Kitchen Confidence

Spice Advice

By • April 25, 2012 • 4 Comments

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Spice 1

We’ve given you our 10 Essential Spices -- now, with the help of Lior Lev Sercaz of La Boite à Epices (check out our great deal on his spice blends in the Food52 Shop!), we've assembled some tips for storing, grinding, and handling your new spice collection:

Buy in quantities you know you will use.

According to Lior, you can buy your spices whole or ground, depending on the frequency with which you use them. Whole spices will last longer than ground. 

Find the right source.

Since a little spice can go a long way, make sure to buy quality products; they’re worth the investment.

Store your spices in airtight containers.

No need to put them in the fridge or the freezer -- the pantry is just fine. 

Use a coffee grinder to grind your spices.

While Lior says a mortar and pestle can be “poetic,” a simple coffee grinder is easy to use, easy to maintain, and you don’t need biceps of steel.

Be careful when toasting your spices.

Never toast ground spices; they burn more easily than whole spices. Lior recommends toasting whole spices in an oven, keeping a close eye (and nose!) on them. There’s nothing wrong with toasting spices to keep for later -- just make sure they’re stored correctly. 

Photos by James Ransom

Jump to Comments (4)

Tags: kitchen confidence, spices, storage, la boite, organization, how-to & diy

Comments (4)

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28 days ago RawSpiceBar

Highly recommend RawSpiceBar for small batch, freshly ground authentic spice blends. They offer a huge variety of regional variations from around the world created by top chefs and also have a spice of the month club and spice box which lets you try them all! The site is http://www.rawspicebar...

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over 2 years ago lloreen

Wouldn't it be hard not to burn spices in the oven? I usually toast cumin in a skillet so that I can toss it continuously. It takes less than 30 seconds. How do you do it so quickly in the oven without it burning? Some parts of my gas oven are hotter than others.

Christina_loccke

over 2 years ago Sexy Mother Foodie

Smart advice--thx!
And when I see that I'm going through a spice too slowly, I try to use it up more quickly on savory snacks like popcorn. Piment d'Esplette is a favorite for that.

Christina_loccke

over 2 years ago Sexy Mother Foodie

Smart advice--thx!
And when I see that I'm going through a spice too slowly, I try to use it up more quickly on savory snacks like popcorn. Piment d'Esplette is a favorite for that.