SparkRecipes is powered by
I couldn't understand everything Coach Meg says, but I typically save my glass jars, and refill them from the bulk herbs and spices area at our health food stores. If their product looks or smells old, I ask them about opening a fresh bag, or reordering, etc. (More/Save button not working).
I have a TON of spices, and I use plastic cabinet space-saver spice drawers - they fit WAY more spices in a small space, and keep them organized. I find it saves time to organize by usage - Indian food, Thai, Mexican, Italian, etc... So I can just grab and use without almost looking, no need for ABC
I always write the name of the spice and the date on the top of the cover. My spices are alphabetized on a low pantry shelf. i can have them 5 deep and read what they are from above so no shifting of jars to find something. nothing gets lost in the back.
I use a lazy-susan for my spices. That, and storing them alphabetically, saves me so much time and I just check my spices and recipes before shopping to not buy duplicates and have what I need on hand.
Most spice jars & containers now have expiration dates. But, I don't through them out after they've expired because they don't lose potency that quickly. I keep the spices I use most at eye-level in my pantry, on narrow shelves DH built into the sides of the pantry.
Quite impressive. I'm a spice/herbs lover too, food tastes so much better using them. Looking forward to know you better, I put a link of your pages to my favorites. Thanks.
Interesting point on storing spices alphabetically. I can see how that will help remind people of the spices that they have. However, I store mine in terms of usage. I store my spices on an upper shelf, and keep the most used spices on the lowest shelf.
I would like to learn more about how to use spices. Any ideas?
I did not see it metioned anywhere or in the video but your spices should be kept in a cool, dark, dry place to keep them from the elements. I read that they should be kept out of sunlight and away from the hot stove.
My family members and friends think I'm crazy, but alphabetize my spices as well. I don't find they lose that much flavor after 6 months though so as long as they are in glass jars that are tightly sealed, I don't replace them until the flavor is lost. Thanks for the validation.
I just organized my spices and didn't realize I have 55 different ones. I make all of my own spice blends and rubs so I can see what goes into them. I also use spices to bump up the flavor of things so I can use less salt.
I didn't know spices would outdate! OMG!! I have a ton of them.. I'd better see if there are dates on them. I do have them in a cupboard similar to Chef Meg (well, without the awesome shelves on the doors!) :)
I buy my spices as I need them for recipes, preferably in bulk or in bags. I definitely don't have as many as you, nor do I have the space for them. They're clearly labeled in clear glass jars in the cupboard above my stove, so I can usually find what I need quickly.
I did not know herbs and spices stay fresh for only 6 months!
I keep trying to see this, keeps stopping!
I buy almost all my nonperishable 'from scratch' ingredients in bulk. It takes up 2 cabinets. I insist on labeling bags *at the store* after finding 3-4 bags of white powder when looking for baking powder. This would work well for someone who doesn't buy in large quantities, but not for my kitchen.
This is a really great idea, but somewhat unrealistic. We don't all have fancy cabinets like that, and throwing out expensive spices every six months is just not going to happen. I do try to buy the smallest size possible, and sometimes I'll get them in bulk and bring my own jars - dark ones.
I divide mine into "baking" vs. "cooking" types of spices.
This idea works if you have a large shallow cabinet. Mine is deep and narrow. I do divide them into type of spice (sweet vs. savory). But like many others I do not toss after 6 months.
If I have spices that are old, I just use a bit more in the recipe as the taste does fade with age. But I am not about to toss them after 6 months! I have always alphabetized them.
I really like this ideal and I never thought about keeping my rub in ajar and label it I just threw it away when I have too much I made what a waste. Now I am going to take her advice. great video, Thanks for the information.
My spices have to be alphabetized. Digging through disorganized spices looking for the one that I need drives me crazy. It didn't take that long to organize. I just bought an inexpensive 3-tiered step from Walmart in the kitchen section. It would be nicer to keep in a cabinet, but this works for me.
I live in CA so many of the thngs I use a lot are in my back yard (basil rosemary, thyme=several kinds, sage etc. I get my curry powder from Pakistan do I keep it in the freezer in an old mayonnaise jar.
would really like to have that cabinet
just as Micheal said I'm amazed that any body can earn $8227 in 4 weeks on the internet. read the article..... www.BAR29.com
I have all my spices on a double lazy susan in alphabetical order.
I keep the ones I use most of the time in a drawer under my hob so I have easy access. I got the new idea of making up the rubs
Helpful, I am going to start dating mine. Sheila
Can't keep mines in order because my hubby don't put things back like they suppose to be.
I have ALL my spices in Tupperware. I was a consultant twice and store mine on a revolving Tupperware rack. I see everyone and with their labels, I can date them as well.
I have a drawer that I lay all the spices in. It is a big, flat drawer under my cook top and just perfect. I can see everything in there and easy to grab at a moments notice. Hadn't thought of keeping them alphabetized though. That is my next project!
There are some spices that I can't use up in six months, and they are too expensive to toss out. I have heard that red spices (such as cumin) do have the potential to get bugs or go bad easier but I use those up quicker. I wish that I had a bigger kitchen, then I would organize them better.
I just bought cumin and all the spices I bought in jar containers had expirey dates like 2015
"Tossing" spices every 6 month is above my pay grade. Bought cummin, sage and corriander last weekend and spent more than $25 and will not use more than half of either of them in the next 6 months. "Toss" $25 + per year? As to all that time organizing, I have laimdry I haven't done in 6 month
My cabinet is deep, so it's hard to alphabetize them. I do keep old spices jars and use them when I can find spices in bulk
About two weeks ago I started cooking at home & trying new recipes online.. which isn't easy with only the basic spices; so, I started buying everything I see [in the recipes] that I don't have.. though, I'm still not sure what is what and what they are used for. LOL!
