Use the following guidelines for storing your spices and herbs to maintain maximum quality. To prevent flavor and color loss, avoid moisture, light, heat and air.
- Store in tightly covered containers.
- Store in a dark place away from sunlight, such as inside a cupboard or drawer.
- Avoid storage above the dishwasher, microwave, stove or refrigerator, or near a sink or heating vent.
- If storing in an open spice rack, store in a site away from heat, light and moisture.
- Avoid sprinkling dried spices and herbs directly from container into a steaming pot to prevent moisture from entering the container.
- Use a dry spoon to measure spices and herbs from a container.
- Keep these points in mind regarding refrigerator/freezer storage: Refrigerate paprika, chili powder and red pepper for best color retention, especially in summer or hotter climates.
- Spices and herbs can get wet if condensation forms when a cold container from a refrigerator or freezer is left open in a humid kitchen.
How Long To Keep Spices And Herbs
Here are some guidelines to help you determine when it's time to toss your spices and herbs .
As general rule, keep:
- 1 year for herbs or ground spices .
- 2 years for whole spices .
Buy a smaller container until you determine how fast you'll use a particular spice or herb.
If a spice or herb smells strong and flavorful, it's probably still potent.
- Check an herb or a ground spice by rubbing a small amount in your hand. If the aroma is fresh, rich and immediate, it can still flavor foods.
- Check a whole spice - such as a clove or cinnamon stick - by breaking, crushing or scraping it before smelling it.
- Avoid smelling PEPPER or CHILI POWDER as they can irritate your nose.
Initial quality will influence shelf life.
Label date of purchase on container with a permanent marking pen.