If you’ve ever wondered how the contestants on lifestyle cooking shows work so efficiently, it’s because all of their ingredients are organised beautifully and ready to go. What’s not to love about a beautifully organised pantry, and why can’t the kitchen storage in our home setup be just as efficient?
It’s likely too that more than one householder will use your pantry stores – so it helps to be organised and, more specifically having a carefully organised selection of herbs and spices in your pantry will see you spending less time searching for your cardamom pods and more time actually cooking your curry.
Here are eight tips to organising spices in your pantry so it not only looks lovely, you can quickly and easily find everything you need.
1. Find a dedicated space for kitchen spices
Even if you need to cross the floor in your kitchen to reach your spices, make sure they’re easy to grab – use open, shallow shelving or racks and if possible, store at a depth of one single row. Alternatively, store in a door within easy reach. Many kitchen companies and retailers now have drawer organisers and even custom drawers to hold spices.
Having to dig through many bottles and boxes simply wastes time better spent cooking.
2. Keep to a uniform storage containers
Whether this is a collection of reusable jars, neat stainless steel containers or a purpose-bought set of spice jars and containers, keeping everything in the same type of container makes stacking and storing easier and uses your available space more efficiently.
3. Label everything
Clear, easy-to-read labels, always turned to the front. Jars with flat sides encourage this.
4. Store like with like
Smaller items and spices together, larger things such as cinnamon quills and dried chillies in bigger jars at the back or on a shelf of their own.
5. Store spices alphabetically
Just like in the supermarket!
6. Store within easy reach
Wall mount to the inside of your pantry door or on a wall with narrow wire spice racks or on metallic strips for magnetic spice containers – not much depth is needed for a single row of spice bottles. If shelves are your only option, a two- or three-tier spice rack raises containers at the back and keeps everything visible.
7. Replace everything - every time
The key good to organisation is to make sure to replace every item after use so you can find it just as easily next time. Where many cooks come undone is by not sticking to the system.
8. Rotate stock
Spices get stale quicker thank you think so make sure you open only what you will use in a short time. Whilst buying in bulk seems attractive, only do so for often-used spices so they stay as fresh as possible on your shelves. Keep looking, tasting and smelling spices for freshness.
Tip: invest in a spice grinder for fresher spices and store close to your spice rack. Whole seeds when freshly ground impart a more fragrant, authentic flavour to your cooking.
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