During grilling and barbecue season, you probably want to start stocking the best spices. In that case, buying a starter spice set might be a great idea. Some people like to add plenty of spices whenever they cook. There is simply something incredible about the scent a dish gives off when garnished by all kinds of herbs. It makes you want to stock up a good amount of dried herbs and spices in your kitchen, but doing so can be quite a chore. It is not only difficult to keep track of all your spices, but it is also too easy to confuse them.
It is especially challenging seeing that many dried herbs used in cooking look almost the same. A good organization will help you up the level of your cooking without any trouble. In that case, you need a good amount of essential herbs and a rack that saves you from a lot of trouble. If the set comes with other accessories too, then they are all the more an excellent choice.
It is a good thing the best spice sets today come complete with everything you need. A spice start kit usually includes a rack or organizer, spice jars or bottles, and sometimes, even the spices themselves. They are perfect for people who always want to get organized and like matching sets.
This article introduces you to the eight best spice sets that are the most highly rated and recommended in the market today. Looking for the best spice set can be daunting, given there are so many options in the market. In that case, it is a good idea to start your search among the highly-rated products.
Best 8 Spice Sets in 2021 reviewed
1. Kamenstein 30020 Countertop Spice Tower with Refills – The Best Countertop Revolving Spice Rack
Kamenstein 30020 Countertop Spice Tower is a set of spice rack complete with refills. This spice shelf comes in revolving tower-style for quick access and silver, stainless steel material with a polished finish. Being a handsome spice rack, it is ideal no matter the kitchen style. It is also small enough at 8.5 x 8.5 x 13.5 inches, taking up only minimal space in the countertop.
This set includes the rack, the jars, and the spices. It has 20 glass jars for the spices, designed for mess-free pouring. They also have plastic caps with clear labeling, not to mention sifter tops, so dispensing the herbs and spices is easily controlled. The rack and jars are also designed for easy care with only a wipe of slightly damped paper towel or cloth.
It is an excellent choice because the spice set already comes with a few basic seasonings. Some of the essential spices included are garlic salt, basil, oregano, rosemary, and more. But perhaps the one thing that puts the Kamenstein Countertop Spice Tower at the top of all spice sets here in this list is the free spice refills you can avail of for up to five years.
- Stylish, easy to care rack
- Plenty of jars for the spices
- Pre-labeled caps with sifter
- Herbs and spices are included
- Free refills for 5 years
- Tiny jars
- Not all spices are available
- May get duplicate spices
2. McCormick Gourmet Organic Spice Organizer with Spices (27.6 oz.) – Best Three-Tier Spice Rack
With a history that stretches back to 1889, McCormick knows more than basics when it comes to spices. It is no wonder their spice sets are on this list, including their Gourmet Three-Tier Organic Spice Organizer with Spices. This one comes with 27.6 oz jars for herbs and spices. As the name suggests, it includes not only an organizer but the spices as well.
This particular spice rack from McCormick is quite stylish. It’s wooden and three-tier, so you have plenty of space for the 24 best-selling spices included in the pack. These spices cover all the basics, so it is definitely not a bad set. Some of the herbs included in the set are garlic powder, ground cumin, yellow mustard seed, ground ginger, paprika, and more.
Many users commend the tightly sealed bottles, keeping the flavors strong. According to McCormick, all the spices in this spice set are organic, high quality, and straight from the field. On the other hand, the spice rack can go two-way – as a countertop rack or a wall-mounted organizer (using screws).
- Good started spice skit
- Plenty of spices included
- Nice, stylish spice rack
- The spices you get are not all that’s listed (others are switched out)
- Some herbs have early expiration dates
3. AllSpice Wooden Spice Rack with Jars – Best Countertop Spice Rack
The AllSpice Wooden Spice Rack’s biggest advantage is the 60 large glass jars included in the package. This means you can have as many as 60 herbs and spices stocked inside this wooden organizer. The jars are sized at 4oz or 1/2c, which is the standard size in many specialty spice shops such as Spice House and Penzeys.
This means your spice and herbs from these shops are suitable for this particular spice set. The spice rack is also notable with its solid wood frame made from bamboo in cherry stain color. Although it looks similar to cherry wood, it is a lot stronger and also eco-friendly. It is also quite stylish and certainly an eye-catching addition to any kitchen.
This spice set also comes with pre-printed spice labels. There are 315 of them that cover the most common and exotic spices. Even better, the tags are in easy-to-read, white font, waterproof and matte finish. According to AllSpice, all their products, including this wooden spice rack, are made to last a lifetime.
- Stylish and durable wooden rack
- Numerous large jars for spices
- Pre-printed spice labels for easy tagging
- No spices included
- Falls short in the design department
4. Olde Thompson 16-Jar Spice Rack with Jars – Best Revolving Spice Rack
Olde Thompson is an old company that started in 1944 with a long history of spices and seasonings. It has a wide array of spice solutions, and this 16-jar spice rack with jars and spices is only one of them. This revolving spice organizer is a notably handy purchase as it is well-stocked with 16 super sealed jars filled with herbs.
It is a nice touch to the product that it is already filled with some of the most commonly used spices. Some of the herbs included are cinnamon, ginger, coriander, rosemary, paprika, oregano, sage, dill weed, and more. It is an excellent collection of spices that makes Olde Thompson 16-Jar Spice Rack with jars a pretty good started set.
It is worth noting that the jars have stainless caps with clearly written names of the spices. The rack revolves and brings all jars into view, making it easy to look for the spice you need. It’s also worth mentioning that it looks good with its black base and stainless finial, not to say it fits well in a cabinet or the countertop.
- Looks beautiful and modern
- Sturdy and easy-to-use rack
- Plenty of spices to choose from
- Not all 16 spices are available all the time
5. Beware Revolving Countertop Spice Organizer with Glass Bottles – Best Compact Designed Spice Rack
Beware Revolving Countertop Spice Organizer is a spice set that includes both a rack and 12 glass jar bottles. Sadly, though, it doesn’t include the spices. However, it is still a worthy option with its revolving spinning countertop rack designed for compactness and portability. This spice organizer maximizes the space of your kitchen effortlessly.
Thanks to the spice rack’s revolving design, finding a jar of flavor or seasoning is manageable within the kitchen since all jars are within reach. The glass jars have an excellent design, featuring a metallic finish with outer twist caps with 3 settings. The tops are easily opened for pouring or shaking contents, keeping meal preparations nice and neat.
The jars also have enough room for the standard refill packs of spices. They are easy to clean, whether hand wash or in the dishwasher. The glass jars also include spice labels for a well-organized rack. Beware Revolving Countertop Spice Organizer is one of the most recommended spice sets for home use and as a gift.
- Looks beautiful and stylish
- Effortlessly saves space
- Empty jars for filling up your choice of herbs
- Three-way nozzles for different shake options
- Some spices may get stuck on the nozzles, making them hard to turn
6. McCormick Two-Tier Organic Spice Rack with Spices (15.41 oz.) – Best Two-Tier Spice Rack
This McCormick Two-Tier Organic Spice Rack with Spice is the shorter, smaller version of the Three-Tier organizer. It’s a countertop style spice rack that offers excellent value as well as money and space savings. Besides the shelf and jars, this set comes with 16 of the most popular herbs from McCormick.
Among the herbs and spices included in the spice rack set are basil, chili powder, cayenne pepper, coriander, Saigon cinnamon, garlic powder, rosemary, etc. There are plenty of seasonings with the set that makes it an excellent starter pack for anyone who has only started to try cooking.
Compared to the Three-Tier McCormick Spice Rack, this one comes with 15.41 oz. jars instead of the 27.6 oz. It is a tad smaller, so it may only be ideal for beginner cooks who are still experimenting with spices and herbs. This also makes McCormick Two-Tier Spice Rack ideal as a gift.
- Super space-saver
- Starter spice set
- Perfect as a gift
- Smaller version
- Not all 16 spices are included in the set
7. FreshJax Grilling Spice Set – The Best Spice Set for Grilling Without a Rack
FreshJax Grilling Spice Set is a cooking spice set specific for grilling, ideal as a gift in barbecue parties. Compared to the sets in this list, this one does not include a spice rack. Thus, it is an excellent choice if you already have an organizer at home or if you only need a gift set for a relative or a friend looking to throw away their old spice bottles.
It’s an excellent spice set for grilling as it features a FreshJax blend one will need for a single recipe. The herbs included in the set included are Peppered Habanero, Fresh Bay, Grill Master, Southwest, and Citrus Pepper. Each of them is suitable for various dishes, from steak and kabobs to fish and veggies.
FreshJax also guarantees that all spices in the set are organic. Perhaps another reason behind FreshJax Grilling Spice Set’s popularity is the brand’s campaign against hunger behind it. FreshJax Campaign To End Childhood Hunger has already supplied more than 218,000 meals to children in need, thanks to every purchase of this spice set.
- Perfect spice and herbs gift set
- Complete blend for grilling all kinds of food
- It helps feed hungry children
- Included only 5 bottles of spices
8. Thoughtfully Ultimate Grilling Spice Set – The Best Spice Gift Set for Barbecue Season
Just as its brand name suggests, Thoughtfully Ultimate Grilling Spice Set is a lovely thoughtful gift with its 20 unique rubs and spices for barbecue. These many choices ensure that any BBQ party will have all kinds of herbs for seasoning food expertly. It’s excellent that the herbs come in four categories if you’re looking for Classic, Travel, Adventure, and Staples herbs.
