Storage Tips for Herbs and Spices
Where should I store spices and herbs?
These should be stored in airtight bottles, away from the exposure to heat, moisture, and direct sunlight. These elements hasten the loss of their flavor and aroma. Also avoid storing your spices and herbs over the stove, dishwasher, sinks, or near a window.
Members of the red pepper family, such as paprika and chili powder, should be refrigerated to help retain color and guard against infestation. This is important especially during the summer months and in particularly hot climates.
Do spices and herbs spoil?
Spices and herbs do no spoil, but they do lose their strength. Old seasonings will not flavor your meals the way they are intended to.
What is the shelf life of spices and herbs?
The shelf life of properly stored spices and herbs is approximately 3-4 years for whole spices and seeds; 2-3 years for ground spices; 1-3 years for leafy herbs; and, 1-2 years for seasoning blends.
How can I preserve the flavor and quality of my spices and herbs?
Replace the lid on bottles right after use. Measure seasonings in a bowl then add these to the pot. Do not sprinkle spices and herbs directly from the bottle over a steaming pot as steam introduced into a bottle will hasten the loss of flavor and aroma. Steam will also result in caking.
Make sure also that the measuring spoon is completely dry when you dip in the spice bottle as the added moisture may cause caking or flavor loss.