How To Keep Your Spices Fresh

Spices from Gujarat
Photo Credit: Sudhamshu Hebbar

We take great pride in having the freshest spices you can buy online. We know how important it is to cook with fresh spices, the fresher the spices the better all of your recipes will taste. So, we wanted to pass along a few tips to help you extend the life of your spices.

Keep ’em sealed

When you buy a new jar of spices, don’t throw away the seal inside the lid. The seal will help to keep air from passing in out of the container.

If your spices are in a bag make sure it is sealed tight and be sure to release any excess air from the bag before sealing it. If you live in an area of high humidity it is especially important that you do this for any dried powder products because they are designed to be reconstituted with water and readily absorb moisture.

Keep ’em separated

Keep the lids of your containers on very tight and if your spices are in bags or packets avoid stacking them on top of each other. Some spices have a tendency to absorb the scents of others and can cause your food to take on flavors that you did not intend.  If you buy spices in large bags you may want to buy empty spice shakers and store the rest in a pantry and refill as needed.

Choose whole spices whenever possible

Buying whole spices like peppercorns and coriander seeds and cracking them right before use will be more potent than buying spices pre-ground. Just like how coffee beans have the most flavor immediately after grinding, the flavor is locked and released when broken. Using a mortar and pestle to grind your spices will greatly improve your flavor experience.

Date your new spices

When you buy a new supply of your favorite spice, use a marker to write the date on the lid. This will help you to know how fresh they are and if you need to order less the next time.

Location, location, location

Many herbs and spices can be stored in your refrigerator, just make sure to put them in an airtight container so moisture doesn’t get inside.

Keep your spices in a dry location. A bad place to keep spices is above your stove because the heat and steam from your cooking can cause your seasonings to clump.

Keep your spices out of the sunlight and even too much ceiling light is not recommended. Sunlight can cause your spices to age faster and will change the taste and color, even a few hours can make a difference.


In general a year is a pretty safe bet to ensure you are getting the most flavor out of your spices. Spices usually do not go bad they just lose their flavor over time. So you do not have to be afraid to use spices that are over a year old but you may want to use a little extra. – American Spice Co.

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