One of the great benefits of writing this blog is getting the chance to try a variety of products that I wouldn't normally even knew existed. It's rare that I come across a product that is so bad that I don't want to write about it. It's even rarer that I come across a product that just blows me away. There are only a hand full of products I've reviewed over the last five years that are just simply, for lack of a better word, amazing. And the products from "Chef Salt" fit the bill. Last week I gave the "Tuscan Herb" blend a try and tonight I used the "Bacon BBQ" spice blend on some chicken breasts. It really is awesome stuff.
Salt can kill bacteria, preserve food, transfer heat, and alter our perception of flavor. Anything that powerful must be handled with care. That’s why we hand-selected only the finest salts for Chef Salt. Each Chef Salt seasoning blend has been meticulously tweaked, tested, and tasted for at least a year in a huge range of preparations from rubbing them into dry-aged steaks to sprinkling them on roasted donut peaches to swirling them with clarified butter in classic chicken vindaloo. –Chef Salt
Chef Salt products are hand blended combinations of quality salts, herbs, chilies and other seasonings. It’s obvious that the attention to detail is important to Andrew Schloss, David Joachim and David Bitterman. It’s simple to tell quality ingredients when you open a jar of any spice blend. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a seasoning or a dry rub when you open a jar the aroma of the ingredients should just about punch you in the nose. I like to think the nose works like your taste buds. If the herbs and spices are good quality you are able to distinguish the individual aromas. It’s almost like your nose has a palate.
The “Bacon BBQ” seasoning has a flavor that will compliment just about any meat or vegetable. The combination of Alder wood smoked salt, smoked paprika, smoke black salt, chipotle chilies, ground mustard seeds, sun-dried tomato powder, onion and garlic powders, and light brown sugar would be a great dry rub for any protein, but the addition of ground up bacon bits gives this not only a rich, smokey flavor but the goodness of bacon. I’m going to be eating this stuff on everything.
I think it’s best to let the gang at Chef Salt describe their thought process for Bacon BBQ: “When developing, testing and tasting this blend, our goal was to capture the smoke-drenched flavor of foods slowly cooked over a low, smoldering wood fire. All three of us are barbecue fanatics, so we tried to make smokiness leak in from almost every ingredient. We started with real smoked bacon but soon realized that keeping the bacon fresh on the shelf and in your kitchen would require refrigeration, which was not ideal. So we switched to bacon bits and sought out flavor and smokiness in other ingredients. Adding sundried tomato powder was our “ah-ha” moment. It intensified the deep woodsy aromas of the smoked salt, smoked pepper, smoked paprika, and smoked jalapeños. We also paid special attention to texture in this blend, making sure that the spices are ground to a uniform fineness so that all exposed surfaces of whatever you are cooking—ribs, chicken, sweet potatoes, or burgers—get an equal opportunity to inhale the smoke. Achieving this level of smoked flavor usually takes food the better part of a day wallowing in billows of smoke in a smoker, but Bacon BBQ Chef Salt puts the wood smoke right in the jar”
The care and thought that went into developing this blend is obvious. Many times bacon products are all about the bacon. Bacon has become huge crutch for both home cooks and restaurant chefs. Bacon is the greatest gift a pig can give us and I hate to see it misused. In the case of “Bacon BBQ” it’s not as much about bacon as it is about using bacon as a building block along with the other ingredients to come up with a flavorful seasoning that will make you sit up and take notice.
If you’re looking for something different from your ordinary off the shelf seasoning blends Chef Salt is certainly one of the products to consider. Chef Salt products can be purchased at www.chefsalt.com.
Disclaimer: Chef Salt sent me the samples for free.