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How Long Does Cream Of Tartar Last? Can It Go Bad?

How Long Does Cream Of Tartar Last? Can It Go Bad?

There is a huge chance that you would not find yourself finishing your cream of tartar in one cake project. You do not need all of it in the container to bake one cake, so most certainly, you will have some lying around, which is not a bad thing. So, what happens to a container full of cream of tartar, since we can’t throw it all away?

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First of all, does cream of tartar go bad? Fortunately, this product does not exactly expire. As long as it is kept properly, and by properly we mean in an airtight container, where household pests do not find their way into the container, it is fine. Also, you need to make sure that no moisture gets close to, or into the container. When kept well, and away from things that creep and are hairpin tiny, cream of tartar can last forever. 

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Read on to learn all you need to know about the storage of cream of tartar, how long it supposedly lasts, and more importantly, how to know when it is time to trash the container and its contents.

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Can Cream of Tartar Go Bad?

Surprisingly, not every baker uses cream of tartar. When you see it somewhere, a part of you might want to go right to tartar sauce, but it has no business with that sauce. The ingredients in tartar sauce include mayonnaise which is the major ingredient, pickles, eggs, carpers, and a lot of other things that sound “unbaker-ish.” On the other hand, the topic of our discussion–cream of tartar is made up of a compound called potassium hydrogen tartrate. It comes from winemaking, it is a byproduct, which is found at the bottom of barrels used for storing wine. So, stop looking at cream of tartar and thinking tartar sauce. 

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Cream of tartar does not only have to be used in baking, there are other uses of this interesting ingredient. If you are making souffles, angel food cake, or any eatable that requires a beaten egg, you can use the cream of tartar. It is used in stabilizing egg whites when they go through cooking. So, we recommend using the cream of tartar for anything other than cakes. 

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However, if you do not see a reason to use it often, you do not have to worry about it, because it has a long shelf life, almost for a lifetime. If the cream of tartar you purchased is one with remarkably high quality, then it will last. 

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Heat, moisture, and air are the things that will most likely ruin cream of tartar for you, as long as it is kept safe, away from all three for as long as possible, it will last that long for you.

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How to Store Cream of Tartar

On almost everything you buy that requires long usage, you are bound to see the words “keep in a cool, dry place.” The storage method for cream of tartar is not any different. However, we would give you a few steps that should be followed to store cream of tartar.

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Cream of tartar should be kept away from every source of heat, including the sun. so if your cabinet is stored in a way that the sun is coming into it, you need to find someplace else. Wherever you are storing your cream of tartar should be somewhat dark. 

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Next, you need to make sure the container is sealed tight. You must never allow air to come into the jar. For every time you let air seep into the jar, you are at the risk of losing the potency of your cream of tartar. Chances are, your cream of tartar will come in a paper box, after the first use, pour the remaining inside a jar with a cover, it has to stay without air. 

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Check the surroundings of your cream of tartar for creepy-crawlies, they seem to show up everywhere they are not invited to, especially to your cabinets. However, if your jar of cream of tartar is airtight, you have nothing to worry about, still, get rid of the animals, they have no business being there. 

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Can you refrigerate or freeze cream of tartar? 

This question is a bit dicey, as cream of tartar is supposed to stay away from all forms of moisture. So this is how it goes; if you intend to send your cream of tartar to the place where things get cold, you need a container that does not soak in moisture. If your container does not take in moisture, then you will have your powder safe and sound. However, if your container takes in moisture, you might have to make use of cubed tartar. Now, we don’t know what that looks like as we have never seen it before, but our guess is, you would not like it.

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How long does cream of tartar last?

If your cream of tartar does not come in contact with moisture, heat, and air, it will last forever. However, some of them come with something called a “best by” date. This is usually because they are following FDA approved regulations, or in some cases, they want you to trust what you are taking in, which is okay. Because seeing a date should tell you if you need to check for the potency of the product or not. 

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At least, four years after production, the cream of tartar should still be potent. Whether you see the date or not, you can just test for potency. 

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To check for potency, put a small portion of your cream of tartar into half a cup of warm water, then add little baking soda. You are supposed to see foam form at the top if it is potent. 

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How can you tell if cream of tartar has gone bad?

If for some reason, your cream of tartar was exposed to any of the agents which could cause it to go bad, you should be able to tell pretty easily. First, cream of tartar is white, if the color suddenly changes, trash it. If for some reason it begins to smell funny, trash it. 

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Also, if it forms into a lump, it belongs in the trash bag. More importantly, if you see mold anywhere in the container, kindly take the whole jar to the trash bin, and say your goodbyes. 

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The check for potency we talked about above, try it, and if you do not see a foam, then you should either take it right back to the store, that is if you just got it. If you have had it for a while, then it might be time to get a new one.

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Is it okay to use expired cream of tartar?

We have said this before, the date on the pack of cream of tartar does not matter, as it is supposed to last for a very long time if it is well taken care of. So well, it is not okay to use a bad cream of tartar or one that has lost its potency, but there is nothing like an expired cream of tartar.

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How long does homemade cream of tartar last?

You may not be able to make your own cream of tartar, as this is a compound gotten from wine production. You cannot exactly form potassium hydrogen tartrate from thin air, what you can however do is make use of substitutes for this. Some of these substitutes include lemon juice, baking powder, white vinegar, buttermilk, and yogurt. 

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It will be important to note that all of these substitutes have their own shelf life, so we can’t say how long they would last, what we can say is that they are good substitutes. 

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What can you do with old cream of tartar?

There are many creative ways you can use an old cream of tartar if you decide that you are no longer eating it. .

  • You know how we said that creepy-crawlies could destroy your cream of tartar? Well, ants are not one of those creepies. If you put some cream of tartar where you have ant problems, there would be fewer ants. .
  • If there is a stain that is refusing to leave an outfit, a little paste made of lemon juice and cream of tartar will make a great stain remover..
  • Cream of tartar mixed with white vinegar is a great sink cleaner. That’s not the only thing it cleans, it cleans pans, pots, ovens, and can be used to get rid of mildew and molds. .
  • If you have scratches on your dishes, a paste made out of cream of tartar will take away the scratch. Simply apply, let sit for a while, then rub your finger over the stain with the cream of tartar, and it should work. .
  • If you need to get out residue coffee stains from your coffee pot, simply apply a good amount of cream of tartar in, then add boiling water. When the water cools off, turn it out, then rinse the pot and voila!

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