How can I keep my spices from clumping?
I live in the sub-tropics (Florida, but "sub-tropics" sounds so much more exotic!) and want to keep moisture from my jars of spices. Does anyone have a suggestion other than adding rice? Is it safe to add one of those silica desiccant packets to a jar of spices?
yo, you might find this discussion helpful. http://forums.cooking.com/showthread....
i think the dessicant packets are fine to use.
my mom has a home in s.w. florida, but it is only certain things that get hard from lack of use, like garlic powder. the other spices tend to be just fine.
do you run your a/c? seal your jars well when you're done with them? you shouldn't have a humidity problem IN the house.
I agree with alkapal. It should be safe to add a dessicant packets. What I would do is to place the dessicant packet above the spice, underneath the lid. This should work as long as your lid is larger than the dessicant packet.
To be specific.
Open your lid, interior up, place the dessicant packet on the interior surface, tape the sides of the package to the lid.
Now the dessicant package is not directly touching the spice, yet they will share the same space when the lid is closed. It won't be in your way when you scoop the spice, you won't accidentally poke a hole in the package, and it is easy to exchange for the next package.
Have you considered buying whole spices and grinding them as needed? Not only will the clumping problems go away, your spices will taste better, too.
Use a couple of beans and put in your spice jar. They are big so they don't get mixed in with spice like rice. Any type of bean will do kidney, red, black, pinto whatever. It works.
I live in the tropics and have only ever had garlic powder clump together. Nothing else does. But then, I go through a lot of spices (ie, about 1/2 a pound of chilli powder a month), so it could also be that my spices never really have the time to clump.
Perhaps keep only a small amount at room temperature and freeze the rest? They'd keep fresher that way anyway.