Spices are the heart and soul of any dish ever cooked. Based on the type of spice you use, you can transform and elevate your meal. You can add spice, tang, bitterness, sweetness, flavour, colour, scent, and more with spices. The main trick is to know which spice to add to the dish you are making.
Playing around with spices is good enough, but you need to know how to store them properly. Spices are notorious for how swiftly they can go rancid if not stored correctly. Someone who frequently dabbles in spices knows the kind of canister or kitchen storage jar they ought to use.
How to Store Your Beloved Spices Carefully
The knowledge of storing spices correctly is as much an art as it is a skill. Knowing which stainless steel jars or containers to store spices can be a head-scratcher for many people. Storing spices may sound easy, but the problem arises because they are infamous for spoiling quickly. You have to store spices at a specific circumstance to avoid spoilage.
Here are 10 tips to help you store your precious spices:
1. Shelf Life
Each spice has a different shelf life. Some spices can last anywhere from a year to 18 or even 24 months. Some spices last for a few months at a time. Know the longevity of your spices and rotate them accordingly.
The location where you store your spices determines whether your spices will remain usable for long or not. Always store your spices in a cool, dark, and dry place. Heat, light, moisture, and other natural factors are harmful and impair the longevity of your beloved spices. For safety, store your spices in an airtight rack or an insulated food jar.
3. Airtight Spice Receptacles
One thing you should ensure when purchasing a canister for your spices is that it should be airtight. Any contact with air will make your spices lose the aromas and flavours they possess. Airtight stainless steel jars or trustworthy leak-proof receptacles are suitable for your spices.
4. Container Type
Spice racks come in various forms and shapes. You may want to avoid plastic jars – plastic can cause leaching, mould formation, air exposure, etc. You can opt for a sturdy stainless steel food container to store your spices. Glassware jars or canisters are also a good idea.
Labelling your spice canisters may seem redundant, but it saves you many a scramble in the busiest of times. When you need to find a certain spice quickly, you can read through the labels and choose what you need at one glance. Simply write the corresponding names of the spices on each canister
6. Vacuum Seal
Storing spices is a tricky business. Some airtight containers may allow for trace amounts of air to leak in and spoil your spices. Any sort of exposure to air will cause your spices to lose flavour. Moisture will also cause mold to crop up on your precious spices, thus forcing you to get rid of them.
To avoid this, you can take the extra step and vacuum seal your spices. Vacuum sealing allows for spices to last for a long time without coming into contact with any sort of air or moisture.
In areas where humidity is usually high, many people opt to store spices in their refrigerators. This not only ensures that the spices remain dry but also remain away from sunlight and any other source of heat.
However, the trouble of refrigerating your spices is that when you take them out of the fridge, they form condensation. Condensation occurs when the temperature of your spices come up to match the room temperature. This causes moisture to come in contact with your spices, thus increasing the chances of mould formation. You may opt for an opaque insulated food jar to protect your spices if you cannot refrigerate your spices.
Humidity spells out an untimely demise for your spice rack. Any amount of moisture that comes in contact with your spices signals the end. Moisture creates lush breeding grounds for fungi and mould. Using a sopping wet or even a damp piece of cutlery to spoon out your spices can ruin your seasonings. Mould grows rapidly in spices that contain moisture. You need to throw out spices with any sign of mould immediately.
Stainless steel jars make for excellent storage containers. Store your spices in a cool, dry, dark space.
Cooking with spices ensures that you get to taste the flavorful punch various spices pack. However, that isn’t the case for spices stored near a source of heat. Any kind of heat – sunlight, your stove, etc., is detrimental to spices.
Spices contain natural oils that seep out to enrich your cooking. However, if you store spices for prolonged periods near a heat source, the oils will evaporate, leaving your spices dry and devoid of taste. You may store spices in an insulated food jar to protect them from heat. Make sure any spice canister is kept well away from heat or light.
While many people dry herbs under sunlight, meting out the same treatment to herbs is perhaps not the best idea. This is because sunlight can cause your spices to dry out faster and go rancid. Moreover, even if your spices don’t go bad, they will lose out on flavour. Both heat and harsh light cause bleaching of colour and flavour in spices.
Along with taste, the light also causes your spices to lose out on the delectable aroma. Spices are known for the exquisite aromas and scents they give out and add to the dish. You can use an insulated food jar to protect your spices.
No matter what kind of canister you use to store your spices, you need to keep other factors in mind. The sole aspect of storing spices shouldn’t be the kind of stainless steel food container you use. Take the other constituents into consideration to safeguard your spices from decaying before their time.