So, you have a grill, smoker or fire pit to work with. Now what? Just throw that slab of meat down and let it go?
Not so much. First off, you need to have an idea of how hot your work surface is. You don’t want to under/over-cook your meat and either ruin the meal or risk getting sick.
When I was getting started in grilling, I read a lot of articles on amazing ribs.com. The owner of the site gives a lot of information that is invaluable. So, go there. Read. A LOT.
There you will learn a lot about meat temps, searing, and proper techniques. I’m not going to even attempt to relay the wealth of information that is on that site. It’s one of my favorite sites for cooking; I still go there frequently.
So, once you have the basics of what to do with the meat, next you’ll need to season it. Even a basic hamburger transforms with the right seasonings. Steaks, chicken, pork… you name it. You can really knock a meal out of the park with the correct seasonings.
With that being said, a few years ago we found some seasonings sold locally that we really liked. At $9-12 a jar it got expensive, but we really enjoyed the product. I inquired in buying the seasoning in bulk as I didn’t really care about the little fancy jar; a few phone calls and emails later, I found the core vendor Spices Inc. Spices Inc quickly became my favorite supplier of spices; every order ends up being well over 5 pounds of various spices or seasonings.
One thing to know about buying spices in bulk is that they come in sealed plastic bags. Don’t expect to be getting a nice shaker container.
Personally? that didn’t bother me one bit. I was able to source some shaker containers on amazon that store the spices well. There are even little sealing gaskets that come with the containers if you are so inclined.
Okay, sidebar time. Don’t mis-treat your spices! When you use spices, never use them over something that can put moisture into the container. Example, if you are making tacos, don’t shake the seasoning directly into the pan. Shake it into your hand or another vessel, and then dump the seasonings into the pan from there. The goal is to keep as much moisture out of your seasonings as possible so they last a long time.
I’ll warn you, if you go to their site you’ll probably spend a long time picking out what you want. I’ve found myself on their site well over an hour picking out tons of things to try out.
Here’s a few of my favorite spices:
- Southwest Seasoning – We use this for Beef and Chicken; our favorite use is to mix it with taco seasoning to add extra flavor.
- Beef Brisket Rub – Use this when smoking briskets. I smoke at 225 degrees for as long as it takes. Rule of thumb, cook till the food is done, not for a specific time. Good BBQ is not an accident.
- Hatch New Mexico Red Chile Powder – Great Chile seasoning that is fairly mild.
- Hatch New Mexico Green Chile Powder – Another great Chile seasoning that has a bit more of a bite to it.
- Sandia Chile Powder – “Medium” heat
- All American Dry Rub – A great general-use bbq rub
- Mother Clucker Chicken Seasoning – This is not a seasoning with a Mexican flair, it’s different. I’ll admit, I bought it because of the name; I wasn’t disappointed.
- Flippin the Bird – Great general chicken seasoning
- One Flew Over the Chicken’s Nest – More of a “New Mexico” seasoning vs a Mexico seasoning (ala the Pollo Asado)
- Pollo Asado – Great southwest seasoning, not much spice (can add spice with the Chile powders as needed
- Yucatan Recado Rojo Rub – Chicken Rub that compliments a lot of dishes well
- Kansas City BBQ Rub – Great on ribs!
- Smoked Sweet Paprika – Mild Chile flavor, noticeable smoky flavors as well. A great over-all spice.
- California Onion Powder – Great onion flavor. Easy to measure out
- California Garlic Powder – Great garlic flavor. Easy to measure as well.
tip: if you are buying the bulk bags of spices, carefully pull the labels off of the bag and stick them on the container of your choice. They use a sticker/adhesive that holds well but will come off the bag to be re-applied later. This is a LOT easier than making new labels.
The southwest seasoning is the one that started my love affair with Spices Inc. Started off with a small jar, and next thing you know I’m having a pound shipped to my house more frequently than I’d like to admit. Try it, you won’t regret it.
Once you buy 20 pounds of spices, you’ll need a good way to store them. I bought the following containers and have been very happy with them.
Most of the 1 pound bags will fit into the 32oz containers. As the spices are sold by weight and not volume, some spices will fill the containers more than others.
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