How to Grind and Toast Spices and Herbs

Follow these simple steps to grinding and toasting spices and herbs, then watch our how-to video.

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How-To: Grind and Toast Spices and Herbs

Toasting spices brings out the essential oils and deeper flavors. Grinding herbs is a common way to use them in recipes.

Step 1: Place Spices in the Skillet

We'll start with a frequently used herb and spice blend, bay leaves, coriander and cumin seeds. First, put the spices in a skillet. These are bay leaves. Bay leaves are actually a dried herb that you'll find on the spice rack. Cast iron works best because of the way it transfers heat.

Step 2: Shake the Herbs

Now give them a shake so they don't burn.

Step 3: They're Ready

Cool the spices slightly before grinding.

Step 4: Toast Spices Separately

Toast the spices separately for best results. They are different sizes and textures, which means they toast at different rates. Remember to cool them before grinding.

Step 5: Mortar and Pestle

There are two easy ways to grind spices: first, a Mortar and Pestle.

Step 6: Spice Grinder

Or use a spice grinder. When grinding spices that are similar in size, grind them together and save a step. Tip: Cumin, coriander and bay leaves are often used together in many cuisines.

Step 7: Add Flavor

Then use them as your recipe indicates. Either way, you've just punched up flavor to a whole new level.