Save Your Staples: Tips For Keeping Your Pantry Items from Going Bad
Words Amalia Safran
We covered storing fruits and vegetables to get the most out of them, and you know when to throw out your leftovers and avoid the sniff-test, so now we’re talking dried foods and pantry storage.
For some, the pantry or cabinets are neat, organized havens for dried goods. For others, it’s a part of the kitchen you hide: there are half empty boxes of cereal next to flour spewing from the bag. We spoke to our food storage experts about how to store dried goods to maximize freshness and their tips for keeping your cabinets neat, so you can avoid a baking soda avalanche the next time you reach for a box of pasta.
1. Air is the enemy
Air causes foods such as cereal, pretzels, chips, pasta, nuts, dried fruits and more, to get stale and lose flavor, so it’s best to store all of your dried goods in airtight containers.
2. Light is the enemy (for some things)
Coffee, tea and spices are extra sensitive to direct light, which breaks down the beans or spice, causing them to lose flavor. Keep these items in UV-tinted containers in your pantry or cabinet, and not on the countertop.
3. Pantry pests are really the enemy
Weevils, mealmoths and beetles are just waiting to build homes in your dry ingredients, but a tight seal will keep those bugs out and ease your nerves every time you go for the flour.
4. Easy Access
If you’ve ever tried to pour flour straight from the bag, you know it’s a giant mess. Store your baking ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder) in containers that give you easy access to the contents, and you’ll no longer dust your whole kitchen every time you bake.
Good tip: When measuring flour, use a spoon to fill the measuring cup. This way, you won’t compact the flour and scoop too much!
5. Control Moisture
Just like air, moisture causes dry foods to go bad too. An airtight seal prevents moisture from seeping into your dried goods. In some cases, like brown sugar, you want some moisture or else the sugar will get too hard to use. The airtight seal also minimizes evaporation and prevents hardening.
6. Maximize the Space
We know how valuable kitchen countertop and shelf space can be, that’s why we recommend using a turntable for easy access to items and stacking dried goods in the cabinet or pantry. POP containers’ modular design allows you to efficiently organize your dried goods without wasting precious countertop or shelf space.
7. Labels & Directions
If you’re taking dried foods like pasta, beans and rice out of their original containers, cut out the instructions that are on the box and stick them in the storage container so you have them handy when you’re ready to cook. We also like sticking labels on our containers to keep things extra organized.
Not sure which POP containers are good for which pantry staple? Check out this handy chart for some ideas: