When and How to Add Spices to the Pot

To get the most out of your spices and herbs it is important to add them at the correct time and to use the right method. Here are tips on how to make sure you are getting the most from your spices and herbs.

  • Don’t add spices or herbs directly to the pot, but pour the desired amount into a container first. If you add spices/herbs from the container directly into a pot on the stove you are subjecting the entire contents of the container to the heat and humidity from the stovetop. This will affect the flavor. By pouring the desired amount into a bowl and then adding it to the pot, you will keep the unused portion flavorful longer.
  • Place whole spices and herbs in a tea bag, cheesecloth, or similar container before placing them in the pot to make them easier to remove when you have finished cooking.
  • When you add spices or herbs to any dish that does not require cooking, allow the dish to stand for a couple of hours before serving so the flavors can intensify.
  • Add ground spices to the pot close to the end of cooking, especially in longer cooking dishes. This will help the spices retain the most flavor and not have any flavor cook-off.
  • Add whole spices to the pot at the beginning of cooking to allow more time for the flavor of the spice to release.
  • Add fresh herbs to the pot toward the end of cooking for optimal flavor.