Spice Storage Ideas For An Organised Kitchen
“Variety’s the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavour.” – William Cowper (1785)
I love cooking with spices which is a bit of a surprise since I grew up eating up very typical English-Australian food. That is, plain tasting and sometimes all the flavour boiled out, meat and 3 vegetables, basic spaghetti bolognese, soups etc.
And then my Dad would occasionally cook an Aussie- English style curry. Clive of India curry powder and sultanas! What was with the sultanas? As you might guess, not a favourite with any of us kids.
Then I grew up and got to travel to Indonesia, the Philippines and spend 9 months living in India… Even though a lot of the food I tried was too spicy, I loved the variety of ingredients, spices and ultimately FLAVOUR!
Since those years I have been practicing with using spices and fresh herbs in my own cooking. Now I can’t imagine not cooking regularly with a variety of herbs, and whole and ground spices!
Do Spices Go Bad?
Spices don’t go off but they do lose their colour and flavour over time! Really, that defeats the point of using them I reckon! Whole spices will last a lot longer than ground spices.
How Long Do Spices Last?
Once opened, whole spices will last for two years while ground spices should be used within six to nine months of opening for maximum flavour.
How Do You Tell If Your Spices Are Still Good To Use?
Fresh spices will have an aroma that you notice when you open the lid. If you have put your nose into the jar to smell anything, you know it is past its prime.
I have been known to shove a jar of newly opened spice (not chilli of course!) under my kids noses and get them to appreciate the aroma. It can be really strong!
When thinking about how you store spices and herbs, consider ease of use as well as what prolong their shelf life.
- Use air tight containers to store each spice or dried herb.
- Close the lids immediately after using.
- Make sure no moisture gets into the containers by using a dry spoon at all times.
- Keep them away from any heat source.
- Avoid strong, direct light. Some dried herbs especially, are extremely light sensitive and will lose their flavour quickly.
Spices and herbs can be refrigerated or frozen but as they last well without doing so, it’s not necessary.
Spice Drawer Organizer
I have been keeping my spices in containers in a drawer for many years now. I have found that it is the easiest way for me to access the spices I need and put back them again quickly. Sometimes an Indian style dish I am cooking, will use more than 5 different spices.
Related Post: Spice Drawer – Before And After
Up until recently I stored the ground and whole spices in an assortment of recycled condiment jars. Thanks Vegemite and baby food jars! However it had become really disorganised, and grotty! Check out this post to see how I upgraded my spice storage using 500mL sized glass jars from Kmart. Now that I am using the same size containers for every herb and spice, I can fit a lot more spices in the drawer.
Pantry Spice Racks
Do you have a dedicated space to store food, beverages and other kitchen items? Yes!! Then the pantry is a great place to also store spices and herbs.
Make the most of the space by using a stackable pantry organiser, hanging your spice jars on the back of the pantry door or even creating DIY wood shelf racks for small spice jars.
Wall Spice Racks
Keep your herbs and spices close at hand when cooking up delicious meals by using wall storage.
Consider picture ledges like these ones available from Ikea, magnetic under cupboard storage, or a wall spice rack.
Organise Your Herbs & Spices With Your Own Choice Of Labels:
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