The page to which you are referring wants to make sure you don’t steam your spices and then seal the moisture in the container when you replace the cap, as that is a sure way to decrease the shelf-life of your dried herbs and ground spices.

We have recently seen television advertisements for new spice blends from the largest spice manufacturer in the country, where the pretty pseudo-cook joyously sprinkles spices from the jar right into the steaming pot.

What is the difference between the largest spice manufacturer in the country and Ochef?

They want you purchase new spices each time you go to the store. Ochef wants you to get all the flavor possible from your spices for as long as possible. (We perceive our approach to be the more virtuous….)

How then to add spices to a steaming pot on the stove? Three solutions come to mind, in no particular order:

  • Transfer spices to a measuring spoon and use the spoon to add the spices to the pot
  • Transfer spices to a regular spoon and use the spoon to add the spices to the pot
  • Transfer spices to the palm of your hand and joyously toss the spices into the pot

even more elegant solution would be for you to use the chefs’ mise-en-place approach, where you measure and prep all your ingredients before you start cooking. Then you would have your herbs and spices measured out in advance in clean glass bowls, waiting for just the right moment to add them. You’d probably feel quite a bit like a television chef, and you’d be secure in the knowledge that the remainder of your herbs and spices are safely stowed away far from your steaming pot.

The only thing worse than occasionally sprinkling herbs directly into a steaming pot is storing herbs and spices on a little shelf over the stove in broad daylight – and we all have seen photos in fancy magazines of seldom-used kitchens with row after row of spices lined up above the stovetop. If you must have a display of spices, fine, have it, just have the spices you actually cook with stowed in a drawer or cabinet in the dark and as far away from sources of moisture as practical.