Last year, I got really into experimenting with my cooking. Perhaps my favorite find was Korean cuisine which a close friend introduced me to. Filled with health-boosting foods like kimchi, Korean cuisine has an attractive array of flavors. Raring to get into cooking my own Korean dishes, I ordered a box of organic gochujang (Korean red pepper flakes). I had gotten halfway through the box when to my horror, I noticed it had clumped and gone bad.
Silica Gel Pack Uses
Well, it may not be immediately apparent to everyone, but your kitchen is often the most humid part of your house. Whenever you cook and boil something, moisture escapes into the air. This moisture may be ideal for any plants you keep in the kitchen, but when it comes to your dried spices, it’s a whole other story. When you find your spices and sugars have clumped up, moisture is to blame.
So what can you do about this? The last thing you want to do is move your spice cabinet away from where it’s needed most. It might come to you as a surprise, but one of the best things is using Silica gel packets. You know those packets that say “DO NOT EAT?” Those packets are my favorite way to keep my spices from clumping and are even great to throw into bags of potatoes and other sprouting vegetables.
You can find these packets in everything from dried seaweed to jerky to shoes and handbags. Just like it does for spices, silica gel keeps moisture from ruining these products. But is there a cause for concern with silica gel?
While the warning label can be a source of concern, it might help to know what silica gel really is. Silica gel or silicon dioxide is the same thing as what sand is made of. Think of what happens when you pour a bit of water onto a sand castle. It absorbs it in just the same way silica gel does in the environment. The warning signs are there for children as they can be a choking hazard. It’s a non-toxic substance, so you don’t have to worry about it making you sick!
Rather than throwing them away, why not keep a few handy? Just tossing them into your jars or taping them to the lids will make all the difference for your herbs and spices. If you’re finding that your packets are starting to work less effectively, you can bake silica gel in the oven (make sure to remove it from its paper packaging!) to recharge it to use again!
Beyond their use in the kitchen, silica gel packets can be utilized for many things you use throughout your day.
Uses For Silica Gel Packets
- Notice your Halloween carvings getting soft within a matter of days? Toss a silicon packet or two inside, it’ll make it last long enough for your neighbors to admire!
- Do you have a big bulk bag of dried pet food? Make it last longer by taping a packet of silica to the edge of the bag.
- One thing I’ve been combating this winter is condensation on my windows in the house. Keeping some silica gel packets by the window should do the trick. This will also work for foggy windshields in cars.
There are plenty more uses for this often overlooked packet!
Let us know if you know any other uses for this underrated life hack in the comments below.