Gadgets: Ball Dry Herb Storage Jars
I don't know about you, but I've got a bit of a storage issue with herbs and spices, particularly when I buy in bulk or dry my own garden-grown herbs. I end up using random jars and containers that used to hold something else. That works well enough (and let's face it, it's the cheapest option), but those odd-shaped and sized jars don't make for a neat spice cabinet. And then there's that fun game when I have jars and lids and I can't find the matching pairs.
Although it's not the most innovative product on the planet, the new dry herb storage jars from Ball ($6.95/4) are pretty handy. They're small—just four ounces (1/2 cup)—and the lids have built-in shaker tops. If you want to dig in with a measuring spoon, the opening is the same size as a regular canning jar, so it's a wide enough opening for pretty much any standard measuring spoon.
The jars themselves can be used for canning, but not with the lids. But, hey, if you use the little jars for canning, you can use the shaker lids on your other canning jars.
I think that's the thing I like best about the jars: there's no need to keep track of which jars fit which lids. Any standard (not wide-mouth) jar I have can be turned into a shaker-top jar, and I can use the little jars with regular lids.
About the author: Resident yeast whisperer and bread baking columnist Donna Currie also has a serious gadget habit. When her father-in-law heard about this column, he upgraded the nickname for her kitchen from "gadget world" to "gadget heaven." You can find her on her blog, Cookistry or follow her on Twitter at @dbcurrie.
Disclaimer: Testing samples were provided to Serious Eats.