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Never Shake Your Spices Right Over a Hot Pot or Pan

chef grinding spices directly onto a hot pan
Razoomanet/Shutterstock

Are you guilty of shaking your spices and herbs right over your sizzling pan of hot food? It’s cool, most people are, but we’re here to tell you to stop; it’s a crime in the culinary world. Here’s why.

Not only do you risk your expensive herbs and spices becoming clumped and moldy, but backsplash from cooking oil, and over-seasoning can all lead to kitchen nightmares.

Avoid Clumpy Molding Herbs and Spices

If you find yourself cooking often, then we don’t blame you for not thinking this one through. That’s what we’re here for.

When you sprinkle spices or dried herbs right over a hot pan or pot, the moisture from the steam can easily enter the bottle. This, in turn, will cause your spices and herbs to clump together and eventually mold.

Watch Out For Backsplash

Not only can the steam be a danger to the contents in your jar or spice container, but let’s consider cross-contamination as well.

When you are looking for a nice sear on your meat, you want to add your oil to a preheated pan. Once your hot and greased pan is ready, place your raw steak or chicken on. As the meat sizzles, you’ll notice there may be a bit of backsplash.

If oil can fly onto the countertop and nearby appliances, then it can undoubtedly land in a spice jar. Avoid this risk by properly sprinkling your spices into the pan; we’ll get to that soon.

Accidently Over-Seasoning Can Be Disastrous

Another danger is over seasoning your meal. If you are guilty of this mistake, you’re probably reminiscing on a kitchen mistake you’ve made in the past.

The last thing you need is to add too much spice or salt to a dish, especially when the results can be catastrophic to your taste buds.

A Quick Fix

Luckily all of this can easily be fixed by retraining yourself with this simple cooking procedure. Rather than dumping right into a pan, pour a small amount of spice into the palm of your hand then sprinkle using your fingers from your other hand. If you’ve watched any cooking show, you’ve likely noticed this trick.

For more exact amounts, you may also portion it out with a measuring spoon. Always be sure your spoon (or hand) is clean and dry before using either of these methods.

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »

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