when to Replace Spices
Checking For Freshness
Before using your herbs and spices, use your senses to determine freshness.
Green, leafy herbs will often fade as they age. Red spices such as paprika, red pepper and chili powder will turn brown in color.
Place a small amount in your palm and gently rub with your thumb. The aroma should be rich, full and immediate. If not, it's probably lost potency. For whole spices, break or crush to release their full fragrance. Then scrape with a knife or grater.
If in Doubt, Throw it Out
Herbs and spices are some of the least expensive ingredients in any entree. So if you question their freshness, it's worth it to replace them.
Tips To Prolong Freshness
Buy quality products
Our spices and herbs start with some of the highest volatile-oil levels, so they can retain their flavor longer.
Store herbs and spices in cool, dry surroundings, away from direct light, heat or humidity. Keep in airtight glass jars and close tightly after each use.
Don't shake over a boiling pot
Moisture from steam may diminish the potency of spices or herbs remaining in the jar. Pour a small amount into your hand or a ramekin, then add to dishes.
A rough guideline for how long to keep herbs and spices.
- Ground Spices 2-3 years
- Whole Spices 3-4 years
- Herbs 1-3 years
- Seasoning Blends 1-2 years
- Extracts 4 years