how do you store your spices?
- eLizard Mar 31, 2014 09:27 AM
rack, magnets, cabinet, drawer, pullout? i want to keep the spices/vinegars/oils handy, but far enough away from the ovens that they aren't damaged by the heat.
I have a cabinet that's just left of my sink, 2 steps away from the stove. On the first shelf, which is eye-level. I store most of my herbs and spices in their original jars in a plastic mini-cabinet that has 3 pull-out shelves. The second level of the main cabinet is for vinegars, overstock oils, soy sauce, Worcestershire, and vanilla extract . The third level, which I can reach by stretching, is for the baking chocolate, overstock salts, and molasses. The fourth level, which I need to grab a chair to reach, is for overstock herbs and spices.
I glued a white board to the inside of the cabinet drawer so I can keep track of what spices I have overstock of. I also attached a small rack under that with the baking soda and all the other extracts that I don't use so often (almond, lemon, etc.)
Next to the stove I have a long, narrow tray that fits 4 glass bottles with pour spouts. In these, I have vegetable oil, white vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and in a larger one, olive oil. In front of that are my pepper grinder and a smallish jar of kosher salt.
My MIL has her spice rack situated right above the stove, and I swear that most of those herbs have been there since the Dewey administration. ]:P
My oils and vinegars are stored in a cabinet above the sink. They might get a bit of warmth from the light underneath (which is not fastened to the underside of the cabinet) but not enough to affect them.
The spices I use on a regular basis are in a small cabinet to the right and above my stove - 3 shelves. I have a galley kitchen in a townhouse with open doorways on either side into the dining and living rooms, so I'm easily able to reach things as I prep. I've got them on 3 turny-go-rounds, as my Mom and I always called them (small Rubbermaid lazy susans). Two singles, one double.
I should probably have the spices elsewhere, as I'm sure that cabinet gets some enough residual heat from the stovetop and/or oven, but it's what worked best for me. I've reached in there while the oven's been on and don't notice an incremental increase in heat.
When my mother redesigned the kitchen, she had a special pull out rack made. However, it has mason jars instead of the small little spice jar. We buy our species from theindian store & mason jars are a much more comfortable size.
I have gobs of spices. Seriously, easily 50-75 or more. I have a large rectangle plastic Ikea container about 10 inches deep that fits a more shallow one inside it, creating two layers. I keep the spices I use most frequently in the top bin, which lifts out easily, and in the bottom I keep the ones I use less frequently and the ones I buy in larger quantities and keep in bags because they can store flat (bay leaves, dried peppers, etc.). I keep the whole kit on the floor in my tiny panty cabinet, which is in sort of like a small closet in my ktichen. Yes, I have to bend down to get what I need, but it keeps my spices in the dark and away from the heat of the stove. But it's no more inconvenient than reaching for a can of tomatoes or grabbing an onion. And I haven't found any drawer or cabinet organizing system that works better than this for this large number of spices.
The spices are in a drawer just to the right of the stove; I make labels to stick on the top of the jars (or I cut the label from the packaging and tape that on to the jar lid. Most of the jars came from BB&B, a few are re-used supermarket spice jars.
I am very fortunate to have a shallow floor to ceiling cabinet (it covers an old chimney). It's one bottle deep, and it's perfect for all the oils, vinegars, salts and backup Worcestershire, shoyu etc.