Cumin, coriander, cardamom. Sichuan pepper. Cinnamon sticks, cinnamon powder. Nutmeg, allspice, black pepper and ginger. Fermented black beans, red pepper flakes. These are just a few of the spices in my cupboard — all well-loved and frequently used. Storage for my heaps of spices has been a chronic challenge in my little kitchen; they've been squirreled away in bags, stuffed into tiny jars, spilling loose grains to drift into mounds on the floor of the cupboard.
But now, at last, I feel that I have finally found a practical solution that keeps my spices fresh, organized, and neat. Want to see it? (It involves Mason jars.)
But that's not the only spice storage solution out there; over the years we have featured many other clever, creative spice racks and storage solutions from our readers. Here are ten of our most popular, practical ideas for spice storage. Remember, though — any spice storage solution you choose won't throw away your old spices for you; make sure your spices are fresh.
Any solution, too, should put the spices you use most frequently front and center. No need to fit that pumpkin pie spice into a spice rack if you only use it once a year. (On the other hand, why keep something around you only use once year — here's how to make your own pumpkin pie spice.)
• 1 Mason Jars - My own personal method of storing spices. This works best for me — it's inexpensive, and it lets me store the large amount of spices I need for daily cooking.
• 2 Spices In the Drawer - If you use less spices or don't need huge jars of them, a drawer can be a great way to keep them handy yet organized. Label the tops of the jars so you can find something at a glance.
• 3 Use an Old Muffin Tin to Organize - And if you have a big enough drawer, use an old muffin tin to hold little baggies and other loose containers of spices.
• 4 Masala Dabba (Indian Spice Box) - These beautiful, airtight Indian spice containers are a great way to keep your spices organized and fresh. (The rest of the post also shows many other ways an Indian cook stocks and organizes his spice pantry — inspiring!)
• 5 Beautiful Spice Storage in a Printer's Tray - Melissa of Traveler's Lunchbox repurposes a vintage printer's tray into a beautiful spice storage solution.
• 6 Susy's White and Minimal Spice Rack - A simple, minimalist spice rack from a reader.
• 7 Build a Spice Rack With a Ruler! - A cute under-cabinet idea from a reader.
• 8 How To Make a Wall-Mounted Magnetic Spice Rack - A classy, easily-constructed wall-mounted rack.
• 9 Slim, Modern Spice Rack Inside a Cabinet Door - We love the idea of storing spices on the inside of a cabinet door. What a good way to make the most of your space.
• 10 Magnetic Spice Jars - These jars can go anywhere - on the fridge, on a metal spice rack.
How do you store your spices? Do you keep them in the cupboard, or in a drawer? Have you found a particularly interesting or practical way to keep your spices organized? We'd love to see it!
(Images: See linked posts for full image credits)