Game-changing way to keep garlic and onion powder from hardening: 'Works a treat'

There's a simple solution to combat clumping in your spice jars.

If there's one kitchen conundrum that irks home cooks universally, it's the frustration of discovering hardened seasoning powders in the pantry just when you're ready to spice up your culinary creation; but it turns out there's a simple solution.

A member of the popular Coles Cooking Club Facebook page recently sought advice on preventing essentials like onion and garlic powder from turning into stubborn clumps in their jars, triggering a flood of inventive solutions from the community.

A container of garlic powder (left) and a wooden spoon with garlic powder on it (right) and cloves of garlic in the background.
A social media user sought solutions to prevent garlic and onion powder hardening in the jar. Photo: Facebook/Getty

Amidst the resourceful suggestions, ideas ranged from adding raw rice to the jar, unconventional tactics like placing it in the linen cupboard for towels to absorb excess moisture, to the surprising addition of a small slice of marshmallow.

As humidity emerged as a common culprit, group members shared hands-on tricks, such as stirring with a stainless steel skewer, which claimed to "help loosen it up." Another savvy tip involved avoiding pouring spices directly into a hot saucepan; instead, opting for a "separate side ramekin" to prevent moisture infiltration in the jar.

"Don't use around steam whatsoever, especially when cooking," one group member advised. "If you are putting it straight into a pan that's cooking the steam gets in it and will harden it.

Spice powders clump together when they have been exposed to moisture, prompting another community member to propose a practical solution—placing a moisture absorber in your spice drawer.


Straightforward solution emerges in comments

But in the end, the most straightforward answer often proves to be the best.

"Keep it in the fridge once opened—works a treat," suggested a seasoned cook living in the humidity-prone region of Queensland.

"Once opened, keep it in the fridge," another person agreed, calling the solution a "game changer". Many group members also suggested putting jars of spice powders and seasonings into the freezer proves to be equally effective.

"Definitely going to give it a go," one member thanked the group.

For those seeking a quick fix, a slightly unorthodox countertop remedy surfaced: "I just bang it on the bench, or pry the lid off and use a spoon to loosen it."

And if all else fails, one group member suggested an even simpler solution, "use it faster, lol."

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