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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.