There’s nothing worse than opening a jar of spices, wanting only a dash of something, and pulling out a clump of dried spices or even having one solid clump in the jar. Usually, it’s the garlic and onion powder that gives us the most problems after the container is opened. It happens because moisture and humidity seep into the container. It this will also reduce the flavor and strength of your herbs. To avoid this issue, here’s what you need to do.
Add A Moisture Sucker
It sounds funny, I know, but if you do this simple trick, it will keep your herbs dry and clump-free. What you want to do is place a few dried beans in the containers. This will help absorb some of the moisture that may get into your container. A lot of people will go for the rice first because of its absorption properties, but it’s not always the best option, especially for shakers. The rice is so small that it can come out with the other spices, messing up your whole recipe. The beans are a lot larger and easier to deal with. If you want to use rice in something, use it in salt since the holes are so small and cannot fit the rice through.
Avoid Moisture-Filled Areas
One of the biggest mistakes one can make when using their shakers full of spices is to use them over steam from whatever you’re cooking. This has a huge effect on whatever spice you are using in your food. The second that moisture hits the inside of the jar, it’s over. If you need to use a spice in your cooking food, use it away from the stove. Put it in another bowl or measuring spoon first and then dump it in the food. If you find your spices have clumped, simply use a metal skewer to break up the clumps outside of the container and place them on a sheet of baking paper or on a tray. Put them in the on 250 degrees F and after a couple of minutes, the heat will remove the moisture.
Proper Storage for Spices
According to the FDA, in order to get the most out of your spices, you should always ensure that they’re in an airtight container with the lid always shut. It should also be stored in a cool and dark environment, even in the freezer. This will help prevent moisture from coming in contact with what is inside the container. Don’t shake over steam and remember to add the dried beans to them. One more word of advice, store the containers upside down to prevent any air from getting in.
Check out our spices and herbs page for the shelf life of dozens of different spices!