The Basics: How To Craft A Custom Spice Blend

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Cooking Essentials

The Technique

How To Craft A Custom Spice Blend 

The key to creating most anything special is being certain it’s well balanced & a custom seasoning blend isn’t any different. The concept is rather simple & requires four basic fundamentals which include sweet, spicy, salty & herb or seasoning elements. When combined just so, these components bring out the very best in a variety of beef cuts, pork, chicken, seafood, vegetables & so much more. Some blends may be prepared in advanced & held for a spell in an airtight container or given to friends as gifts whilst others should be made just before using, particularly when liquid elements are involved. Learn the technique & get ready to apply it in your very own kitchen.

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How To Craft A Custom Spice Blend

Creating a balanced blend of irresistible flavors isn’t complicated & most of the items are just waiting in your pantry. These simple ingredients liven up the most ordinary foods & are perfect for New York Strip Steak, Ribeye Steak, Top Sirloin Steak, chicken breasts, pork shoulder, ribs & so much more. 

How To Make A Custom Spice Blend Rebecca Gordon Publisher-Chef-Buttermilk-Lipstick-Culinary-Techniques-Southern-Entertaining-RebeccaGordon-Pastry-Chef-Birmingham-Alabama

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A few pieces of equipment will be needed in order to complete the task. Take stock in the ingredients available before beginning. Here’s what you should know.

No. 1

The Sweetness

Sugar creates the desired caramelization for many of our favorite foods. Granulated & brown sugar are popular choices in dry rubs. Sometimes a thick paste is perfect to season pork tenderloin– not quite a marinade & not quite a rub but a hybrid of sorts that can be used right away when a long stand time for marinating isn’t possible. It also allows the option of adding fresh garlic & herbs from the sill. Honey, molasses, sorghum or maple syrup are ideal for these applications. A good rule of thumb in any instance is to consider the cook time. For quick grilling, a tablespoon or so per pound of meat will add a hint of sweetness without tasting like your favorite layer cake. When high heat searing is in order, try about 1 teaspoon per pound of meat, poultry or fish. 

No. 2

The Salt

Salt & sugar are the foundation of most spice blends so depending on how much of these two key players are used will also determine how much of the spice & herb notes you’ll pick up on in the final dish. Kosher, table & sea salt are the most popular ingredients used in a great spice rub. Just remember that 1 teaspoon of each isn’t exactly the same. Table salt holds more grains per measurement & could make items taste too salty. The intensity of each should also be considered. The best rule of thumb is to start small & taste as you build the blend. Adjust as needed. Try 1 to 2 teaspoons of kosher salt per pound of meat, poultry or fish. If using table salt, begin with 3/4 teaspoon & go from there.

No. 3

The Herbs & Spices

Herbs & spices are the accessories to a great blend. Chili powder, ground cumin, paprika & garlic powder can lead you down a path of delicious barbecue inspired possibilities. Add a little rosemary, thyme or oregano & the flavors just simply come alive. Fresh ginger root is also wonderful choice for good taste notes. Go big with less intense flavors & use bold notes more sparingly. 

No. 4

The Heat

Good heat without overpowering the combination of flavors you’ve created makes for a well balanced rub. Black pepper, cayenne, crushed red pepper flakes & smoky chipotle chile powder are all excellent sources of heat. Try 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per pound of meat, poultry or fish to provide a lovely kick to your custom creation.

 The Tune
“All Or Nothing At All” Billie Holiday 

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About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Football Fanatic * Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Techniques Instructor * Cooking & Baking Tutorials * Media Personality * Baking & Pastry Artist * Gardener * Runner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.


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