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Common wisdom regarding spice storage (whether whole or ground) seems to tend towards cool, dark, dry places. However, I'm somewhat limited on kitchen cupboard space, and obviously the various spice rack options available don't do a great job on the "dark" front, and in my kitchen not on the "cool" front either.

Is it OK (both taste-wise and food safety-wise) for me to keep my spices in the fridge? I typically keep them either in the small glass jar I buy them in, or (when bought in a packet) in resealable tupperware-style containers, all in one of the crisper drawers (mainly because I don't typically fill both).

Whatever the answer, does it apply to dried herbs also?

To clarify: my kitchen doesn't get any natural light (sadly).

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Most fresh herbs do quite well in the fridge, so long as they're prepared appropriately.

I would not put dried herbs and spices into the fridge, especially if they're in a hard-sided container. (unless maybe if you were in a really arid area)

There problem is that if you're in a warm, humid environment, you'll be trapping a little bit of moist air in there each time you use some ... which will condense in the fridge, which could result in rot for the herbs ... and I'm not sure what for the spices.

If you really wanted to pack them in the fridge, I would put them in a bag (vacuum bagged, if you can), and leave them there, with another container outside the fridge with enough for a month or two. In this way there's less moisture trapped in there, and you're not opening it frequently.

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Generally it is best practice to store herbs in a cool, dry place. Fresh herbs can be stored in the fridge for a short time, however they will normally begin to wilt over the course of 3-4 days. Dry herbs, if kept in the fridge, may begin to lose some flavour after an extended period of time, and, if not sealed properly, may begin to take on flavours of other things kept in the fridge, and vice versa. Light is normally not a large factor in the storage of dried herbs, however some of the compounds which produce the flavours in spices can be broken down by strong light over extended periods of time. I would recommend you purchase a spice rack to store your dried spices and keep it out of direct sunlight for best results. The light produced by standard light bulbs is usually not strong enough to break down the compounds in spices unless left for an extended period of time. Sunlight is your main worry here, and again a short time in direct sunlight will not harm your herbs and spices. Fresh herbs I would recommend storing in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator and using within a few days.

  • You can get way more than 3-4 days out of herbs in the fridge : cooking.stackexchange.com/q/139/67 ; – Joe Jan 31 '17 at 19:25
  • I did not say they would be bad after 3-4 days, simply that that is when they will normally begin to wilt. Wilted herbs can still be used, they will simply have a different texture and slightly different flavour. – Cameron Jan 31 '17 at 19:29
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    They might lose some of their flavor (which is a good thing for cilantro), but most herbs can last for a couple of weeks if wrapped in a paper towel then a loose plastic bag. Try it, you'll be surprised at how well it works. – Joe Jan 31 '17 at 19:55
  • I have not tried that method before, I do not use fresh herbs often due to lack of availability, but next time I have the chance I will try this. – Cameron Jan 31 '17 at 19:57

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