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Should You Be Storing Spices on Your Counter?

Two rows of spices are lined up on a kitchen counter.

When cooking, having everything you need nearby can make the process smoother. So should you be storing common cooking herbs and spices on your counter all the time?

While countertop storage for herbs and spices might seem like a good idea—and it would be convenient—it’s not the best method.

Your herbs and spices shouldn’t be exposed to excess sunlight, heat, or moisture, and those are all things that occur in an open area like your kitchen.

When cooking, steam, grease, and heat can all seep into your seasonings’ packaging, All three things can degrade your spices, making them less flavorful. That means you need more to get the same boost in your food. Ultimately, this will cause you to use more, and no one wants to be spending extra money replacing spices, right?

How should you be storing them, then? Spices need to be kept in an airtight container no matter where you keep them. Most store-brand plastic packaging will be just fine, but if you want to ensure they stay fresh for as long as possible, you can always opt for glass bottles and craft your own labels.

As for where to keep them, your herbs and spices should be in a cool dark place like a pantry or a drawer that’s away from your sink and stove. This will prevent moisture damage as well as contamination with any nearby grease.

While sure, storing your spices on the countertop might make cooking easier, when it comes to keeping spices fresh, your pantry is where you really want to keep them.

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