How to Store Herbs and Spices

Storing Herbs and Spices

Keep herbs and spices in a cool, dry place (not over the range!) and in air-tight containers.  Store dried herbs in plastic bags, glass jars or stainless steel containers rather than in cardboard.  Keep containers out of direct sunlight, which fades the color of the herb and reduces the strength.

Your recipes won’t taste as good if the spice or herb has lost its flavor.  Simply adding more than the recipe calls for won’t solve the problem.  Check whole spices for freshness once a year by crushing a small amount and sniffing it.  The aroma should be fresh and pungent.  Use the same method to check ground spices every six months and dried herbs 2 to 3 times a year.

Because spices and herbs are expensive, refrigerating or freezing in air-tight containers lengthens their life.  The flavor and color will last longer, and refrigeration will reduce the chance of insect infestation.  Some spices such as paprika, chili powder and red pepper attract insects.

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