You Should Toss The Sifting Cap On Your Spice Shakers. Here's Why

This is one of those topics you've probably never given much thought to — if any, at all. When you screw the top off of a jar of spice, you inevitably encounter a little plastic piece with holes in it. That's how spices work. That's how it's always been done. That's how every single bottle you've ever bought has come, correct? Pay no more attention and move on. Right?

That little sliver of plastic that perfectly pops over the slim edges of a glass or plastic canister of seasoning does serve a purpose. What is it? To evenly disperse the flavor you wish to impart to your dish with a gentle flick of the wrist. Whether it's simple salt and pepper, garlic, cumin, dried dill, or perhaps a kick of cayenne ...  a few shakes and your food will be infused with flavor. Sounds delightful, doesn't it? Not so fast.

That sifting cap is more a hindrance than a help, if we're being honest. Why is that?

Why you should toss (ahem, recycle) that plastic sifting cap

There is precisely one good reason to pull off and toss those sifters: Spices don't do their best in sprinkled amounts. When was the last time you had a meal with a discernible dusting? If a recipe ever calls for a sifting of a certain spice, it's either poorly written or doesn't exist. Even a "pinch", a "smidgen", a "dollop", and a "dash", have decipherable, measurable, universally understood translations and it has nothing to do with shaking.

Those sifters aren't attached in a thoughtful process. Think about it ... even containers of bay leaves have holes that not even a small fraction of them would fit through. It's an industrial, factory process that doesn't take into consideration the use of spice or dried herbs. No fault applied, just something to think about. How are you going to use the spice? Very few recipes call for less than of a 1/8th a teaspoon of anything. Pop the sifter off and dip the measuring spoon in the jar. 

A couple of caveats to this rule may be sprinkling garlic powder or red pepper flakes or parmesan cheese over a slice of pizza. By all means, flick away to your liking in those scenarios. But when it comes to cooking? Recycle that cap and get that measuring spoon in there.