Some of the spices are thyme salt, cayenne, jalapeno, chili rosemary, chili onion, and other herbs from the Caribbean, Jamaican, and other places. Included in this set is a pack of 20, 5 for each category. It gives you plenty of options for seasoning all kinds of foods, including chicken, shrimp, and even vegetables.
Perhaps the one thing that you might not like about it is the small bottles of spices. Each jar is 0.21 oz., which is probably just enough for one-time use. But that is also why this spice set is a better starter set. If you want to share your love for herbs and spices with a friend, you can definitely give this as a gift.
- Plenty of spices included
- Unique flavors
- Perfect for BBQ parties
- Great as a gift
- Small quantities
Buyer’s Guide on How to Shop for Better Spices
Buying a complete spice set sounds like a great idea. If you buy a set, then you have every spices and herbs you will need just in case. But as mentioned before, you can only save money and time with spice sets if you purchase the right product. This is where this buyer’s guide is for – to help you shop right.
A solid knowledge of spices is the most important thing in great cooking and wise shopping. This means you need the know-how on how to select the right herbs in terms of quality and use. After all, cooking spices involves not only popping the bottle’s lid and adding any amount of herbs into the food.
When it comes to spice racks, there are a few things to consider when making a purchase. It all has to do with the space available in your kitchen, the amount of spices you will be storing, and the quality you want. On that note, below are the things to consider when you buy cooking spice sets.
The best gourmet spice sets are easy to manipulate and put together. Any complicated assembly is a nay in the kitchen where you need simplicity and organization. When looking for a spice rack, it is best to choose the one you can put together with little to no tools.
This one depends on you – whether you want to buy only a little of the basic spices or plenty of them because you will be cooking a lot. Think about how much you use seasonings when cooking and look for the kitchen spice sets that suit your needs. The products in this list can hold up to 20 bottles of spices.
Of course, you want a spice rack that can last a long time. Some of the materials often used in spice organizers are plastic, wood, and in some cases, metal. The latter two are great in terms of appearance and durability. If you want portability, plastic racks are the choice, but there are not the sturdiest.
Another factor you want to keep in mind is the price. It is a great to invest in a spice rack that is durable but splurging hundreds of dollars for it seems a waste. Unless it is also includes other accessories like a set of spices too. In any case, the rule one must always go by is if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.
There are other things that you may want to keep in mind when buying spice racks, especially if it comes with spices. These pointers and tips will be great in ensuring you buy gourmet spice gift sets that are worth the price.
- Buying whole spices is better than ground because they last for years without losing flavor.
- Buying from grocery store shelves is not ideal because there is a chance they are no longer fresh, especially rare spices like saffron.
- Buying small quantities than large packs is better because it becomes a waste if you buy a lot and then they go stale.
Frequently Asked Questions
Spices are quite inexplicable to some people, especially how these herbs can be quite expensive. There are factors that affect the price of herbs, including transportation and the harvest. In this FAQ section, some of those confusing things about spices might be dispelled by the answers given below.
What are the top 5 spices?
The top 5 spices you need in your pantry are cinnamon, paprika, chili powder, oregano, and cumin. All these dried herbs and spices not only help add flavor to various dishes, but provides a myriad of benefits.
What is the strongest smelling spice?
Out of the many different spices and condiments in the world, the one that has the strongest smell is Sambal Belacan. It's a mix of chilies, shrimp paste or belacan and lime juice, which is an indispensable spice in Malaysian cuisine. No Malaysian meal is complete with this spicy seasoning.
What is called the king of all spices?
There is no other 'King of Spices' than the black pepper. It was called so by the traders hundreds of years ago when it was first brought from India to Europe. Today, you will always find black pepper in every kitchen cabinet, in royal recognition.
What is the cheapest spice in the world?
In general, the cheapest spice is ginger, but it depends on where you are to some extent. In some places, ginger is actually expensive as most spices are. However, it is quite cheap compared to others because it is easily cultivated.
What is the most expensive spice by weight?
The most expensive spice by weight is saffron. These days, the price per pound of Saffron goes from $500 to $5000. It comes from the painstaking work that harvesting the stigmas of the flower takes. The stigmas are picked by hand to avoid damage and then left to dry.
Finding the best spice sets can get a bit challenging because there are so many options on the market. It becomes even tougher if you have little knowledge about spices and herbs, which makes it necessary to learn more. Either way, the list of reviews above narrows down the options to help you find a set of spices and spice racks for your kitchen. And don’t forget to consider other factors that can help in your critical decision process. That way, you can have only the best items in your kitchen for you to enjoy and for your guest to love.