BBQ means smoke. Open this jar and inhale the rich, woodsy aromas of red alder-smoked salt, three kinds of smoky peppers, and the scent of smoked bacon. Mix it into burgers. Toss it with chicken. Rub it on ribs, roasts, and brisket. Just a pinch of this all-American mix, and you'll smoke the competition.
Red Alder Smoked Salt
is slowly smoked over hardwood logs of red alder, America's tallest native alder tree. The warm brown crystals exude rich aromas of real wood smoke.
(a.k.a Pimenton de la Vera, dolce) picks up its alluring aromas as sweet pimentos (cherry peppers) are slowly dried over oak wood fires in low ceilinged adobe smoke houses.
Smoked Black Pepper
can be cold-smoked over apple wood, hickory, or mesquite. We use hickory for its well-balanced smoke and its affinity for pork and chicken.
are smoked red jalapeño peppers. Depending on the heat of the jalapeño they can taste mild to medium hot (5,000 to 10,000 Scoville units, a measure of the heat-producing oil in hot chile peppers).
are the shelf-stable alternative to real bacon. They are made by infusing the natural flavors of smoke and pork into soy protein. If we had used real bacon, the blend would go rancid without refrigeration and vegetarians would be out of luck.
Ground Mustard Seed
is harvested from yellow-flowering plants in the Brassica family and ground into a fine powder. Mustard seed releases the bulk of its flavor when heated, which is why mustard aromas don't waft from the jar but do blossom their sweet pungency when you cook with this blend.
Sun-Dried Tomato Powder
develops concentrated tomato flavor when the ripest plum tomatoes are sliced in half lengthwise and dried on open-air racks by the heat of the sun. Grinding sundried tomatoes to a powder allows their rich red color and deep flavor to permeate every crack and crevice of a food.
Onion and Garlic Powders
are often maligned as cheap knockoffs of their fresh brethren, but we celebrate the savory flavors they lend to our dried spice blends. Without them, this barbecue seasoning would lack its pleasant undercurrent of oniony sweetness and aroma.
Light Brown Sugar
gets its caramel-y sweetness from molasses, which is extracted from pure cane sugar then mixed back in after the refining process. Molasses gives brown sugar a richer color, more nuanced flavor, and a tiny amount of some beneficial nutrients.
Building the Blend
When developing, testing and tasting this blend, our goal was to capture the smoke-drenched flavor of foods slowly cooked over a low, smoldering wood fire. All three of us are barbecue fanatics, so we tried to make smokiness leak in from almost every ingredient. We started with real smoked bacon but soon realized that keeping the bacon fresh on the shelf and in your kitchen would require refrigeration, which was not ideal. So we switched to bacon bits and sought out flavor and smokiness in other ingredients. Adding sundried tomato powder was our "ah-ha" moment. It intensified the deep woodsy aromas of the smoked salt, smoked pepper, smoked paprika, and smoked jalapeños. We also paid special attention to texture in this blend, making sure that the spices are ground to a uniform fineness so that all exposed surfaces of whatever you are cooking—ribs, chicken, sweet potatoes, or burgers—get an equal opportunity to inhale the smoke. Achieving this level of smoked flavor usually takes food the better part of a day wallowing in billows of smoke in a smoker, but Bacon BBQ Chef Salt puts the wood smoke right in the jar.
The Chef's Quick Fixes
- Rub Bacon BBQ on grilled or barbecued spare ribs
- Rub Bacon BBQ on pork chops and braise in beer
- Spike up your chili with Bacon BBQ
- Scatter Bacon BBQ on baked peaches or apples, no kidding
- Use Bacon BBQ to turn plain grilled chicken into barbecue
- Mix Bacon BBQ with ketchup and beer for a quick barbecue sauce
- Sprinkle Bacon BBQ and shredded cheddar on baked potatoes
- Mix Bacon BBQ with butter and brush on piping hot corn on the cob
- Coat salmon filet with Bacon BBQ and refrigerate for 3 days to make BBQ smoked salmon
- Season burgers or meatloaf with Bacon BBQ
- Mix Bacon BBQ with cream cheese or sour cream for dipping or spreading