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Old 02-20-2009, 08:15 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: NH
Posts: 1,188
ISO spice solution

I found this solution and thinking about implementing it. A few questions I want to as peoples opinions.

1. I looked at my spices and the biggest one says 3.5 oz. It looks pretty tall. Is it safe to say that 4.0 oz tins would be big enough to even fit my biggest spices

2. I plan on putting this inside one of my kitchen cabinets. How would I know the tins height will fit and not take up too much room from the stuff in there?

3. Where can I get cheap but good spices? I need some new ones.

4. How do I know how many MIL's to get?

links on what I plan on doing I think:

basically indoor adhesive magnetic strip and tin cans of which I'll have to label

Tin Deep Container 4oz w/ Cover - COVER

20 mil Magnet Sheeting with Indoor Adhesive [20mil-feet-I] - $9.25 : Custom-Magnets.com: Custom Magnets, Business Card Magnets, Printed Magnets


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Old 02-20-2009, 08:54 AM   #2
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Location: Massachusetts
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Looks like you've been watching Good Eats.

1. If a dried leaf such as basil will fit, just about anything will. If you have extra, just keep it and refill the container.

2. The tins are 1.8" and the mag strip is thin so anything in the cabinet must be 2" back from the back side of the door.

3. Cheap and good don't often come in the same package. I'd buy smaller quantities of good herbs and spices.

4. Hard to say. Spices you use a lot of, buy more. Those you don't use as often or as much at one time, buy smaller quantities. I buy peppercorns a pound at a time. Just about everything else I buy in smaller quantites - usually 4 ounces or so.

"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:14 AM   #3
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Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,208
I use a slightly different approach you can decide if that's right for you.

Buy the gladware disposable type plastic containers (available anywhere and everywhere)
You can put spices in that and stack them up in your cabinets
They take less room in the cabinets and have more storage room to put your spices of all sizes in them
It's a much cheaper and practical solution for me, I don't follow T.V. chefs or recommendations, I like to do what's practical for my lifestyle

Starter Spice Recommendations - First and most importantly, buy whole spices and not ground if you can. You can invest in a cheap coffee grinder and grind your own spices. It will save you a lot of money. Some things you may have to buy ground and if you do buy it in small quantities so you can use it up in a short time or toss them if you don't use them but not lose a lot of money. I am particular about my spices. I do toss things out if it's old because ground spices lose their flavor and after a while it's just some sawdust in my books.

- Cinnamon Sticks
- Nutmeg
- Cloves
- Black Peppercorns
- Dry Herbs - Basil, Thyme, Oregano (you can combine them in different dishes)
- Cumin Seeds
- Corrainder Seeds
- Dry red arabol chilis (if you like spicy food and like chilies)
- Powdered Spices - Cayanne Pepper, Garlic Powder, Ginger Powder, Cinnamon Powder, Other Seasoning Spices

I would say best place to buy spices is in Ethnic Markets - Hispanic, Indian, Asian, Italian, etc.
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Old 02-21-2009, 12:17 PM   #4
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Location: Southeastern Virginia
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I agree with Yakuta about where to buy spices - ethnic stores are best. Surprisingly, when I was looking for whole coriander seed and crystallized ginger during the holidays, the best price was at a local gourmet kitchen store (not a chain like Williams-Sonoma). The prices were about 1/4 what they were in the regular grocery store, and these particular items I could not find in the ethnic stores where I looked.

I keep mine on graduated racks similar to this: EXPAND A SHELVES
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
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Old 04-17-2009, 03:53 AM   #5
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Location: Galena, IL
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Yes, ethnic stores are best for some, but if you live in a small town, that may not be practical; also, sometimes you have to buy a lot more than you might use in a decade or two if you're into experimenting with different cuisines (for example, when in Madison, a 90 min drive away, I bought some of the specific kind of chili peppers I needed to make kimchee. I'm not Korean, and as much as we like kimchee, the smallest bag will last well over a year). I happen to live in a tourist town, so actually have a spice merchant who buys in bulk and packages it in smaller amounts in little bags, and I buy from him whenever possible. I like to support small family businesses, even if it costs a little more.

For storage, I actually wash and save small jars and old spice shakers, wash, dry, smell for residual odors, and reuse them for spices I buy in baggies. I store them on a couple of two-tiered turntables (I think mine are Rubbermaid) in a cupboard that isn't exposed to heat (I know folk who store them over a stove or fridge, not a great idea). When I buy spices and dried herbs for experiments in cooking from grocery stores (or even Penzeys), I buy the very smallest amount I can for the recipe.
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