The single most important thing to remember when thinking about your spices is to buy fresh, high quality spices. I have written, on this blog, before about finding a quality spice purveyor to frequent for the very best spices. The secret about quality spice purveyors is that there are other added benefits! One of our favorite benefits is the opportunity to buy various quantities in bulk rather than having to buy a set quantity in a jar that you will end up throwing away anyway. Buying only the amount of spice you want or need will help eliminate waste and ensure that your spice is still fresh when you are ready to use it.
Below are some important tips regarding buying and storing bulk spices--
1. Know your measurements- Many spice jars are measured using volume (i.e. fluid ounces) and spices sold in bulk are measured using weight. So, if you know your jars are 4 ounce jars, that doesnt mean that 4 ounces of spices will fit. Fluid ounces are based on the weight of water, so 4 ounces of something light like basil will have a much larger volume than your 4 ounce jar.
2. Invest in a good funnel- Some spices, especially powders like cinnamon, are very hard to pour from a bag into a jar. Investing in a good funnel will save lots of money in spilled spices over the years you can use it. AllSpice has a great stainless steel funnel available, or you can roll a piece of paper or plastic up and put it in the top of your jar in a pinch.
3. Plan for storing extras- Because your bulk spices may not all fit in the spice jars, you should plan for some 'back stock'. It is good to store these spices in airtight bags out of the sunlight and heat. If you know that you won't be using them for a long time, freezing them can preserve the delicate oils. Marking your back stock in the top corner with the name and date of purchase and storing them in alphabetical order can make it easier to find them in the future. Finally, before refilling a jar, wash and dry it thoroughly to keep your spices as fresh as possible.