Smoking meat is an excellent way to take your meals to the next level. The unique flavor that smoke imparts on meat is something that’s hard to replicate with other cooking methods. However, smoking meat isn’t just about the smoky flavor. It’s also about the complementing seasonings that bring out the best in your meat. Here are four seasonings that will complement your smoked meat and take it to new heights.
Garlic Powder: A Flavorful Companion
Garlic powder is a staple seasoning that complements many dishes, including smoked meat. It adds a savory, slightly pungent flavor that enhances the natural taste of the meat. You can either use store-bought garlic powder or make your own at home by drying and grinding garlic cloves.
It’s important to use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic when seasoning your smoked meat because it’s less likely to burn and will adhere better to the meat’s surface, creating a flavorful crust. Add garlic powder liberally to your rub, and you’ll have a delicious meal.
Cumin: Warm, Earthy, and Peppery
Cumin is a popular spice in many cuisines, and for good reasons. It has a warm, earthy flavor that pairs well with the smokiness of meat. Adding cumin to your smoked meat will give it a complex, nutty, and aromatic taste that will leave your taste buds wanting more.
You can use whole cumin seeds or ground cumin in your rub, depending on your preference. Add cumin to your rub or sprinkle it on your meat before smoking. Either way, cumin will elevate the flavor of your smoked meat.
Paprika: For Color and Flavor
Paprika is a versatile spice that can add flavor and color to your smoked meat and comes in different varieties, including sweet, smoked, and hot. Sweet paprika is the one you’ll see most often in cooking and can add a subtle, sugary flavor. Meanwhile, spicy paprika is perfect if you enjoy a fiery kick. Be careful if you choose a smoked paprika, as there is such a thing as too much smoke, believe it or not.
However, all paprika has some level of a slightly sweet and smoky taste. If you’re looking to add a little more of that grilled, bacony flavor to your smoked meat, any type of paprika works well.
Brown Sugar: Salty Sweet Harmony
If you want to balance some of that woodsy, charred taste and really bring out the savory flavor, brown sugar is the perfect seasoning to complement smoked meat. Adding salt and sugar together is a simple and effective way to create flavor layering.
Brown sugar helps balance out any spicy seasonings you may have used, creating a perfect harmony of flavors. It creates a delicious, caramelized crust on the surface of your meat. Furthermore, it’s an incredibly versatile seasoning, so feel free to mix it in with any flavor combination you’ve created.
If you’re looking for an easy and delicious smoky meal, try Vincent’s Meat Market’s spiral-cut hickory smoked ham. It’s sweet, savory, smoky goodness delivered right to your door!