Alton Brown's Space-Saving Storage Method For Keeping Spices Fresh

When it comes to storing spices in the kitchen, Food Network reveals most of us resort to the countertop. Additionally, the food site says a cabinet, cupboard, pantry, or drawer are all common places to keep these aromatic flavor enhancers. But the clutter it can create is real and annoying. In fact, according to the Apartment Guide, dealing with clutter is one of our least favorite things to address in the kitchen. So, what is the best way to store your spices that keeps them fresh?

Alton Brown and wife Elizabeth Ingram are no strangers to the effective use of space. Per Atlanta Magazine, Brown shared that in his kitchen in their loft in Marietta, Georgia, they don't hide the pots and pans away in cabinets. Instead, the couple hangs them on a black steel wall, ready for use. Not only that, but Brown and Ingram have turned drawer pullouts from a work table into containers for household items like matches and salt, and they have created a special space for brewing coffee. So, it should come as no surprise that the "Good Eats" host has a space-saving method for keeping spices fresh that is worth gushing over.

It's a practical solution

Brown shares in a Food Network video that he has a method on set that is both a clever and space-saving way of storing spices. The celebrity chef says spices have a lot of "volatile" compounds. He then goes on to explain when he says volatile, he means those compounds will "freak out and go away." Brown further explains that two of the things that ruin your dried herbs and spices are light and heat. That's why the "Iron Chef" lined the inside doors of the cabinets with strips of Velcro that his spice canisters attach to. It both safeguards his cooking ingredients and saves space. Genius! Brown concedes a magnetic board would probably be smarter, but if it works, it works.

If you are curious, Brown revealed he just gets his canisters at a hobby shop, and while they aren't airtight, he notes air is also a great enemy of spices. Kitchn concurs, saying exposure to air will cause your spices and herbs to lose their flavor much quicker. That said, Brown cautions that even with the best storage, herbs and spices do not last forever. He even acknowledged he can barely keep his oregano fresh for more than 60 days. Brown says he changes out his spices every six months to ensure the spices are as flavorful as they can be.