'm so sorry I screwed up and you typed such a long answer that contains a lot of good information. I've voted you up and I hope others do the same. –  BuildStarted Feb 21 '11 at 16:16
    
Ha ha! Not a problem. I wondered about the "orange box" when I wrote my answer, but figured it fit the question so it might be helpful to someone. in any case, my answer would not have been much different for baking soda since it is sodium bicarbonate - the primary ingredient in baking powder. :) –  TMarshall Feb 21 '11 at 20:28

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