If you adhere to these basic spice storage guidelines your spices, herbs and seasonings will delight you in all of your cooking creations.
Light, heat and humidity are all factors that can alter the flavor and limit the efficacy of spices. Find a dark, cool and dry place for your spices. A shelf in your kitchen pantry or cabinet is an optimal choice. Avoid the temptation to place your spices on a ledge directly above your stove. While this is decorative and would make them easily accessible, it contradicts the cardinal rule of spice storage because it certainly can be hot and humid above your stove.
Be sure to keep your spices in containers that close firmly. This eliminates excess air and will help them stay fresher longer. As a general rule, ground spices retain their flavor and potency for one to two years and whole spices may last two to three years. Dried herbs remain flavorful for one to three years. Your senses of sight, smell and taste will help you determine if your spices and herbs are still vibrant and will deliver the flavor you expect and deserve in your culinary endeavors. If your spices are pale, tasteless and do not emit any aroma when you rub a pinch between your fingers, it is time to replenish your spice collection. Old spices do not contain toxicity but they will give you lackluster results.
Since you use your spices frequently, be sure not to shake them over your hot, steamy pots and pans because this will fill you spice containers with humidity. Also, remember not to place moist utensils in your spice containers. Both these actions will cause your spices to cake and not perform for you at their optimal levels.
As your spice collection grows, an excellent storage option is SpiceCare which offers containers in full sets, starter sets and individually in three sizes for you to customize to fit your specific spice collection needs.
Have fun cooking and sharing your culinary creations with family and friends. Tell us how you are storing your spices and share you special tips for organization with us!