The spice organizer.

Here’s the thing: this spice organizer is a disappointment. I am not a big on housecleaning, so I try to avoid making messes whenever possible, but this organizer seems to make things messier.

Husband and I spotted something like this watching Food Network’s “Good Eats with Alton Brown” (a thoroughly entertaining and informative food program), and we thought surely it would answer our need to have our spices organized, neat and tidy, without seeping out of the lid as we had with the previous system. But it doesn’t keeps spices neat and tidy and it cost a lot of money. Oh, sure, it organizes the spices, but we have some problems with it, namely, when you put ground spices in it, they seep out of the container, so we have cayenne pepper, cinnamon, ground mace, etc., on the other containers and inside the cabinet. And the turmeric! Well the turmeric is not only all over the other containers but it’s staining the white vinyl lining in the cabinet. I thought, oh, I can live with wiping-up the spices every now and then (quarterly, at best), but this is getting annoying.

We soon discovered that the ground ginger was incompatible with the containers, because the oils of the ginger react with what we discovered to be a clear plastic window in the lid:

The other problem, and I can’t fault the product for this, is that wall space is at premium in the our open layout kitchen, and we didn’t want to hang it on the nearest wall leading to the dining area, so we affixed it to the inside of a cabinet. Having made that decision, we then had cabinet shelves to contend with. In other words, they get in the way. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, we would just organize the containers to accommodate the shelves, but it’s become a problem, because if you don’t have the containers positioned just so, you can’t close the cabinet:

Lesson learned: just stick with the containers the spices come in at the market.


6 thoughts on “The spice organizer.

  1. What a pain! I’ve always put our spices in the door of the freezer in their original containers. That way, our pantry doesn’t get a weird spice smell. But we do lose a lot of freezer space though.

  2. What a disappointment. I love “Goods Eats” and even bought two of Alton Brown’s books. I am surprised he would endorse something so flawed. I wonder if there are different brands that look similar and the one you got is not exactly the same. What a bummer, though. Thanks for posting about this, because I had thought about that organizer myself.

  3. Well, I didn’t exactly see this product endorsed by the “Good Eats” show or Alton Brown. Rather, I saw something like this product used as a prop on the show and, for all I know, I could have a different brand.

    This situation also serves as an opportunity to re-think any type of organizer that holds spice containers vertically. If I’d given it better thought beforehand, I would’ve realized that anytime a powder is placed in a container that doesn’t have a really tight seal, there will be seepage when it’s held vertically. Of course, our previous organizer stored the spices horizontally, and the spices sifted out a lot more. Oh well, I can always use it to organize nails in the garage.

  4. I bought three sets of those spice racks and returned them the next day. They just didn’t look like they’d work for me. Thanks for reinforcing my decision cause I’ve had some second thoughts. Sorry it didn’t work out for you,

  5. Hi there – it’s Wendee from Hilltop swinging by to say hi!

    I was just contemplating a spice rack similar to this when I was at Storables on Saturday. It was on sale so I was thinking about swinging back by and getting it. Now I won’t – whew – dodged that bullet!

  6. Hi domestic,

    I watch Alton regularly and I do believe your spice system is different. Alton’s spice containers have metal lids, not clear plactic like the ones in your picture and they are mounted by velcro, not metal magnets. I’m pretty sure of this because I just watched the show this evening.

    Maybe he’s had different containers before or since (reruns)?

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