Debra Lynn Dadd

handling of higroscopic materials like salt, baking soda

QUESTION:

Hi,

I am Jignesh. I would like to know how to handle salt & baking soda (cooking soda) to keep it free flowing all the time. What should be the temprature & relative humidity setting to store this material intect.

POSTED BY JIGNESH :: GUJARAT INDIA :: 08/07/2008 6:43 AM


DEBRA'S ANSWER:

I don't know. I've never had a problem with these clumping.

Readers, any advice on this?

Debra :-)


COMMENTS:

I have heard of putting uncooked rice grains in a salt shaker, which are too big to come through the holes in the shaker. The theory is that with a little shake, the rice would break up the clumps. I imagine it would be best to keep the shaker about half full to prevent a mess. I have never tried this, though, as we live in a dry climate.

However, we do occasionally have soda clump up. In this case, I put the soda in a little sieve and scrape it through with a spoon over the mixing bowl.

POSTED BY HELEN :: WASHINGTON USA :: 08/08/2008 9:11 AM


I'm aware of two things that are said to help:

1. A small mesh or muslin bag of uncooked white rice can help absorb excess moisture in a large container. We always had a few grains in the shaker, as well. Worked a treat. These days we grind our salt, so it doesn't come up.

2. Seal the powder in an air-tight plastic, ceramic, or glass container and put in a "sugar bear": an unglazed terra cotta object meant to keep brown sugar from turning into a brick.

At our house, living on a lake, we tend to have a two-stage storage process. Stage one is the big container, which we work to keep as air-tight as possible. Stage two is the "dosage" container, from which we dole out the stuff.

Bottom line, neither salt nor baking soda is going to suffer from a bit of clumping. You can easily break up the lumps and just measure as normal. Since these items do not tend to be measured by weight for kitchen use, the small amount of added moisture will not tend to damage recipes.

:)

Dot

POSTED BY DOT :: NEW HAMPSHIRE USA :: 09/01/2008 3:22 PM


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