Toasting Seeds


Toasting seeds, like cumin seeds or sesame seeds, is no more difficult than toasting nuts – pine nuts, for example. Except that the seeds are typically so tiny and weigh such minute amounts, that the toasting sends them flying off into oblivion. It’s much like trying to pop popcorn in a shallow pan without a lid. This is especially the case with oily sesame seeds; they really can pop!

So years ago I found a little stove top gadget that I adore. I think I found the same one here:

It’s about 5″ in diameter, so it can hold a lot of seeds in one layer. You simply pour the seeds inside the toaster, close the screen lid, and place it on the stove.

Today I needed to toast fennel and coriander seeds for tomorrow’s post on home-made Italian sausages.


Place the toaster on the stove – I have a gas stove so the flames were at about 50%. Within almost seconds, you can smell the toasting, at which point just shake the toaster for a few more seconds, then remove it from the flames or heat source. Let cool.

As you can see, the seeds toasted nicely, and none were lost.


If you don’t own one of these seed toasters, you can easily use a skillet and a splatter screen. A lid would work as well, but you can see through a splatter screen. In either case, be vigilant; don’t leave the stove during the toasting process or you’ll be left with a bunch of burnt buggers!

30 thoughts on “Toasting Seeds

  1. Love this… I can’t wait to see your sausage recipe…I have one that I’ve been wanting to try, but just haven’t gotten around to it.
    I love that the photo shows how the seeds all popped! I guess I wouldn’t have thought that at all, but it does make sense..

  2. Great piece of equipment Mimi, must look out for a seed toaster. I use a deep pot so the seeds don’t jump out when they pop, but it’s not foolproof. Look forward to the sausage post!

  3. I want one of those pans! Love how the screen fits perfectly so you can view the toasting in progress.

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