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April 08, 2024 5 min read

Cinnamon sticks can be used for a variety of recipes. They're a spice that comes from the inner bark of a tree species called the genus Cinnamomum. They're usually associated with a warm, sweet, and slightly spicy flavor. They are often used whole in cooking to infuse flavor slowly, or they can be ground into a powder for a quick burst of taste. In this blog, we'll guide you on how to properly use this spice in your cooking. Let's dive in.


What Type of Cooking Are Cinnamon Sticks Used For?

 

cinnamon stick in metal cup
Credit: Envato Elements/ Shaiith

Cinnamon is a staple in both sweet and savory dishes. In sweet recipes, it's a key ingredient in classics like cinnamon rolls, apple pie, and oatmeal cookies. For savory dishes, it's often added to stews, curries, rich meals, as well as meat and vegetable recipes. It's also popular in beverages such as hot chocolate, cinnamon tea, mulled wine, and chai.


How to Use Cinnamon Sticks In Your Cooking?


Using cinnamon sticks in your cooking is easy and adds a delicious flavor to your dishes. Here's how to do it:


Whole Cinnamon Sticks: You can add cinnamon sticks directly into your cooking pot or saucepan. They sticks will slowly release their flavor as they simmer, giving your dish a warm and spicy taste. It's perfect for soups, stews, and rice dishes. Just remember to take out the sticks before serving.

Infusing Liquids: You can infuse cinnamon to liquids like milk, water, or alcohol. Simply add a stick to your liquid and let it steep for some time to extract the flavor. This works well for making cinnamon-infused hot chocolate, tea, or even cocktails.

Garnish: You can also use a few cinnamon sticks as garnish for desserts and drinks. Just place a stick on the side of a mug or glass for a visually appealing touch.


Can You Use Cinnamon Stick Other Than Cooking?

 

hand of man grinding cinnamon sticks in mortar
Credit: Envato Elements/ wirestock

Absolutely! Cinnamon sticks aren't just for cooking—they have other uses too. Here's how you can use them:


  • Home Fragrance: Cinnamon sticks can be used to create natural air fresheners. Simply simmer a few sticks in a pot of water on the stove, along with other aromatic ingredients like orange peels, lemon juice, nutmeg or cloves. As the mixture simmers, it will release an aromatic flavor that will make your home smell cozy and inviting.
  • Natural Decor: Cinnamon sticks can also be used as a natural and decorative element in your home. You can bundle them together with twine or ribbon to create rustic-looking decorations for your table or mantel. You can also incorporate them into potpourri bowls or wreaths during Christmas and other festivities.
  • Craft Projects: You can get creative with cinnamon sticks by using them in craft projects. They can be glued onto homemade greeting cards, picture frames, or ornaments. You can even make cinnamon stick candles by attaching them around a pillar candle with twine or glue.
  • Pest Repellent: Cinnamon has natural insect-repelling properties, so placing cinnamon sticks in areas where ants or other pests are a problem can help keep them away. Scatter them around doorways, windowsills, or pantry shelves.
  • Health Benefits: Some people also use cinnamon extract and sticks for their potential health benefits. While more research is needed, it's believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Some people also chew on cinnamon sticks or use them to make cinnamon-infused water as a natural remedy for different health issues.

Can You Grind Cinnamon Sticks?


Yes, you can surely grind cinnamon sticks to get the most out of their flavor. Once ground, you can use cinnamon powder in baking recipes such as cinnamon rolls, muffins, and cakes. It's also great for sprinkling over oatmeal, yogurt, or fruit for a tasty breakfast treat. In savory cooking, cinnamon powder can add improve to dishes like curries, chili, and roasted vegetables.


How to Grind Cinnamon Sticks

 

hand holding cinnamon sticks
Credit: Envato Elements/ francescosgura

Grinding cinnamon sticks is easy and requires just a few simple steps. Here's a detailed guide:


  • You'll need a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle. Make sure your grinder or mortar and pestle are clean and dry before you start.
  • If your cinnamon sticks are long, you may need to break them into smaller pieces to fit into your grinder or mortar and pestle. You can do this by hand or use a kitchen knife to cut them into manageable pieces.
  • Place the broken cinnamon stick pieces into your spice grinder or mortar. Make sure not to overload the grinder or mortar and pestle, as this can make it harder to grind the cinnamon evenly.
  • If you're using a spice grinder, secure the lid tightly and grind the cinnamon sticks for about 15-30 seconds, or until you achieve a fine powder. Be sure to pulse the grinder rather than keeping it running continuously to avoid overheating the spice. If you're using a mortar and pestle, use a circular motion to crush the cinnamon stick pieces into a powder.
  • Once you've ground the cinnamon sticks, check the consistency of the powder. It should be fine and evenly ground. If there are any larger pieces remaining, grind them a bit more until you achieve the desired texture.
  • Once you've ground your cinnamon sticks, transfer the powder to an airtight container or spice jar. Store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to maintain its flavor and freshness.

FAQs

How long do cinnamon sticks last?

Cinnamon sticks can last up to 4 years if you store them properly in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Putting them in an airtight container helps keep their flavor and smell fresh.


Can I reuse cinnamon sticks?

Yes, you can reuse cinnamon sticks a couple of times until they lose their flavor. It's common to reuse them in beverages or infusions. After use, rinse and dry them before storing.


How can I tell if my cinnamon sticks have gone bad?

If cinnamon sticks don't smell strong or have lost their flavor, they might not be good anymore. Before using them, check for any signs of mold or strange smells.


Are there different types of cinnamon sticks?

Yes, there are mainly two types: Ceylon cinnamon, which is lighter in color and has a mild taste, and Cassia cinnamon, which is darker and has a stronger flavor. You can choose either type based on your taste preference and the dish you're making.


Can cinnamon sticks be softened for use in recipes?

To soften cinnamon sticks for blending into pastes or smoother mixtures, you can soak them in hot water for about 15 minutes or until they become flexible.


Summary

Cinnamon sticks are not just a kitchen staple—they're versatile, fragrant, and can be used in a variety of ways beyond cooking. From freshening up your home to adding a decorative touch to your crafts, cinnamon sticks offer a myriad of possibilities. So next time you reach for this beloved spice, think outside the box and explore all the creative ways you can incorporate it into your daily life.

Are you ready to make ground cinnamon? Check out Pepe Nero mortar and pestle set. Perfect for grinding spices like cinnamon sticks to perfection, our durable and stylish set will elevate your cooking experience. Shop with us today.


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