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how do you store your spices?

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.

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  1. 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

    1 Reply
    1. 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.

      1 Reply
      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          2 Replies
          1. re: acecil

            I like that idea. Could move them to the lazy susan and spin them around when I need them. Intriguing

            1. re: acecil

              this is sort of where i am with respect to volume. when i emptied my kitchen, i was floored that i had entire giant under the bed sized tote full of spices (and i pitched the ones that i don't use!). this doesn't include oils and vinegars and hot sauces.

            2. 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.

              1 Reply
              1. re: kcshigekawa

                The ones I use most often are also in the drawer to the right of the range. The rest are in the pantry across the room, as are the Penzeys bulk bags that I refill the jars from.

              2. The spices I use regularly (at least once a day) are on a small turntable next to the oven. The others are in a cabinet next to the right of the stove. Large quantities of extra spices are kept in a cabinet and in the freezer.

                1. I have 2 of these, in a ~16" cabinet near my stove and "mixing counter." I think they are perfect


                  You can store spices in original jars, or the rack will hold up to pint mason jars.

                  Overflow bulk spices in the pantry.

                  1. I have a pantry cabinet a few steps from my range/prep area that stores spices on shelves on the door, as well as vinegars, etc. The shelves in the cabinet hold pantry items: sugars, various flours, baking ingredients, salts, and the some of the most-used baking pans.

                    If I could fit a small chair in there - it's my little world, and it smells amazing.

                    1. During the design phase of my recent kitchen reno I resisted this cabinet unit because I was reluctant to sacrifice 9" of counter space. But my kitchen designer held fast to her belief that I'd be making a mistake if I didn't include it, AND that I'd thank her profusely for standing her ground. She was SO right! I love this pull-out cabinet that stores spices, oils, etc. right where I use them.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: CindyJ

                        oh! on the counter is awesome. where did you get it??

                        1. re: eLizard

                          The cabinetry is all custom made, but I'm pretty sure that Rev-a-Shelf has a similar unit.

                          1. re: CindyJ

                            Yes, Rev-a-Shelf makes the pullout for base, wall and tall cabinets in different widths. I try to include them in most kitchens I design, as well.

                            1. re: kitchengardengal

                              It's become one of my favorite features of my new kitchen.

                      2. Oils and vinegars in the fridge (mostly in the door and along the wall of the lowest shelf), spices in square tins held onto the pantry cabinet doors with strips of magnetic tape.


                        1. I had spice racks built into cabinet doors, so my spices are in the racks and also take up a cabinet.

                          1. My spice rack is close of them but does not get warm.

                            1. I keep spices in wall racks away from the stove and out of direct sunlight. I keep herbs in a cabinet near the stove. Oils and vinegars are on the counter next to the stove with no noticeable decline in quality.

                              No matter where you store herbs and spices, they only stay at their best for 6-12 months so buy them in small amounts and replace them at least once a year or increase the amounts called for in your recipes.

                              1. I have open tall shelving where I keep my tall bottles of cooking wine, soy sauces, oils, vinegars, etc. In a cabinet right by it I keep my excess spices (I buy big bags from Penzeys of the stuff I use often) and some of the stuff I use very rarely or is liquidy like vanilla extracts, maple syrupts, saffron, etc. The rest I keep in little jars I love. They have magnets on the bottom, clear tops which fit firnly on and you can turn them to open up the sides to either little holes for shaking on a bit or a giant hole for pouring. I have these lined up the side of my fridge via their magnetic powers

                                1. Thanks for this thread - my project this week is to inventory (just finished) and get an improved storage solution for the 70 spice bottles, 9 vinegars, dozen extracts, miscellaneous boxed spices, and soda/baking powder/vanilla that currently crowd a very deep cabinet shelf with a single pull out drawer.

                                  I like the idea of a stacked box solution, most frequently used on top. I know that straight alphabetical organization doesn't work well for me -- I want all the "C" "O" and "G" spices on the front row / fast-grab location.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                    Here's what I came up with, using stacked bamboo boxes from WorldMarket in two lengths - 3 long / 3 short. The vinegars fit behind the long boxes, with a couple in a doubled row behind the short boxes. The giant-size spice bottles fit in front of the short boxes - when these are used up I'll opt for smaller quantities.

                                    The dry soups got moved to another shelf. The yeast, plain gelatin and spice-blend-recipes list are in a clear envelope inside the door. The baking powder/baking soda are down one shelf, but fitting them in meant rearranging 2 other shelves.

                                    Taking everything out helped me realize how lucky I am to have a HUGE pantry cupboard 14 wide 20 deep, 11 high for the spices, multiple other shelves available.