This Is When You Need to Replace Your Spices, According to McCormick

Plus the best place to store them to preserve freshness.

<p>McCormick spices</p>

McCormick spices

Have you ever made your go-to comfort dish and it tasted kind of meh? You followed the directions, had all the right ingredients, and still left with a dish that doesn’t make your mouth happy when you take the first bite. Perhaps your seasonings or spices have expired!

Yes, spices seem like one of those things that can last forever, but there are limits to how much time can pass before your garlic powder is more of a whisper than a pleasing pungent aroma. Spices that don’t have that much flavor left will have you using way more to achieve your desired result, potentially throwing off the balance of your dish.

How to Check the Freshness of Your Spices

So how can you tell if your spices are no longer...Spicy? We reached out to the experts over at McCormick to find out how to best preserve and stow spices. According to the brand, there are actually quite a few ways to tell if your spices need to go.

The first sign is of course smell. If the spices don’t have much of an aroma, they might be past their prime. Another very easy indicator? The best buy date on the label. Now of course spices can be expensive and throwing them away might seem premature, but according to the USDA, most ground spices last for between 2 to 3 years with whole spices lasting up to 4 years. So if the spices aren’t spicing, they’re definitely old.

To maintain freshness, measure your spices using clean measuring spoons. This also cuts down on introducing bacteria to the individual containers.

The Best Way to Store Spices to Keep Them Fresh

McCormick also provided several guidelines for the best way to store your seasonings to avoid rapid deterioration.

“Store spices away from extreme heat, moisture, and direct sunlight. They should not be kept above the stove, and caps should be securely tightened to keep them fresh,” says Hadar Cohen Aviram, Executive Chef and Senior Manager for McCormick. 

“Avoid sprinkling directly into/over a steaming pot, as humidity can affect ground spices and might make them clump; [this] also [is] a great way to avoid accidental spills!”

Display your spices on a tiered rack, so you can see labels clearly. Keep your go-tos front-and-center and rotate in others occasionally to remind yourself what you have. And if you do forget, Chef Aviram suggests cleaning out your spice cabinet twice a year. Daylight Savings is a perfect reminder to check in your spice rack for discards and duplicates.

As we welcome a new season and start our spring cleaning, don't forget your spice collection. And double check that you are stashing your jars and bottles correctly. Your favorite recipes will thank you.

Read the original article on All Recipes.