2023 was a great year for flavor and we’re excited to share another Essential Seasoning List.
We developed this list after hundreds and hundreds of taste tests of seasonings coming into the BBQ Pro Shop product catalog. All of that taste testing culminates in the FACTORY TEAM FLAVOR GUIDE, which you can use to find the ideal levels of salt, sweet, savory and heat to match your cooking style.
Here are the seasonings that really knocked our socks off this year. CLICK HERE to purchase the entire discounted set with FREE SHIPPING included.
Twisted Steel’s LIMA LOCA boasts “a crazy twist of flavor” and that’s exactly what it is. Opens with a salty-sour quality and a punch of grilled flavor, followed by an herbal backdrop and a pinch of sweetness. Makes everything fresh and vibrant. A new favorite for beef fajitas.
Flavor Profile: 4-2-3-3
Blend Characteristics: Medium grind with specks of celery seed and other herbs
Does it get any better than Tuffy Stone’s DAILY GRIND COFFEE RUB? It’s unlike anything else, with an ingredient list that includes coffee and cocoa powder. These flavors are deserving of your most fancy protein, and also terrific on a simple pork chop.
Flavor Profile: 4-1-3-3
Blend Characteristics: Range of textures with chunky bits of salt and coffee
REAPER by Blazing Star is unmistakably a hot seasoning, thanks to the Carolina Reaper pepper in the blend. The heat registers pretty much immediately but then lots of chunks of turbinado sugar provide a welcome relief. This seasoning is Mr. Freak’s latest go-to on popcorn.
Flavor Profile: 3-3-3-4
Blend Characteristics: Varying texture and size, including big crystals of cane sugar
That’s the One BBQ’s MACHETE has become a new favorite in our home kitchen. We’ve been known to season every part of our dinner plate with it, including boring brussel sprouts, which became instantly delicious. This low-sugar seasoning is great for everything from high-temp grilling to low-and-slow pork butts.
Flavor Profile: 3-1-4-3
Blend Characteristics: Larger salt crystals dance with fine black pepper, paprika and chili pepper
Dr. BBQ’s PEACHIPOTLE delivers a sweet heat right from the first bite. The heat is noticeable and grows with full on tongue tingles that send us back for more.The peach notes will wow up any dish with fruity goodness, but it’s just dying for a dance on your next rack of ribs.
Flavor Profile: 2-4-2-4
Blend Characteristics: Range of textures, including fine peach powder and flecks of chipotle pepper
Lane’s HONEY SRIRACHA is a little pale right out of the bottle, but add some fire and the sugar caramelization leaves a great color. Bold and delicious. As the name implies, it’s a sweet rub with some heat, but there’s so much more going on. Deep, rich flavors with umami qualities make it perfect for many dishes, but it’s a must try on pork chops.
Flavor Profile: 2-4-3-3
Blend Characteristics: Pale color with dark flecks and bits of cracked pepper and coarse salt
GOLD DUST from Old Arthur’s has tons of turbo-charged garlic flavor with a moderately salty bite, and carries a nice bit of sting from both white pepper and garlic. The super-fine blend packs plenty of big flavors and is sugar free, making it a great choice for grilled veggies and more.
Flavor Profile: 3-1-4-4
Blend Characteristics: Super-fine blend; lighter color including white pepper
If you dig the earthy, smoky flavors of hatch and jalapeno peppers, Your Behind BBQ’s GREEN CHILE BACON RUB is for you. The hatch green chile gets my tongue buzzing right from the first bite, but stops shy of “too hot” territory. Earthy, exotic, unique and delicious. It's a great booster for any kind of cooking, and we especially love using a generous coat on brisket.
Flavor Profile: 3-1-3-4
Blend Characteristics: Wild-looking blend; fine hatch green chile powder, chunks of coarse salt and plenty of dehydrated bits
PORKY’S PALACE from Ace’s Wild has a 3-3-3-3 Flavor Guide profile, which means all four flavor dimensions are singing their songs at the same volume. There’s something about the equal balance of salt, sweet, savory and heat flavors that gets us every time.
Flavor Profile: 3-3-3-3
Blend Characteristics: Wonderful deep red-orange paprika color, medium grind
We’re so glad John Willingham’s LOST AT SEA recipe was unearthed, because this one really blew us away. It’s very different and very delicious with an initial complex sweetness, followed by a saltiness that registers as soon as the sweetness fades. In addition to seafood or any other white meat, try mixing it into ground meats or with skillet dishes to add a little added flair.
Flavor Profile: 2-3-3-3
Blend Characteristics: Medium grind with plenty of bits including earthy celery seed; darker color
Tell us your own essential seasoning picks at FACTORYTEAM@BBQPROSHOP.COM.
And check out the FLAVOR GUIDE for more of our flavor ratings, usage tips and flavor notes.
CLICK HERE to purchase the entire discounted set with FREE SHIPPING included.
Ms. Freak is head cook of Smoke Freaks, the BBQ Pro Shop Factory Team. She and her partner, Mr. Freak, are the tongues and testers behind the FACTORY TEAM FLAVOR GUIDE.