Keep cooking spices fresh by keeping them in the freezer. To organize them, I use the top shelf of the door. I arrange them in alphabetical order so I don't have to search through all of them to find a particular one. For example, if I'm looking for basil, I know it will be at the left end of shelf, whereas thyme will be near the right end of the shelf.
By Laura from Elberta, AL
By Laura Harlan
The Flavor Experts at McCormick Recommend the Following Tips:
Check to see that the color of your spices and herbs is vibrant. If the color has faded, chances are so has the flavor.
Rub or crush the spice or herb in your hand. If the aroma is weak and flavor is not apparent, it's time to replace it.
Store herbs and spices in a tightly capped container, and keep away from heat, moisture, and direct sunlight. Replace bottle lids tightly immediately after use.
To minimize moisture and caking, use a dry measuring spoon and avoid sprinkling directly into a steaming pot.
Check the freshness date on the bottom or right side of the bottle to help keep track of when it's time to T.O.S.S.
This really is not good advice about storing herbs/spices in the freezer. According to McCormick (I checked at their website):
Spices and herbs should not be stored in the freezer. Freezing does not extend the shelf life of regularly used dried spices and herbs. If stored in the freezer, and repeatedly removed for use, the bottles may develop condensation, which can accelerate loss of flavor and aroma.