View Full Version : Life of spice?

02-22-2010, 12:31 PM
No, I didn't mean "spice of life". Got that pretty much figured out.

We spent the weekend cleaning out the in-laws house. Sorted out who-wants-what, hauled a bunch back to Tulsa, and left the rest for the auctioneer to figure out. Still have 1 outbuilding to go.

Anyway, since I appear to be the closest thing to a cook left in the family, I brought home the box of spices, marinades, kitchen oddities, and odd-and-ends. I knew when it went into the box that some of it bottles and tins looked a bit aged. Going through them today, I'm finding "sell by" dates from '98 up to late 2010. Any general guide as to how long a spice is good? I figure if I can't get a good bit of aroma when I open it and shake it a bit, it's probably past it's prime. Anything more accurate than that?


And I brought the apple butter making equipment home too. Can't wait to make some. We've been out for about 6 months. My MIL's was the second-best I've had the pleasure to taste. Nuthin' comes close to what my momma used to make us...

02-22-2010, 06:23 PM
try this (http://www.ochef.com/627.htm)

or even better (http://www.theepicentre.com/tip/spicetips.html)

In case anyone else is wondering about the same.

Hell Fire Grill
02-22-2010, 06:51 PM
Heres another one.


02-22-2010, 09:30 PM
Ground spices go down hill after 6 mouths. whole spices fair better up to 2 years if stored in air tight containers and kept out of direct light. As the prices go up and some are way out of hand I have taken to buying whole in bulk and grinding what I need I vacuum seal the whole containers and store in the freezer. At which point the will keep almost indefinitely.

02-22-2010, 10:11 PM
Trust your nose and your tongue. I you don't know what a spice or herb should taste or smell like, start with fresh and go from there.

Discarding after 6 months would be very wasteful in the case of most.

Like Blue Dawg, I vacpac and feeze herbs for several years and they are still better than what you buy in the store.

For me, herbs seem to lose their flavor much more quickly than spices.