Spices: The Best Way to Store Them

Spices: The Best Way to Store Them

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Today it’s all about spices: the best way to store them. It seems like every time you are looking for a particular spice or seasoning in the pantry it’s always the very last jar that you reach for. At least that’s my luck.

The lack of organization amongst so many spice containers can be aggravating, especially when you are trying to follow a recipe that requires a lot more energy and focus. We’re going to dive into spices: the best way to store them. 

Spices: The Best Way to Store Them

The picture below is my main spice rack storage cupboard. Welcome to my little kitchen where I have fun baking and cooking.

Spices: The Best Way to Store Them

It’s time to stop with all this senseless digging and come up with a more functional system that’s not only easy for you to find what you’re looking for, but also one that comes across as eye appealing. Check out these many clever and convenient ways of storing spices that will reduce all the headache.  

Properly Storing Spices 

Before we get into all the many crafty and convenient ways that you can store spices, let’s take a look at the ideal storing conditions for spices, shall we? It’s actually pretty simple. Spices are best kept in dark, cool, and dry locations.

It’s recommended that your red spices (like paprika, chili powder, and red pepper) should be stored in the refrigerator, especially if you live in a hot climate. 

On one last note, don’t store your spices in a cabinet directly beside or above your stove. Although it may seem to be of more convenience, the high heat coming off your stove can tamper with your spices flavor.   

Shelf Life

I thought this picture of spice jars was cute, but then I would have to buy all new jars, then fill them with my spices.

Spices: The Best Way to Store Them

So I might be teasing you a bit, but it’s also important for you to be aware of just how long certain spices last while being stored. When you’re considering ground spices and herbs such as leaves, flowers, barks, and seeds, you’re only looking at about a one-year shelf life for them. You can expect just around 2 years for ground roots.

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You get a bit longer shelf life from whole spices. Whole spices that have leaves or flowers tend to get 1 to 2 years. Whole barks and seeds are good for another 2 to 3 years, and whole roots can last for about 3 years.  

Clever Ways to Store Spices

Hang a Rustic Wire Pantry on the Wall 

If you like the idea of having your spices out in the open and don’t mind using some of your wall space to do it, the rustic wire pantry adds character and easy access to your kitchen’s spices. 

Revolving Countertop Spice Rack 

Most kitchen countertop space is precious, but if you have the room, or just the right spot where you can put a revolving countertop spice rack, this is a great option.

Not only that, but this one that you can get on Amazon comes with a 5-year spice refill of your choice. What a steal…I mean, deal! 

Tiny Test Tubes

Nothing reveals your scientific or fun side quite like these tiny test tubes that are suitable for storing spices. It adds color, organization, and a much-needed different look to your kitchen. 

Try Using Drawer Inserts

Instead of using any upper cabinet space, what do you think about arranging your spices in a drawer insert? This will keep your spices perfectly in place, and it’s another great way to easily track down what you are looking for. 

Mason Jars Placed In a Drawer

One neat and stylish way of organizing your spices is by using mason jars to store all your needs. Try using chalkboard paint to cover the tops of each lid and then use chalk to clearly label and identify each jar.  

Pull Down Spice Rack

A pull-down spice rack is another clever way of being able to find what you’re looking for when the burner is on and the timer is ticking. This option is easy to tuck away in one of your kitchen cabinets, and brings you the instant satisfaction of grabbing what you need.  

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DIY Sliding Spice Rack

If you’re extremely gifted with building stuff, consider constructing a sliding spice rack that can easily be stowed away. Some people build it right into their cabinet space, while others tuck it in the gap beside their refrigerator.   

3 Tier Spice Organizer

Believe it or not, spices that are tucked away in a deep cabinet can work. That’s right! With a 3 tier spice organizer, your spices will be on little stair steps that make it easy to see the spices and herbs that are way in the back. 

Magnetic Strips 

If you are limited on cabinet shelf space like most of us, this one will help you take full advantage of the space that you do have. Hang magnetic strips on the inside of one of your cabinet doors that makes the most sense to you.

Then simply store all of your spices and seasonings in metal containers that are clearly labeled or identifiable. It even looks super good when you’re finished too! 

Some people have so many spices that they prefer to make a spice magnetic wall, which is perfectly acceptable as well. Your spices can be arranged in a way that makes your kitchen decorative and eye-catching.

One way of doing this is by purchasing metal containers that are in a hexagon shape and then join them in a way that closely resembles a spice honeycomb

The wasted space underneath your kitchen cabinets is one last prime real estate that you can take advantage of by hanging a magnetic strip of spices there also.   

Stackable Tins

Get yourself a nice set of spice tins that make it possible for you to clearly label each spice. This makes storing spices much more organized instead of dealing with rows of spices that you have to dig around and behind. 

Final Word

Okay, so this article was originally supposed to be about the best way of storing spices, but now you have a dozen or so that can work with. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably gone far too long with a cluttered cabinet with spices that has no rhyme or reason to it. 

It’s time to walk away from this mindset and embrace the idea of time-less-wasted. I’m confident that one of these hacks will bring more functionality and purpose for you while you’re in the kitchen.

Spices: the best way to store them: what is the best way you have found? Please keep prepping, we must. May God bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Spice Racks Deposit photos_53131849_s-2019, Spices with Dried Herbs Deposit photos_12889122_s-2019, Spices in white box Depositphotos_7538108_s-2019

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  1. Good info.! Also , it is good to remember that when using spices i cooking always add them with the oils (butter,mayo.,etc.) before the rest of the ingredients. Spices have natural oils that add the flavor to whatever you are using it in. It really brings out the “bloom” of the spice so the flavor is there. This is the case even with fresh spices. I really makes a difference! Thank you a keep up the good work.

