Periodically I take on the challenge that is the Mt. Everest for many home cooks – cleaning and arranging the spice drawer. For years I kept my spices above the stove top – in that silly cupboard with two doors and the exhaust pipe taking up most of the room. Then one day I learned that spices and dried herbs have a shelf life – yep – they lose their omph! and the heat in that cupboard above the stove top speeds up the process. So I moved them to a drawer and either store the bottles and cans on the side so I can read the labels or put bulk spices in small squat containers with labels on the lids. I started adding a date to the hand written labels too. That way I know when something is getting tired and most likely lost much of it’s flavor quality.
About the time I learned about heat, I learned to buy spices in the bulk section of grocery stores, especially those stores that focus on organic foods.
My experience is these stores have a concentration of folks who use spices, many of whom are vegetarian, so these spices have a higher turn rate. They are fresher. And when I compared the cost – oh my! Ka-Ching! Bulk purchase is a big savings.
I began asking fellow food enthusiasts, chefs and restauranteurs about spices, in particular – what spices spice/flavors are their “must have” or “go to” flavors for outdoor cooking. I thought you might be interested in what the Char-Broil All-Stars had to say about this topic.
Char-Broil All-Star Favorite 3 Spices
Chili powder and cumin are favorites of mine, as is thyme, but it really depends on what I’m cooking, and what I’m in the mood for, flavor-wise. I might just as well go soy-brown sugar-ginger-chili flakes on any given day .
Good quailty smoked sweet & hot paprika, granulated garlic, granulated onion.
Finely ground espresso for beef, ancho chile, turbinado sugar.
Bourbon smoked brown sugar, Bourbon smoked paprika, Garlic, lots of it! All of these are great components for a rub.
Granulated Garlic, Fresh Ground White Pepper (hits a different spot on the tongue than black, and thus adds a little depth to the flavor profile), Sweet Paprika
For me it’s paprika, chinese five spice and fennel seeds (but not mixed altogether)
Montreal Steak Seasoning, Cajun spice blend, smoked paprika. Will there be things like lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil? I’m already getting paranoid!
Garlic powder, My Father-in-laws secret rub known as B&B Spice, McCormick’s Hamburger Seasoning
Well … there is no “must have” in my world but if you want three then English yellow mustard powder, cumin/coriander and sugar
Garlic, onion powder and ground cayenne.
It’s hard to pick three favorites but I love to use granulated garlic, onion powder and home cold-smoked seasoned salt.
Chili with Garlic Sauce, Cajun spices and honey!
Onion powder, garlic powder, and thyme …
There are a ton of others depending on the flavor profile, but these are my “mirepoix” )
What’s that you ask? What are my favorite, must have, go to spices?”
Barry ‘CB’ Martin
Ginger, cumin, Chinese mustard powder
What about you? What are your favorite, must have, go to spices? Please share in the comment section below.
Welcome to the Cookout! ~ Barry CB Martin