You Should Never Keep This One Spice in Your Cabinet, Experts Warn
This spice needs to be stored separately in your kitchen.
While we've all been guilty of taking a little too much time to clean out our kitchen drawers and cupboards, there is nowhere more neglected than our spice cabinets. Spices tend to keep longer than other foods, so we're less concerned about doing a weekly—or even yearly—cleanse. You may want to tackle that messy spice cabinet sooner rather than later, though, especially if you're keeping one spice in your cabinet that experts say should never be stored there. Read on to find out which spice needs to be relocated.
You should never keep red spices in your cabinet.
If you look in your cabinet right now and see red-colored spices, you'll want to take them out. Grace Woinicz, chef and CEO of The Brilliant Kitchen, says the "heat and humidity in cabinets causes damage" to red spices, which will make them lose their flavor. "When kept in cabinets, their chemical properties are lost, and they may go bad quickly," she explains. Red spices include popular staples like red pepper, paprika, and chili powder.
Red spices should be stored in the refrigerator instead.
Lisa Richards, CNC, a nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet, says spices like red pepper, paprika, and chili powder are the most common spices to be stored incorrectly. "It is uncommon knowledge, but important to know, that red spices should be kept in the refrigerator," she says.
But you don't necessarily have to throw out red spices if you've been keeping them in a cabinet, says Geri Williams, DC, the supervising doctor at Ideal You Health Center. "Spices don't go bad in the same way that milk or meat goes bad," she says. "These spices will still be edible and won't be harmful in any way, but they may not provide as much flavor to your dishes as you'd like them to."
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If a spice doesn't need to be refrigerated, you should keep it in the cabinet.
Don't go throwing all your spices in the refrigerator now just to be safe. Unless they need to be, refrigerating your spices could lead to more trouble. Williams says that sometimes when you take spices out of the fridge, it creates condensation. "This condensation can form mold for many spices and you then would have to discard your spices if they start to develop mold growth," she explains. So keep your non-red spices stored in your cabinet.
And you should never store any spices in cabinets near your stove.
You shouldn't only be worried about where you're storing your red-colored spices, however. Megan Ayala, a nutrition expert and founder of Patricia and Carolyn, says you should never store any spices in the cabinets near your stove or oven. According to Ayala, "the constant heat emitted" from these kitchen appliances can heat up nearby cabinets and ruin your spices completely.
"Always keep your spice cabinets away from heating appliances to prolong your spices' lives," she says. "Most people prefer their cabinets near their freezer or closer to the fan, away from sunlight."