      1. Thank you. I buy my spices in bulk because I make my own spice blends. It can take awhile to use up my stash, but they always taste good . I have done this for years and it really saves time and money . Besides, the food tastes better with a blend and not just one type of spice unless all you need is just one, i.e. cinnamon.

        1. Hi Cheryl, I really think and hope anyway that people during this quarantine time have learned to cook at home. I’m sure people still get the curbside pickup. But I hope others have tried using a recipe book and teaching their kids to cook, bake bread, and make biscuits. Oh, I love cinnamon!! Linda

  2. Linda – I really like those little jars!! I agree that I would need to buy all new jars AND a label maker!

    I like to buy my spices at Winco in the bulk section. I have been baking and cooking more since our lockdown (now through May 31!!) and am starting to run low on my most commonly used spices. So, when I get to Winco after lockdown, I’ll think about replacing my plastic (i.e., cheap) containers with glass (i.e., cute) containers! I really like the rustic wire shelf thing except for the price!!

    So, my spices currently are in a jumble because I have such limited cupboard space and no where to use the magnetic ones – my fridge is in a cubby so cannot use the sides and the front is covered in more important things like drawings my grandkids have given me!! But, this post has given me some ideas that I might try to incorporate.

    1. Hi Leanne, you can see my cupboard uses the original jars. I have my homemade powders in some other jars but that’s another cupboard. Today I’m looking through stuff in the kitchen. Good grief, where did all this stuff come from??? LOL! I miss the grandkids pictures, oh I love hearing you have some!! I think this quarantine has given me more time to really think about what is important. You and I think so much alike so you know what I’m talking about. Preparedness is the name of the game. Stay well, I hope your shoulder is still doing well. Linda

      1. Linda ~
        We do think alike – we could be sisters!! Perhaps we ARE related through my Utah ancestors!!
        So, my shoulder! Back on March 30, my surgeon and I did a video conference and he signed off on my shoulder saying I have full range of motion. He did say that with the amount of damage I had, he should have replaced my shoulder and that I should NOT be as far along as I am (well was at 3 months post op). I simply told him that a girl has to do what a girl has to do!! Since I don’t have anyone living with me to do what needs to be done, I had to do whatever it was! So, I probably was doing WAY more/too soon than I should have. Then on April 10 I had a video conference with my physical therapist and he has signed off on my treatment! He told me that I have done a lot better than many who are younger and in better “shape” than I am. So, all is well with my shoulder and I don’t anticipate any further treatment on it.

        Thank you for asking about my shoulder.

  3. hi linda
    we built a wide narrow shelf system. about 5 inches deep, 4 feet wide and 3 feet tall, with shelves spaced at about 5 inches. here in Argentina, most common storage is with glass jars with metal screw on lids. most of ours are 250 ml jars with a few 500 ml for spices that we go thru a lot. like garlic powder. stick on blank labels marked with name. then arranged alphabetically. just like the supermarkets. it holds about 60 jars. wish it was larger, but no more room. the only spices that we can use the smaller 50 ml jars is celery powder and powdered red chillies. a little goes a long way. largest is the home made Italian seasoning. go thru a lot.

    1. Hi Joe, oh I love hearing how large your spice shelving is!!! There is something about the best spices that make a meal a real meal, right? The flavor is the name of the game when cooking! I can visualize the jars, I love it!! Linda

  4. Our kitchen is being remodeled so to speak, so no cooking or anything related to food right now. My father has made a mess (He tends to get excited and just grabs, dumps and piles with no sense of organization) due to his impetuous nature. It might be a whole week before it gets repaired and everything put back. It doesn’t matter as I don’t cook or do anything in the kitchen anymore, but just the thought of it being out of commission isn’t exactly comforting.

    My father did make the mistake of filling the cabinet closest to the stove with spices and habitually leaving them next to the stove when he cooks. He does the same thing with sour cream and butter and so on. I often have to toss things out from sitting out at room temperature. He just doesn’t understand that leaving things out for more than a few minutes allows them to get warmer than they should be and more than a few minutes in a warm kitchen, near the stove compromises them and by USDA standards calls for the items to be thrown away.

    I tell you this because, as you’ve been teaching people for a while now, it does matter how you store, package and handle food. I’ve seen the difference between how my mother and I managed things with me helping out and being involved and how it is now with my father who isn’t aware of what he’s doing. We hardly ever threw anything away once we were diligent and attentive to our food as one would be to a pet’s health.

    Hopefully I can get him to add shelving. I have a spot where they’ll be accessible yet out of the way, far away from the stove and could probably hold a year supply of canned food. We also have, as many people do, a combination pantry/laundry room. I mentioned we stored potatoes and onions in there and never had a problem. Flour, sugar, corn starch never got hard. But if we need our food to last a year or so, I fear that that it may not since that’s where I have to do laundry. Maybe a fan to suck out the warm air and humidity when the drier is running might help with the build up of heat.

    1. Hi Frank, it sounds like you understand the statement I always say “when in doubt throw it out”. It’s really hard for my husband to throw things out when they need to be tossed. So, I say to him, if you eat that and get sick you will have to drive yourself to the hospital. I’m kidding but serious at the same time. He was in the hospital for ten days from getting salmonella at work luncheon. It’s not a good thing. I hope you get your storage the way you want. I feel so much better if my home is organized. We can only do what we can do, right? Stay well, Linda

  5. when iposted about putting flour in your grated cheese ,i keep some in fridge, but really it is for putting in freezer,dont ‘memer if i said freezer .
    and as for the spice’s ,i have tried it all ! and its still jumble mess !
    every time i see some new one i HAVE to get it !
    spice junky ,i am !

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