About the Factory Team Flavor Guide
The Flavor Guide is your key to unlocking the world of flavors in the BBQ Pro Shop catalog, so you can find the perfect products for your tastes and cooking style.
Smoke Freaks, our in-house Factory Team, performs hundreds of controlled tests to decode the relative flavor balance of our seasonings lineup across four flavor dimensions:
This dimension captures the degree of saltiness we tasted from good ol' NaCl, from table salt to the fancy pink stuff. Includes flavored salts like garlic, onion, celery and bacon salt.
Because of the magic that occurs when fat, salt and fire come together, it's a major flavor component in most BBQ and grilling seasonings.
The approximate breakdown of Salt ratings across the catalog is: 1 (2%), 2 (21%), 3 (32%), 4 (36%), 5 (8%).
Includes sweet flavors from common white sugars as well as brown, brownulated and turbinado sugars. Also includes other sweet flavors from honey, maple and molasses powders, as well as fruity notes such as apple, cherry and peach.
The approximate breakdown of Sweet ratings across the catalog is: 1 (27%), 2 (34%), 3 (19%), 4 (17%) 5 (3%).
This dimension includes the near-ubiquitous onion & garlic flavors that are present in many classic and modern BBQ profiles. Also includes umami flavors, butter and a basket of savory spices from allspice to cumin to nutmeg. Certain herbs like sage and thyme count, too.
The approximate breakdown of Savory ratings across the catalog is: 1 (0%), 2 (7%), 3 (43%), 4 (43%), 5 (8%).
This dimension quantifies the “kick” that’s so common in BBQ and grilling.
Includes heat from black & white pepper (piperine) as well as red and chili peppers (capsaicin). Can also come from extracts and spicy roots such as mustard or wasabi.
The approximate breakdown of Heat ratings across the catalog is: 1 (6%), 2 (26%), 3 (48%), 4 (18%), 5 (2%).
How the Flavor Guide makes you awesome
No matter what profile you’re after, the Factory Team Flavor Guide helps you find it with the perfect seasonings lineup. Along with our exclusive Macro-vision seasoning photos, the Flavor Guide lets you preview every bottle from the comfort of your phone.
- Find the products to match your unique tastes and cooking style
- Predict the flavor behavior of any product
- Build your spice cabinet to cover all the flavor bases
- Mix and match to discover new profiles
- Achieve perfect flavor balances for competition BBQ and food sport
- Find the most (or least) powerful products across all four flavor dimensions
- Discover can’t-miss products for anything you cook, indoors or outdoors
What is the Factory Team and who are these Freaks
Ann Neale (Ms. Freak)
Head Cook, Smoke Freaks
Brian Neale (Mr. Freak)
Pitmaster, Smoke Freaks
The BBQ Pro Shop Factory Team was born in 2018 when we joined forces with Ann and Brian Neale of Smoke Freaks, the Chicago-based purveyors of Freakishly great BBQ experiences.
As competition cooks, Ann (Ms. Freak) and Brian (Mr. Freak) brought an insatiable appetite for new flavors, making them perfect partners in our mission to provide America’s best online BBQ and grilling store.
Since then, our catalog has nearly doubled as we’ve expanded our lineup to include the hottest competition seasonings as well as expanded offerings from exciting new purveyors like Fire & Smoke, Flavor Anonymous and SmokinGhost.
The problem: With such a vast lineup of amazing products, how to decide what to buy today, or what to use tonight?
Enter the Factory Team Flavor Guide, the first large-scale, data-driven resource to answer that question by decoding the world of seasonings on a level playing field.
Flavor Guide facts, figures and findings
The Factory Team Flavor Guide is a labor of love that consumed the better part of a year before we reached critical mass with the first 130 seasonings tested. Facts and figures from that first wave:
- 3 different test methodologies applied to each product
- 24 unique data points captured for every seasoning
- 780 distinct tests (not counting do-overs)
- 150+ pork chops consumed, including 20 before 9 a.m.
- 340 lbs of charcoal burned cooking pork chops
- 40 lbs small chicken quarters
- 240+ days cooking everything from Arrachera to Zucchini