I have 2 cabinets of spices, but the small ones get lost. solution: put a strip of velcro on the back of a cabinet. Put a strip of elastic (various sizes for jars) and put velcro on the elastic. Put the elastic/velcro on the bottles and stick to the back of the cabinet. I don't get rid of spices.
I had my spices organized by type or cuisine. Then DH thought he'd be helpful and alphabetized them. He said it makes it easier to find them when he cooks a meal. I left it to humor him.
I don't alphabetize my spices but I do keep them divided up between types - baking sweet - italian - asian and indian with mexican spices - works for me...
I've kept my spices alphabetized for years in a dark cabinet. But I never throw away old spices; I swear that's a gimmick invented by the spice companies. I have bottles that I've had around for many years, and they still taste just fine.
Useful info on dating your spices when you buy them, and always using glass jars for storage. Didn't suggest how to organize them, though ;-(
How about keeping spices/herbs in the freezer do they last any longer than 6 months?
great info! Thanks
I'm glad I saw this video. I am relocating to a new country and couldn't take ANY food with me. I will be starting my spice stash all over again. Dating them is a good idea, for sure. Organizing them alphabetically, already do that one! Re-using jars, we'll try it if I use up any spices quickly.
I TRIED organizing my spice cabinet alphabetically MONTHS ago. I gave up after 4 HOURS because it was just SO EXHAUSTING! Something I do need to do, but a lot of the other parts of the kitchen need organization a lot more right now. It's just going to have to wait a bit.
I can't get the videos on my touchpad. Could you add instructions, please!
Need to start dating my jars when I buy new ones!
I just went through my spice cabinet a couple of days ago and cleaned out some bottles that had expired. Some didn't last long at all, even being in a dark cabinet, which was surprising to me.
I don't throw away spices unless they don't smell anymore. As some others have said, I just can't afford to do that. I do keep them in a dark cupboard, tightly sealed.
Thanks for the Drawer tips Sparkers. I have lazy Susans For my spices but that is not as good as the drawers, This will free cabinet for me. I cannot afford to throw away spices. I smell the aroma.My grandmother never did it so I think it wasteful. I think the spice companies would not agree!
I feel like I would waste lots of money on certain spices if I threw them away after 6 months. Like sage, I only need that for the holidays. And for spices you only need a little, like cinnamon. Can't remember the last time I bought any, but I just need a dash here and there.
Great ideas. Now I need to clean and organize my spices!
I buy my spices in the bulk section so I only buy as much as I will use in a six month period. If the smell and/or color is lackluster, chances are you need to change it. Compare a new oregano or chili powder next to your old. You'll be amazed at how much it has faded in taste and color.
Love the idea of dating your spices. I am just beginning to use more and my spices probably should all just be tossed. I really do not know how old some of the are. Thanks so much for the ideas!! barb
Great ideas! Thanks for the thoughtful advice.
You have a beautiful spice cabinet. I love that it is not so deep that it's hard to see what you have in the back. Gives me ideas...
When I redo my kitchen I am going to make sure a get a special cabinet for spices.
What a great idea to date as sometimes those spices that are dated are hard to read too. They also are not all in the same place to find. I especially loved the tip about saving the old jars and reusing them for spices purchased in plastic bags. I personally do not like plastics for anything.
I'm glad to see she has as many spices as I do!
Looks like i will be clean my spice cubboard out I have spices in there that I came with grandma and she left this world maybe 15 years ago. Until I got on the this part of the site I never used them.
Alphabetizing is the only way to go.For my "seldom used" spices, like Cardamom, I've actually taken to adding to the recipe ingredients (all on my computer) that I really DO have the spice, so don't buy more! The 6 month rule? Bank breaking with all the ones I have. Sorry.
Sounds like I need to throw away stuff that has been on my shelves for literally years and learn to use more spices.
If any of you ever build a new home or remodel your kitchen, be sure and tell whomever you go to for your cabinets (Lowe's, Home Depot,Costco,etc) that you want one or more Spice Doors. I have two of them in my kitchen,they are in each corner above appliance garages. I organize sweet/savory separate
I have a spice cabinet too it was organized at one point.
I have my spices in two places, divided by "category." All the sweet spices (those typically used in baking, for example) are in the same cupboard as other baking ingredients and the savory ones (used for vegetables, meats, etc.) are in another cupboard. Both are on lazy susans and alphabetized.
Great cabinet! I need to date my spices. I had no idea they were only good for 6 months. Great tips!
Good tips. I always have trouble keeping spices organized
Like the idea of putting rub mixes in mason jars - I'm going to do that
I am new with spices. This gave me ideas of how to organize them.
Great video. I WANT that cabinet, with the shelves on the door! I Keep most Spices in a drawer..tops labeled and dated, and grouped as to use. I have a small in the cabinet slide out rack, holding more baking and everyday used spices...Salts, cinnamon, two cinnamony mixes, my blends, chives, etc
My spices are in a drawer, which works much the same way except I have to label the lids! I used to organize alphabetically, but now group more by cuisine -- Italian spices together, indian, Mexican, rubs and marinades, baking spices, etc. Try penzey's for high quality long lasting herbs and spices.
Love the spice cabinet. Having the door to store really helps. I posted a picture of my spices sometime back and they are not that organized. But I am going to work on it. Seeing this video has inspired me to do it. And date the spices, good idea. I love all kind of spices. Have to spice up my fo