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What causes the metallic aftertaste in my pancakes?

I make really good pancakes and this mornings batch of blueberry beauties had a metallic taste. SO claims not to have noticed but he may be just trying to please me. Is it me? I have noticed this "gassy" metallic taste before in other homemade baked goods such as cookies and cakes. I read on these boards that expired baking powder may be the culprit and now always make sure I use fresh powder and that I shake up the tin. I still detect the aftetaste though-it's very strong and very unpleasant. Wondering if anyone else has experienced this and what the cause may be and what I can do to avoid it in the futue?

I love to bake and am always anxious about the esults and very disappointed when something I have worked hard on ends up tasting like it has lead shavings in it.

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  1. You didn't mention the cooking utensils that are being used in your kitchen. Of what material are they composed? Are you using non-reactive mixing bowls like those that are ceramic (Corning or glass) as opposed to metal? On what kind of surface are the pancakes being cooked - non-stick or uncoated?

    I'm not trying to be funny with this next question. Have you had any recent dental work like new fillings? Or maybe you have old fillings that contain metal and are deteriorating?

    I'm an old guy with some old fillings and almost always have a bad taste in my mouth, but that comes with age.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ChiliDude

      Let's see:

      I use ceramic mixing bowls or the bowl that comes with my kitchen aid mixer. This morning I used the ceramic bowl. I used a wire whisk and a metal "flipper" The pancakes were cooked on my griddle. I coated it with melted butter.

      No fillings in years and years and the only time I experience the metallic taste is in baked goods....

    2. I've had a similar problem with banana bread or muffins on occasion. I believe the culprit in my case was too much baking soda (not baking powder). Are you using baking soda in your recipes?

      1 Reply
      1. re: sherrycooks

        No Baking Soda in the pancakes this morning.

      2. What brand of baking powder do you use? I hate the flavor of Calumet! But Rumford baking powder is fine. It's double-acting, and contains no aluminum.

        2 Replies
        1. re: bakergal

          That is exactly what i was going to suggest

          1. re: bakergal

            Yep - I only use Rumford as well. No need to bake with baking powder that contains aluminum.

          2. Ditto on the aluminum free baking powder. It makes a big difference.

            1. Make sure your baking powder is aluminum-free.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Karl S


                While not Calumet-the powder is Clabber Girl brand and does indeed contain sodium aluminium sulphate. Is that the cause of the metallic taste? If so, why on earth does the powder contain this compound if not an active ingredient?

                Is it an active ingredient? What do powders such as Rumford contain in place of the aluminium compound?

                1. re: Densible

                  The aluminum sulphate is an acid salt; it's one of the two active ingredients (the soda is the alkaline substance with which it reacts).

                  Aluminum acid salts are more shelf-stable and reliable for double-acting leavening (at lower and higher temperatures); if used in high-sugared, well-flavored things like cakes, the metallic taste can be masked better than in simpler things like griddle cakes and biscuits and plain quick breads.

                  Calcium phosphate is the common alternative acid salt in non-aluminum baking powders.

              2. It's definitely your baking powder. You want to use Rumsford or another metal free baking powder to avoid the metallic taste. You know, baking powder is basically just baking soda, cream of tartar so you can just mix your own to avoid the metallic taste that way as well. Also, you can lessen or avoid the taste by simply using less. A lot of recipes really overdo the leavening.

                6 Replies
                1. re: choctastic

                  Thank you all. This is both enlightening and educational and completely explains my taste experiences with baked goods. Can I mix equal parts tartar and baking soda to get the same leavening effect?

                  1. re: Densible

                    No, it's not equal amounts. one tsp of baking powder = 1/2 tsp cream of tartar and 1/4 tsp baking soda.

                    You can calculate other amounts from this basic conversion. I do this when I've run out of baking powder.

                    Here is an informative yet short article about baking powder/soda:

                    1. re: choctastic

                      Is Rumford double acting? If so, what is the high temperature acting salt? When is it important to use a double acting baking powder, and when can you get by with a substitute, such as baking soda and cream of tarter?

                      I just tried an experiment - made a solution of baking powder (Clabber), and solution of baking soda and tarter. Both bubbled as soon as water was added. The tarter solution then became clear with some sediment. The Clabber solution remained milky, probably due to the corn starch. Then I heated both in the micro for 10 seconds. The tarter solution did nothing. The Clabber solution foamed even more than initially, and the bubbles remained for some time latter.


                      1. re: paulj

                        The double action is more important in thicker breads/cakes than thin griddle cakes. It helps sustain the leavening and keep things from sinking before they've set through cooking.

                        1. re: paulj

                          there is no 2nd acid. I would guess that calcium acid phosphate reacts to heat as well as moisture since they advertise it as double acting. That said, I read that Rumford reacts faster initially than the ammonium sulfate products which may result in differences in the texture of the final baked product. I will say that I especially love recipes that combine buttermilk or sour cream with baking soda because the combo gives me such tender results.

                          I did forget to mention that if you use the baking soda/cream of tartar mix, you will have to bake soon after you mix the dough (I usually bake within the hour of mixing the dough/batter so that's fine for me). Double acting baking powder like Clabber Girl allows the baker to mix and hold the batter. But then there’s that metallic taste…

                          --oh and I misspelled Rumford in an earlier post. Apparently I was thinking of Donald Rumsfeld.

                        2. re: choctastic

                          Thank you. You all have solved a problem that has been bugging me for years. Amazing!