By Mick Brown
It is surprising what you may find in the back of the Cabinet..
OK. I have a confession. As you may know, my company has offered in-home private grilling lessons for years. The first order of business is usually checking out the client’s pantry. You can learn a lot from seeing what kind of dry seasonings people are using. For example, I always discourage Garlic and Onion Salt(s) if I encounter them. The biggest question is always “How old are these Spices?”.
My Spice Cabinet also holds Teas, Medicines and Health Supplements. This box of Tea from 1998 was the oldest date I found.
With that said, my confession is that I have not done a thorough upgrade of my home shelf for a least a couple of years. For the past 14 years, I have owned restaurants or worked out of others’ for catering gigs. So I always have access to fresh and fast moving dry spices. I rarely dig into my home stash of spices and herbs anymore.
- Many Spice Bottles have an Expiration Date on the bottom or on a side panel. Others come with Lot Numbers.
In the New Year, I already have a few private BBQ lessons lined up. This article will be in the front of client hand-outs this year. I am now the proud owner of newly cleaned and re-organized kitchen spice cabinets! It feels good to know the current inventory of fresh usable seasonings, and where they are located. Here’s how I did it in 4 Easy Steps:
Dust and Rust are good indications that it is time to let an Herb go. The Voodoo Rub was a souvenir from a trip to New Orleans about 10 years ago.
4 EASY STEPS TO UPDATE YOUR SPICE CABINETS
1. Take out your fresh, newly bought bottles and put them aside. They usually populate the front rows of your lower shelves. These are going back in.
2. Carefully inspect the older “questionable” bottles for an Expiration Date. Sort out bottles with dates that have expired and those that come with a lot number (manufacturer lot numbers can be searched online). Of course those with good dates are kept. Questionable bottles that are dusty and rusty have seen fresher days. Why bother looking them up online?
3. Dust and clean shelves before replacing the good spices and herbs. I happened to have some new shelf liners laying around from the last cabinet project, so I applied them to the clean shelves. If you are thus motivated, feel free to buy liners at your local Kitchen Supply Dept.
4. Of course now you can restock/re-organize the shelves in a way that makes sense to you. But- What do you do with the expired herbs and spices? Put the bottles in the Recycling Bin? Of course. Recycle the actual old spices and herbs? Sure- especially if you have a little extra time for a home craft project. You can always save the project for another day.
An embarrassing view of the graveyard of Health Supplement programs of years past; Human and Canine.
RECYCLING OLD SPICES AND HERBS
From a BBQ Perspective, it is the best to use the same Herbs and Spices you would add to a Rub or Recipe; like Garlic, Rosemary, Cumin, Oregano, Paprika, etc…
Here are 3 BBQ Ideas:
1. For Gas Grills add the Spices with your Wood Chips in Box, Tin Pan or Foil Pouch for Smoking.
2. If using Wood Chunks or Logs with Charcoal, add Spices and Herbs to your Pan of Water, Juice or Beer for humidifying the Smoker. Herbs will add a nice aroma to the smoke.
3. For Stovetop or Electric Smoking, combine the Spices with the Wood Chips in Pan.
Otherwise, there are plenty of other uses for expired spices and herbs- from Heated Potpourris, Homemade Candles, Soaps, etc… You can even use old dry Cayenne to ward off garden pests. [See Links below.] In the meantime, my catering company has created a new Rub, with freshly blended herbs and spices. I have provided a few links, if you’d like to check it out. Until next time, Eat and Be Well.
LINKS- RECYCLING OLD HERBS AND SPICES
10 Ways to Use Up Old Spices http://earth911.com/food/use-up-old-spices/10
5 New Uses for Old Spices http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/recipes/healthy/spice-uses#slide-6
How To Recycle Old And Expired Spices http://www.bubblews.com/news/920343-how-to-recycle-old-and-expired-spices
How long should I keep dried spices? http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/questions/how-long-should-i-keep-dried-spices
LINKS- FROM OUR SPONSORS
California Gold BBQ Rubs- http://www.californiagoldrub.com/index.html
Tastee BQ Grilling Co.- http://www.tasteebq.com
POWER Rub on Amazon- http://www.amazon.com/California-Gold-BBQ-Power–10oz/dp/B00CVCMR88