The best spice rack
Spices are the staple ingredients of recipes, so it's no surprise that spice racks are an important component in any kitchen. Next time you reach for your secret ingredient, make sure it comes from the perfect spice rack that suits your culinary needs.
More than anything, spice racks organize and display your spices while keeping them easily accessible. Spice racks come in a variety of designs and can be installed in drawers or cabinets or on countertops. Some spin, stack, or expand, so no matter the size of your space, there's a rack that will fit it.
To help you find just the right spice rack, take a look at our buying guide. We've included our favorite, Spicy Shelf's Stackable Spice Organizer, which features a design that wraps around a cabinet's interior to optimize space.
Considerations when choosing spice racks
With such an assortment of spice racks from which to choose, narrow your choices first by deciding on a location in your kitchen and then choose the design style that's appropriate.
Spice racks for cabinets are ideal for the cook who enjoys having spices at eye level but still tucked away. Shelving racks add a staircase or series of platforms to stack spices in an otherwise tall, untapped cabinet space. Door-mounted racks are ideal, either on their own or to complement shelving racks. These require some installation prowess to avoid causing permanent damage to cabinet doors.
Countertop or freestanding spice racks are ideal for cooks who like to have spices visible and within easy reach. Countertop shelving systems are similar to those in cabinets and may come with their own dedicated bottles for a coordinated fit. Spinner racks optimize space vertically and often have larger capacities than other rack styles. For these, determine whether they're truly convenient or will end up consuming crucial counter space.
Drawer spice racks are less popular since drawer space is typically limited. However they're useful for freeing up cabinet space for other items. These racks are designed to organize spices at an angle to facilitate visibility. They're ideal for 12 to 20 spices, but if you need to hold more, perhaps consider a different design.
Magnetic spice racks are sets that come with a magnetic board, or have magnets to affix to your current spices that can be placed on the fridge. They're ideal for those with limited space, or people who want to save space by putting the essentials on a fridge. Bottles could accidentally fall, so be careful if they happen to be glass.
Things to consider
When choosing a spice rack, consider whether it's large enough to hold all your spices. Some racks only hold around a dozen bottles, whereas deluxe designs can house as many as 70. Count all bottles, including herbs, spices, and any other jars of seasonings.
Once you know the spice rack capacity you need, it's time to take some measurements. Note the length, width, and height of the spice rack to determine whether it fits in the space you intend. If you're stuck between sizes, opt for an adjustable rack that can be sized to adequately fit the cabinet or counter space.
Spice racks come in metal, wood, bamboo, and plastic. Some are easier to clean and maintain than others, with plastic being at the top of the list. Metal racks are durable, but if they're not properly coated, they could rust. Wood and bamboo can be wiped clean in seconds, but if they remain damp, they attract mold and mildew.
Spice racks cost between $10 and $200, depending on their style and construction. For the most part, $30 will get you a quality spice rack with unique design features. Once you hit the $100 and over range, expect professional-grade organization and construction.
Q. My child likes to cook, but can't reach the cabinets on their own. Which spice rack should I get for them?
A. A countertop or drawer design is probably the best choice. That way, all spices are within reach at hip level -- which is a safer option than climbing up a counter to grab spices.
Q. I want to change the style of spice bottles, so do I need to upgrade my spice rack as well?
A. Maybe. It depends on the shape and width of the bottles, as some racks have narrow shelves. If you're choosing taller bottles, you may not have enough space vertically in your cabinet to fit them on the rack.
Spice racks we recommend
Best of the best: Spicy Shelf's Stackable Spice Organizer
Our take: Optimize space in your spice cabinet with a shelving system that uses every inch in a smart way.
What we like: Adjustability means it fits a variety of cabinet sizes. Installation is simple, and there's more than one way to set it up.
What we dislike: If you're expanding to the rack's full size, the middle may sag under the weight of spice bottles.
Best bang for your buck: Rubbermaid's Pull-Down Spice Rack
Our take: Ideal rack that can hinge downward to display spices for easy selection.
What we like: Durable hinging mechanism is reliable and can hold a glass spice bottle collection. Comes in two finishes.
What we dislike: Mixed reviews on construction, and it needs to be bolted to the shelf.
Our take: Simple handcrafted bamboo spice rack expands to suit your spice collection.
What we like: You're able to utilize the exact space you need to leave room for other items in the cabinet. Easy to clean and maintain.
What we dislike: Shelves may not be wide enough for certain styles of spice bottles.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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