Updated: Oct 30
Got clumping BBQ spices? Actually, maybe we shouldn’t say “clumping” — sometimes they seem to have turned into concrete! Any fine ground powders are always the worst!
But the Team at Smoked Bros is here to help. We have combined some tips on storing and using spices. Let's talk about the science behind spices.
As spices age, they naturally lose the essential oils within them. This loss of oils leads to flavor losses. The three biggest threats to spices are light, humidity and oxygen. Light is particularly damaging to dried leafy herbs and pigmented spices, such as turmeric or saffron. When photosensitive elements in spices are exposed to light, they begin to oxidize and break down. Exposing spices to oxygen, particularly at high temperatures, results in the oxidation of essential oils. Studies found that ground spices are more vulnerable to oxidation because more of the surface is exposed to the elements.
Dry spices naturally absorb moisture from the air. Moisture leads to changes in weight and flavor. When ground spices absorb moisture, they often become lumpy and hard, making them more difficult to incorporate into foods well.
Best practices to prevent breakdown and flavor loss is with humidity control solutions.
Store spices in an area that’s cool, dark and dry. The ideal location is in an area away from refrigeration units, steam and cooking elements. In a restaurant, for example, do not keep spices on a shelf above a grill or sink.
Minimize light infiltration and slow the oxidation process by storing spices in dark areas.
If you're not going to use all the open spices immediately, use glass containers. Spices stored in glass containers lose less essential oils than those stored in plastic containers.
Use a dry spoon or scoop to remove spices from a container. This helps prevent moisture intrusion by not sprinkling spices into a hot or steaming pot directly from its storage container.