How to Arrange Spices in Kitchen

How to Arrange Spices in Kitchen
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Any chef, foodie, or even the occasional cook who appreciates flavor will agree that there are never too many herbs and spices in a good well-fitted kitchen. Yet this brings with it a huge problem. Where do you put them all? 

How do you even begin sorting herbs, spices, roots, barks, nuts and powders? The sheer number of ingredients which you would love to have at your disposal requires a rigorous means of sorting and display.

Here we’ll be taking you through a look how to arrange spices in a kitchen, highlighting effective techniques to serve as inspiration towards bringing your own spice collection under control and at easy access.

Portion-Out Your Spices

The chances of you getting through the volume of herbs and spices which is typically provided in a single package is slim. Portioning out your spices into jars, containers or tubes is a great way to stay organized and keep everything fresh and tasty.

Never cross contaminate and ensure that each container in which spices are stored is completely airtight and never placed near any source of direct heat or moisture. Never allow yourself into accepting the idea that you will remember what everything is.

Once herbs and spices have been stored for a while and begin to lose their pungency, it is often hard to identify them. Always give each storage medium an easy to read label, especially when storing spices in drawers.

Portion-Out Your Spices

Wall-Mounted Spice Displays for Easy Access

Professional chefs and demanding cooks will want the quickest access to the broadest range of spices available. Magnetic wall-mounted storage containers make for some of the most practical yet beautiful ways to display and give access to an array of spices.

Some users loved the idea so much that they created their own using metal canisters and a large magnetic board instead of opting for a pre-manufactured storage solution. Another great way to give access to your spices is by using a conventional spice rack or two.

Three may actually be even better for those who love a large variety of spices, while taking up very little space at all on your wall. If you do opt for a wall-mounted spice rack, be sure to store your spices in bottles which are not clear as the light will degrade the potency and pungency.

Also, be sure to position your spice racks far from any form of heat or condensation. A dark, cool area is far better for prolonged storage.

Only Display Frequently Used Spices

Take the time to determine which spices are most frequently used in your kitchen and store the rest in a cool cupboard or pantry, far from temperature fluctuations which could cause them to cake and lose flavor.

A great place to keep lesser-used spices, or often the entire collection of spices themselves, is inside containers packed tightly in a drawer, perhaps with the assistance of a drawer divider. As is the case when storing spices out in the open, be sure to portion out only as much herbs or spices as will be used within a moderate period of time. The rest will store far better in a cool cupboard.

The shelf life of spices stored within a drawer is generally better than on a rack out in the open but nothing beats a cool place which barely gets touched. Those who use a very broad range of spices on a frequent basis should consider a dedicated spice cabinet which closes completely. The more protected this area is from heat and the elements the better.

Where to Start Sorting Spices

Where to Start Sorting Spices?

If you are completely lost and don’t know where to begin categorizing your spices then it may be best to consult our handy guide. Here is a look at the basic ways that spices are typically classified along-with a few examples of each:

  • Bitter – Bay leaf, cloves, cumin, fenugreek, horseradish, lavender, marjoram, oregano, star anise, turmeric, thyme
  • Cooling – Anise, basic, dill, fennel, mint, borage
  • Earthy – Cumin, cardamom, saffron
  • Floral – Coriander, lemongrass, lavender, rose petals
  • Fruity – Anise, star anise, savory, tamarind, fennel
  • Herbaceous – Dill, lavender, oregano, parsley, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme
  • Hot – Black pepper, red pepper, white pepper, chili, horseradish, mustard, wasabi
  • Nutty – Black cardamom, nutmeg, coriander seed, cumin seed, mustard seed, poppy seed, sesame seed, ajwain, aniseed
  • Piney – Bay leaf, thyme, rosemary
  • Pungent – Allspice, garlic, ginger, horseradish, marjoram, mustard, paprika, spearmint, star anise, dill
  • Sour – Amchur, tamarind, green spice
  • Spicy – Bay leaf, peppercorns, paprika, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry leaf, ginger, marjoram, nutmeg
  • Sweet – Allspice, caraway, cinnamon, chervil, cloves, dill, fennel, green cardamom, nutmeg, poppy, sesame, granulated honey and molasses
  • Woody – Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, lavender, juniper, peppercorns, rosemary

Personal Habits Have the Final Say

While sorting spices according to their taste may be the best solution for some, most people simply stick to a small selection of spices which they are familiar with. Your spice collection will ultimately be determined by your individual cooking habits, although keeping things organized, out of direct light and airtight is always the best course of action.

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