Zero gravity spice rack for crowded kitchens

rack_base.jpg One lingering kitchen storage dilemma I've always had is how to store my spices. I used to have one of those big rotating systems, but it took up too much counter space so I got rid of it. This zero gravity magnetic spice rack from Yanko Designs promises to change things — it comes with 12 custom spice canisters and a magnetic base that half of them will stick to, making use of vacant wall space. Magnetic spice rack ($44)

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    1. I am obliged to quote the Simpsons:

      “SIX spices? Some must be doubles! Or-e-GAH-no – what the hell?”

  1. Magnet = zero gravity? To think all this time I’ve had little zero-gravity devices all over my refrigerator and I didn’t even know it.

  2. A couple of thoughts.

    1. All of the containers should be magnetized. Since they all look the same, there’s no easy way to know which ones go above or below the rack. Magnetize them all and you solve this.

    2. You can do something similar by buying smaller canisters (that are broader and not as tall), putting magnets on them, and placing them on your fridge (or a metal strip on the wall). They’re also a bit cheaper: http://www.containerstore.com/shop/kitchen/spiceStorage?productId=10011223

    1. I am pretty sure the bottom of the shelf is actually where the magnet lies so no matter what you put on the top or bottom it will work.

  3. It’s pretty common in Finland to have a built-in spice rack above the stove vent hood. It’s otherwise dead space, since the exhaust duct goes pretty much straight up from the vent hood. It’s a pretty efficient way to use the space, and a handy place to keep spices. Finnish kitchens also typically have a built-in dish rack above the sink so that you can just put them in the cabinet to dry after you wash them, and they drip into the sink.

  4. I took three small cardboard trays from the supermarket (the display packaging for tiny jars of baby food). Together, they hold 37 herb and spice jars neatly in the cupboard

  5. Personally I find Alton Brown’s method even better. Two glue-on velcro strips on the inside of his cabinet doors and a ton of small metal canisters with velcro on the bottom. Each one’s labeled with the contents, they’re small, quick to use, and hideaway nicely.

    Plus, they’re away from the heat of the range so now damage to the flavors.

  6. @Brainspore

    I feel your pain. What is really needed is a robust storage solution for the hardcore spice junkie. My spice rack is two cupboards filled with mason jars. A rack like this would be great provided jars were double the size and I had a wall of them.

  7. Storing spices above your stove is a great way to turn them into tasteless sawdust. Cool dark places are where spices live the longest. Above your vent hood is probably running about 85 degrees F (put an instant read thermometer up there and check it out).

    At least the canisters appear to be airtight and light proof mostly. Put them up someplace cool and they would be handy.

    We labeled the top of our spice jars and put them in a drawer in the kitchen. Cool and dark.

  8. We searched for the perfect solution, and finally settled on a few dozen blue glass bottles. We then labelled those with 21st Century Dynotape. Those live in the cabinet next to (but not above) the stove. The array is two cabinets wide and sits on a stair-step shelf. In a future home we may still go the velcro or magnet route as originally planned, but in our current kitchen it just didn’t really make sense.

  9. So I own this spice rack. They are honestly pretty terrible. They are made out of cheep plastic, the stickers provided fall off for anything, the screw tops don’t screw well, and the holes aren’t appropriate sizes. Also putting spices above an oven is a particularly bad idea since it gets hot and steamy there causing the spices to clump, etc.

  10. It would be nice if the magnet sealed the top against the shelf surface. Pull off the shelf, shake or measure your spice, put back on the shelf, sealed, no cap to screw off and on or other nuisance.

  11. I think this might be a bit iffy, if you accidentally fail to screw a lid all the way in – hello mess.

    Clear containers aren’t great because sunlight will degrade the spices quicker.

    It would be better to hang the containers like a knife magnet, holding them up by their sides.

  12. Many have already mentioned these excellent ideas. We combined Alton Brown’s velcro with magnets. In our pantry cupboard (which is next to the sink, above our prep space, and contains often used ingredients like soy sauce and vinegars), we taped magnetic strips to the inside of the doors. Add a bunch of flat tin canisters, and some home made labels (big circular ones with large print and a picture of the spice as a background) and you’re in business.
    The only thing that would make it better, I think, would be some kind of clear inset in the lids, to check current levels at a glance when making up a shopping list.

  13. One more agreement with those who cringe at keeping spices above the oven. Keep ’em cool and out of the light, or don’t keep ’em for long. There’s plenty of better things to hang behind the stove if there’s space. It’s a good spot to hang cast iron in particular, since a little oil won’t do it any harm.

    It’s not a bad idea for a spice rack, tho’, although it looks like it could use some refinement.

  14. Dang! Ikea USED to have simple white plastic drawers that attached under your kitchen cabinets. You’d pull out the drawer, (it’d hang at an angle making it easy to see the jars) and there’d be enough little compartments to store 12 standard-sized small spice jars. I have three of ’em.

    But I’ve been all over their site: it looks like they don’t carry them any more. Sigh…

  15. our fridge is probably less than a yard from the stove, and the counter-facing side is nigh-useless, so my wife got a bunch of these 3.7oz magnetic spice tins on sale at Bed Bath & Beyond (http://bit.ly/1QQNbh). Keeps ’em accessible, but not in the way, and the system’s pretty much expandable until we run out of fridge space.

    -T

  16. I grew up in Anglo New England in the 50s and 60s. When my mother died in 2000, her spices, purchased in the late 40s, were still hermetically sealed in their original packaging.

  17. If they’re all magnetized, I’d mount the rack vertically. That’d make a more interesting arrangement.

  18. Why not store all your spice bottles in the cabinet? The SpiceStack makes them easy to find and reach. Plus you don’t have to transfer bottles! Check it out at SpiceStack.com.

  19. Spice on fridge folks- what glue are you using for your magnets? I’ve got a bunch of spices, most in glass jars… started with regular black nickel-sized magners and a glue gun, but they left black marks on the fridge, so I switched to watch battery-sized neodyne magnets and superglue. Both methods fail eventually, the constant tug and/or weight of the jars weakens the glues. And then the rough, broken glue left on the magnet and the jar makes them just that much harder to reaffix.

  20. I’ve also seen a lot of really stainless steel spice racks. But chrome ones are my type because it comes with a variety of styles. Nice post!

  21. The design is very chromatic, detailed and elegant. Great for furnished kitchen designs. This spice rack will surely blend in if you’re kitchen is elegant and spacious. nice post!

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