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How to reuse cinnamon sticks

Updated February 21, 2017

You can reuse and store cinnamon sticks for up to a year to get the most out of their spice. Cinnamon sticks are curled sections of inner bark from trees of the genus Cinnamomum. The majority of stick and ground cinnamon that is sold throughout the world comes from the large Cinnamomum zeylanicum tree. Proper storage of cinnamon protects the flavourful oils of any cinnamon variety between each use. Make cinnamon sticks last longer by taking only what you need and keeping the remainder for another day.

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  1. Break off the portion of the cinnamon stick you plan to use for the individual recipe with a pair of clean pliers or basic hinged nutcracker. Grind the broken-off portion of the stick so it can be measured for future recipes. Break and grind more as needed.

  2. Place the finished sticks in a small, airtight container and seal it securely. Use masking tape and a permanent marker to label the container with an expiration date (exactly one year from the storing date) and the words "cinnamon sticks."

  3. Place the sealed container in the refrigerator so the label is visible. Reuse and restore the sticks as necessary until the expiration date is reached.

  4. Tip

    Simmer the leftover scraps of cinnamon sticks in a spiced tea or stew to extract the oils. A dark container that blocks light from the contents is ideal. Wrap the individual sticks in aluminium foil to protect them from light if you do not have a dark container.


    Cinnamon sticks with little aroma or a musty smell probably already have exceeded their expiration and should not be purchased.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pliers or nutcracker
  • Spice grinder (optional)
  • Small, airtight container

About the Author

Jeffrey Brian Airman

Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.

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