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-   -   Seasonings and Spices (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13250)

Jeff_in_KC 08-30-2005 09:38 AM

Seasonings and Spices
 
I've been thinking about this lately and wondering where other competion teams purchase spices for rubs, etc. I usually get mine at the grocery store and don't pay much attention to whether they're generic brands (99 cents for a big jar of something like garlic powder) or not. And, if I find I have a couple of the same thing open at once, regardless of brand, I'll dump them in together to save space. Do you notice a difference in spice quality and would you be better off looking for someplace where you can purchase them fresh? And are there some kinds of spices, etc. that are definitely better purchased fresh?

BrooklynQ 08-30-2005 09:47 AM

RE: Seasonings and Spices
 
Shouldn't this be in Qtalk instead of competetion? Great question, just not competetion rcentric.

It's always better to use the freshest spices you can, even if they are dried.

I try to stay away from the 99 cent store spices because IMHO, they're not consistent in flavor. I go to a turkish or chinese spice store where I can buy small bags of spices at bulk prices. These stores have a huge turn over rate of these spices so I always know they're fresh. Or in the supermarket I buy brands that i know and trust. For what it's worth, salt is the only spice where I don't care about brand.

At home I use a lot more fresh spices then we do at competetion. I know my family won't object if they bite into a rib and get a piece of garlic in their teeth. Or if they find a lemon seed in the sauce. etc. I wouldn't take that chance in a contest.

Jeff_in_KC 08-30-2005 09:56 AM

RE: Seasonings and Spices
 
Brook, the reason I posted this here is that I'm assuming that competition spices quality would by necessity be different than the quality needed for backyard purposes. If that isn't correct, I apologize for placing this here...

jt 08-30-2005 10:35 AM

RE: Seasonings and Spices
 
I find that buying spices in Sam's I usually get fresh stuff. They seem to have good turnover on all the stuff I use and I get a bigger container for less money.

Of course, I'm just supporting the evil empire here! :roll:

Trout_man22 08-30-2005 11:02 AM

RE: Seasonings and Spices
 
I buy from the Watkins store or if you do not have on near you they sell them on line at:

http://www.watkinsonline.com/default.cfm

best stuff always fresh.

The_Kapn 08-30-2005 11:06 AM

Moderator's note:
Rob is correct here.
Excellent discussion for general cooking.
This thread will get more exposure in Q-Talk, so I moved it here.


Like the others, I try to use fresh spices when I need them.
But, I use a commercial rub from HomeBBQ and so spices are not really a big item on my shelf.

But, that is just me :lol:

TIM

brdbbq 08-30-2005 11:28 AM

I look for the cheapest and nastiest stuff I can find so that my food at home tastes like crap. I only use the good stuff in competition! Isn't that what everybody else does?

spicewine 08-30-2005 12:11 PM

I buy in large quantities and vacume seal into smaller bags. Good as long as you keep them out of the sun light.

Solidkick 08-30-2005 12:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spicewine
I buy in large quantities and vacume seal into smaller bags. Good as long as you keep them out of the sun light.

I just raid Jay's kitchen..........

rbinms33 08-30-2005 12:34 PM

I too get my stuff at Sam's now. I used to pick up the cheap stuff like the 2/$1 spices at Walmart (I think they're called Good Seasonings or something like that). Was making up a batch of rub one time and couldn't find the Good Seasonings Cayenne at Walmart so I went next door and picked up one of the big Tone's Cayenne containers at Sam's. Big difference in heat! Ended up having to make another batch without the cayenne and then mix the two together. Man, that chit was hot!! Had to adjust my recipe cause of that. From that point on, I use nothing but the Tone brand from Sam's so I can mix up a consistent batch.

My opinion......if you wanna use the cheapy stuff, use it. If you wanna use the high dollar stuff, use that. Just use the same stuff each time so you can keep a consistent flavor.

Cuelio 08-30-2005 01:00 PM

Give Penzey's a look.

www.penzeys.com

They're pricey, but the little I've bought from them has always been great.

Arlin_MacRae 08-30-2005 01:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cue'lio
Give Penzey's a look.

www.penzeys.com

They're pricey, but the little I've bought from them has always been great.

<raises his hand> I'll vouch for Penzey's. GREAT spices and you can buy different box-packs of them. My bro sent me the hot one. Wow.

icemn62 08-30-2005 01:12 PM

I know it is supposed to be best to grind up your own spice and place in an airtight container away from sunlight. I don't get that involved in cooking to that level. If I were going to compete and had come in second on a consistent basis to the same team, and found about the only thing different I do is not grind my own spice, I would do what I do. The stuff in the cabinets are good enough for the wife to give to us, it is good enough for me.

Hoorenga 08-30-2005 01:41 PM

Re: RE: Seasonings and Spices
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff_in_KC
Brook, the reason I posted this here is that I'm assuming that competition spices quality would by necessity be different than the quality needed for backyard purposes. If that isn't correct, I apologize for placing this here...

Competition or home, shouldn't make a difference. You want the best quality either way. I remember buying cooking wine for something and taking a taste of it. Yettttcccchhhh! Why would you cook with something you wouldn't drink? Or in the case of spices, why would you cook with a spice that was less than tasty? I have used a number of the 99 cent spices and found them to be of decent quality. As others have stated it is freshness that counts. Quality is just as important but it doesn't always figure that if you pay $3.00 and ounce for an herb that it is necessarily any better. I bought some Shilling chili powere last month and ended up throwing it away. It wasn't that it was bad, Schilling just formulates their spices for the American pallete. In general Americans like things bland. Taste and smell your spices prior to cooking with them. Rub them between your fingers or in the palm of your hands. Give them a sniff. You want an nice aromatic smell. Then put a small amount on your tounge and see what it tastes like. Funny how people don't taste things like vinegars, herbs and spices and wine that they use for cooking and yet it is these very ingredients that can make or break a particlular food item.

Qczar 08-30-2005 02:23 PM

RE: Re: RE: Seasonings and Spices
 
I buy any spices I need at Englishtown, NJ flea market. They have just about anything you need in large 10oz bottles for 2 bucks each. Stuff is as fresh as it gets. They sell so much they consistantly replenish. Brand name on the label is 'Salma' and is packaged by Spice N More from Brooklyn, NY. Rob you hear of`em?


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