Vinegars add a nice bite of acidity to salad dressings, and keep in the pantry for a long time. But sometimes sediment builds up in the bottle; does that mean you have to toss it out? No, the flecks are just harmless cellulose that our testing has shown affects neither the taste nor the quality of the liquid. To deal with the unsightly settlers, just pour the vinegar through a coffee filter set inside a fine-mesh strainer and then put the clean vinegar pack into the bottle.
Dried herbs add great flavor to dressings. Want to know if yours are still good to go? Crumble a small amount between your fingers and take a whiff. If the herbs release a lively aroma, you’re all set. But if there isn’t much of a scent when you crush them, you should probably throw away what you’ve got and restock your spice rack.
Here’s a quick guide to storing open bottles of oil in your kitchen. For the best flavor, replace all of your oils 6 months after you open them.
Keep these Oils in the Fridge:
Keep these Oils in the Pantry:
Like these? See more quick tips at Cook's Illustrated.