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Thread: Does cream of tartar expire?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    KS
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    1,128

    Does cream of tartar expire?

    Just wondering, does cream of tartar go bad? I'm one of these people who date their baking powder and baking soda and throw it out after 6 months.

    I only use cream of tartar to make snickerdoodles and once in awhile to beat egg whites. I've had my bottle since I got married and I'm not sure I should still be using the stuff! If it stopped working a long time ago I never noticed. Any thoughts?
    Once, during prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water. W. C. Fields

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    169
    I think it may.

    Years ago, I copied a "recipe" for making baking powder, which is 2 tablespoons of cream of tarter; 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of baking soda.

    So, if baking powder and baking soda get stale, I would think the same thing would happen with cream of tarter.

    Just last week I saw an ad in the Sunday's coupon section from McCormicks on how to identify if your spices and seasonings were old. If you had anything in a square shaped tin or in a bottle that said it was manufactured in Baltimore, Maryland, then it was more than 15 years old !!!

    I immediately went through my cabinet and got rid of all the tins (including cream of tarter) and bottles with Baltimore on them. They have a website if you have questions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    in my own little corner
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    148
    Yes, cream of tartar does eventually lose its effectiveness. I don't know exactly how long it lasts, but I replace mine every 1 1/2 - 2 years or so to be on the safe side. I have read that it will last indefinitely if kept in a cool, dry place, but it is an ingredient in baking powder, and I've read that baking powder only remains usable for a year or less. I'll look around and see if I can locate a better answer for you!

  4. #4
    http://www.recipezaar.com/library/getentry.zsp?id=478

    Cream of Tartar is derived from argol, the crude tartar sediment deposited on the sides of casks during winemaking. Cream of Tartar is also used as the acid ingredient in some baking powders. Cream of Tartar has an indefinite shelf life if kept tightly closed and stored away from heat. Cream of tartar is also used to give a creamier texture to sugary things like candy and frosting and to stabilize and increase the volume of beaten egg whites.
    Dorothy aka Martha

    Somewhere over the rainbow...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    KS
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    Wow, thanks for the information! I think I'm going to taste it when I get home and see if it tastes acidic.

    I've only had my bottle seven years
    Once, during prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water. W. C. Fields

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    earth
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    3,556
    Even if you don't want to use it for cooking it's still great for cleaning aluminum pots and pans and probably a few other things.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Kenmore NY, near Buffalo
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    6,182
    Quote Originally Posted by charley
    Even if you don't want to use it for cooking it's still great for cleaning aluminum pots and pans and probably a few other things.
    Thanks, that's a great idea.

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