Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Kitchen Project: Magnetic Spice Rack

Chris and I used to have all of our spices in the cabinet over the stove on a lazy susan. The problem was that we had more than really should fit on there so when you would spin it sometimes one in the back would get stuck and then a whole bunch would come flying out at you. Also, it was really hard for me to reach over the pot/pan that was being used on our gas stove without burning myself or being in fear that I would catch my shirt on fire.

We learned from Alton Brown on Good Eats episode "Spice Capades" that you really shouldn't keep your spices above your stove because the heat is not good for them. AB stores his spices in different size round tins that he writes on with what I think is a grease pencil and sticks to the inside of his cabinets with velcro. (I tried to find a picture, but I cannot. You can YouTube the episode though if you want to, its a good one)

I loved the idea of having my spices in tins and having easy access to them while I'm cooking. I went searching for magnetic spice racks and found them to be expensive and generally they didn't come with enough tins for the number of spices we have. Then I came across Amber's blog over at She made a magnetic spice rack out of magnetic knife racks from Ikea and some tins from Leigh Valley. I thought 'Awesome!' I showed it to Chris, he loved it and so we got the magnetic knife racks from Ikea and ordered the tins from Leigh Valley... and I hated the tins when they came. They were thin and small and cheesy looking (they looked so great in Amber's pictures! I was really shocked.) So I sent them back. Leigh Valley was really great about it and returned my full price paid plus shipping to me in cash. So then I went on the hunt for tins... and I searched and searched and searched until I finally found these from Specialty Bottle :

And I absolutely love them. They were inexpensive, sturdy and (most importantly) good looking. I put all of our spices into the tins (with a few exceptions that we decided were 'baking spices' and so they went into the baking cabinet such as poppy seeds, pumpkin pie spice & caraway seeds). I wrote the names on the bottom with a black Sharpie marker. Then Chris got to do the manly thing and drill holes in the wall (after of course measuring three times and writing all over the wall in pencil, very necessary for a good home improvement project) and hang up the knife racks and then....!!!

Voila! They were done! I purposely did not straighted out the tins when I took that picture because I'm trying really hard not to be OCD about the fact that they are not at perfect right angles. They look great! Really colorful and very much a piece of usable art. We put the spices we use a lot of (oregano, basil, parsley) and our spice mixtures (Chris' Spice Rub and our homemade Taco Seasoning) into the big tins and all the other spices into the small tins. We also have about 12 extra small and two extra big tins for expansion in the future. Its been about two weeks since we put them up and they are really convenient since that is the counter we use to cook on. We made sure that I could reach them without a problem (or a step stool :P) before we put them up, so they really are at the perfect height.

We really love it.