Whole spices like nutmeg stay fresh longer than ground. But even if you buy them in bulk, they can still go stale if you don’t store them properly.
If you want your spices to last for as long as possible, keep them in a cool, dark place and away from heat. This will help them stay flavorful and delicious.
Store them in a cool place
Spices are best stored in a cool, dry place, away from heat and light. They lose flavor and potency when exposed to these elements.
Ideally, spices should be kept in a dark cabinet or pantry. They should also be stored in a non-porous container, such as glass, ceramic or plastic.
Avoid storing spices on the kitchen counter in clear bottles or jars, as this allows for too much light to reach them. Rather, store your spices in sturdy metal tins or canisters to keep them out of direct sunlight.
The shelf life of ground spices is typically about six months from purchase date, while whole spices can retain their flavor for three to five years if stored correctly. It’s best to replace a spice as soon as it looks faded or has an odd smell.
Store them in a dark place
Keeping the whole spices near you in a dark place is important to prolonging their shelf life. They are photosensitive and lose their potency and flavor quicker when they are exposed to sunlight.
Ideally, you should store your spices in a dark cabinet away from your stove and oven. Storing them on a windowsill is another bad idea since the light will bleach their color and damage the chemicals that give them their unique flavor.
Spices should also be stored in glass jars that are airtight, like mason jars or shaker bottles with flip-top lids. Metal storage containers are also good options but they can conduct heat, so they’re not ideal for long-term preservation.
When storing spices, be sure to label them with their purchase date so you know when they’re ready for replacement. This can help you save money and extend the life of your spices.
Store them in a dry place
Spices are one of the few ingredients that have a long shelf life, meaning they will keep for months or even years before going bad. But how do you store them so that they remain as fresh and flavorful as possible?
The biggest enemies of spices are light, air and heat. These factors cause them to dry out and sap away the oils that give their flavors their aroma and color, so storing your spices in a cool, dark place is a must for keeping them fresh and fragrant.
This is particularly important for those of you who buy and use a lot of whole spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg. If you do store your jars in a cupboard above your stove, avoid the use of clear bottles, which will let in too much light. Instead, opt for a steel tin. Alternatively, you could try keeping them in an airtight container and placing sachets of silica gel beads or dry uncooked rice grains inside to reduce moisture.
Store them in a container
If you’re buying whole spices, you need to make sure they stay near you in a container. That way you can see them and always have access to them.
Keeping your spices in an airtight container helps them maintain their flavor by keeping out air and moisture. Using labels will also help you remember each spice’s name and use by date.
You can store your spices in a pantry, cabinet or drawer. The best spaces to keep them are far from heat sources and moisture-generating appliances, like the oven and stove.
You can buy airtight containers that are clear or opaque so you won’t have to worry about light getting in. Some of the most inexpensive options are recycled small glass containers, such as baby food jars.