Preserving Your Herbs: Choosing The Best Spice Jars

Preserving Your Herbs: Choosing The Best Spice Jars

Michelle Chin
Nov 4, 2010

As we make our way through the 20/20 Cure, some of us may find our kitchens in need of some organizational attention. (If you're following the Kitchen Cure, then you know this!) Ever realize that you have 4 different containers of cinnamon or cream of tartar lurking in the back of a cabinet? Maybe 3 of them unwittingly fell off the lazy susan, but still...there's got to be a better way to organize and preserve what we have so that we make the most of what we buy or make, and don't waste anything.

Some things to consider before you run out and spend a lot of money on Dean and Deluca's Test Tube Spice Rack: although it's beautiful to look at and display on your counter, spices will deteriorate and lose their potency if left out in full light. Not great for preserving your resources and investment unless you cook enough to use all the spices in 3-6 months. Ideally, you should use a metal or dark glass container. If you use clear glass, they should be kept in a drawer or pantry that is cool, dry and away from sunlight. This way, they can keep for up to a year.

More tips for keeping your spices fresh and flavorful:

• Whole leaves and herbs keep longer than their crushed or powdered counterparts. You can use a mortar and pestle to grind the spice up and the flavor will be more fully intact even after storage.
• Not only label your jars, but also mark the date on them.
• Airtight containers will preserve your herb and spices better.

Here are a few spice jars to keep in mind:


1 Amber Wide Mouth Bottle, $2.80 from Monterey Bay Spice Company
2 Spice Bottle with Cork, $0.60 and up from Mountain Rose Herbs
3 Droppar Spice Jars. $2.99/2pk from IKEA
4 Glass Spice Jar, $1.95 from Crate&Barrel
5 Blue or Red Glass Spice Jar, $2.95 from
6 In-Drawer Spice Rack, $27.99 from The Container Store


7 Stainless Steel Spice Jar, $4.55 from Meritline
8 Blue Glass Jars, $0.55 and up from Specialty Bottle

(Images: as linked)

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