The spice rack is the frenemy of the kitchen: essential to cooking, but impossible to keep clean! Here are some quick tips to get your spice rack looking just a little it more presentable.
First things first: remove all the spices and wipe down the drawer with an all purpose cleaner. You’ll thank us later.
Sort Your Spices
Decide what you want to keep, what you want to discard, and what you want to replace. If you can’t remember the last time you used a spice, it’s probably time to let it go. The easiest way to see if a spice has passed its shelf life is to see if the colour has changed or the scent has dulled. If your sense of smell isn’t the greatest or you’re not sure what the original colour is, you can always default to the expiration date on the pack.
Match Your Containers
Having a unified look makes spices far more aesthetically pleasing, and might encourage you to use them more, if you don’t already. Standard glass jars do the best job of preserving spices. Make sure they’re airtight, and be sure to keep them in a dark place. As a tip, square jars work better than round ones, since the label always stays facing outward.
Make or buy labels for the jar. You don’t want to confuse cinnamon with cumin! Once your system is all set up, pour the spices into the jars using a funnel. If you have extra left over that, store them in a container to refill as needed.
How much space you have for storage will determine how many spices to keep on hand. Sometimes a small drawer will suffice, and other times that’s a laughable concept. You may want to store yours on a shelf in a cabinet or pantry. Just don’t store spices above the stove, because the heat can reduce their shelf-life.
There is no right way to organize spices. You can put your favourites in the front, organize them by flavour profile, or purpose (baking spices together for example) or sort them alphabetically. Set this up in the way it will best serve you in the kitchen!
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