This Is The Best Method For Reviving Stale Spices

Because spices tend to be sold in bulk and recipes only call for small amounts of ingredients such as cumin and nutmeg, your spices can lose their pungency after sitting in the drawer for a few years. While spices don't actually spoil and won't make you ill, as spice maker McCormick points out, they do start to lose their bite. They aren't as pungent as they once, were and dishes using old spices can lack the intended punch.

McCormick recommends replacing ground spices every two or three years, and whole spices every three to four years. However, they also acknowledge that a spice drawer can get out of hand if you never do any spice purging. The brand says that if "Baltimore, MD" is printed on your spice bottle, it's at least 25 years old because the company currently makes their spices in Hunt Valley, Maryland and has been doing so for many years (via Wide Open Eats).

Cooking your spices to revitalize them

The good news is that there is a way to spruce up your spices without having to throw them away. By heating your spices, you may be able to bring them back to life. Simply heat a pan over a medium flame, and add the amount of spice called for in your recipe. Toast the spices for between one and three minutes (via The Daily Meal). Once they begin to emit their telltale scent, you know that they're ready.

Be careful that you don't cook them too long though. Spices burn quickly, and just a small batch of overcooked spice can add an undesirable flavor to your entire dish. It's best to toss a burnt spice rather than suffer through a meal that had so much potential (via Spices Inc). 

Now, if only every food in our kitchen would last as long as spices, and boast such an easy trick for revitalization!