Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hack of the Day: Magnetic Spice Rack

Came across this the other day, and it reminded me that I never blogged on my own solution to the "problem" of kitchen spice management.

My Aim Is True: DIY: Magnetic Spice Rack

When it came time to setup the kitchen in our new house, I wanted my spices to be better organized and more accessable than they'd been at the old place. Being a die hard Alton Brown and Good Eats fan, it was a natural that I chose an in-cabinet solution, to offer better visability to my collection (versus the 5-rows deep of spice containers in a high cabinet that many folks have). It also keeps the spices out of the sun, away from damaging heat and most importantly, doesn't burn counter space.
Here's my solution, which is similarly magnetic:

I went magnetic because we found a great deal on a spice kit similar to this one on clearance at Sears. The shakers already had magnets on the back and have two "cutouts" around the rim that allow either light or heavy spice shaking without having to remove the lids. The plates are Ikea "BAR" message boards, a whopping $0.99 each. Note that I've combined two different kits worth of spice shakers here... I have a lot of spices.

I like the inventiveness of Amber's project, but the aforementioned heat and light are big issues when it comes to the useful life of spices. If you're starting with plain watchmakers cases like Amber did, you could either go magnetic or make like Alton Brown himself and just use self-adhesive Velcro strips. However I've seen lots of knock-offs of the magnetic tins at places like Lowes, Sears, etc. and they're a lot cheaper than the Amazon example, so you might actually save money not doing everything from scratch.

EDIT: OK, a tipster in another thread pointed to these at Sciplus, which is pretty damn cheap for a similar solution. In this case, gluing your own magnets or velcro will almost certainly be cheaper. Man, I haven't been to Sciplus in months. Need to start checking back there on a regular basis.

1 comment:

Lance said...

Hey, Herbie! Love your post, and Amber's, too! Alton rules! Spice Rackers Unite! ;-)

Just over a year ago, my wife and I decided we were tired of digging for spices while cooking or, worse yet, discovering at the last minute that we didn’t have what we needed. It was time for some serious organization. I let my obsessive compulsive nature take over and worked up a pretty good system. In the process, we freed up a lot of valuable kitchen cabinet space, but as time passed, we decided my first attempt at a homemade spice rack was a bit too cumbersome. It was a great learning experience and one that I have recently leveraged when I went back to the drawing board for Spice Rack 2.0. Head over to my blog to read more about my second generation spice rack!