Why Your Spices Should Go In The Pantry, Not On The Kitchen Counter

Seasoning is an essential part of cooking; a kitchen without at least a few spice jars hardly feels like a real kitchen at all. Cooking with spices can elevate even the blandest of recipes. However, their prevalence in kitchens has led to several misconceptions over the years, one of which concerns the best place to store these valuable spices.

Many people enjoy displaying their spice jars on racks on the countertop or even the windowsill. The colorful powders and mixed herbs can indeed add a charming touch to your kitchen decor. Unfortunately, if you want to preserve the freshness of your spices for as long as possible, these aren't the best storage locations. Spices, herbs, and seasonings are sensitive to environmental factors such as light, heat, and humidity. Overexposure to any of these elements will cause your seasonings to lose their flavor and aroma rapidly.

Areas like the kitchen counter and especially the windowsill are often exposed to direct sunlight, temperature fluctuations from various appliances, and changes in humidity from cooking activities. As a result, your spices will lose their potency much more quickly than they should. Instead of the countertop, a more suitable storage space for all your seasonings is the pantry.

Why the pantry is a better place to store your spices

Environmentally speaking, the pantry is the polar opposite of your kitchen counter. Pantries are generally situated deeper into the house, feature good ventilation, and are often windowless. As a result, they offer a cooler and more controlled atmosphere that is almost never exposed to direct sunlight. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better place to store your spices.

However, we understand that not everyone has the luxury of a dedicated pantry. No worries! If you're without one, you can still make the most of your available space by selecting a location that meets the essential criteria: stability, coolness, and protection from direct sunlight. For example, a closed drawer or cabinet in your kitchen, situated far from heat sources like stovetops and ovens, will do the trick just as well as a pantry. These spots are certainly better storage options than the countertop!

Once you've located the ideal storage space, you can take extra steps to keep your spices fresh. Consider storing them in airtight glass containers and organizing them with labels and spice racks. By doing so, you can avoid having to replenish your seasoning collection every few weeks, ensuring that you always have fresh ingredients on hand whenever you're in the mood to cook with spices.