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Behind the Seasoning: Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt & Pepper

Close up of Black Label Reserve with picnic background

If you think you know salt and pepper, think again. Our Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt & Pepper reinvents the classic seasoning mix and elevates the blend to another level. If you like spicing up traditional flavors, you’ll be all in on our Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt & Pepper. 

What is Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt & Pepper seasoning?

Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt & Pepper is an elevation of basic salt and pepper. The seasoning takes the traditional spices and cold-smokes them over whisky staves, and sweet hickey splits for two days. What results is a rich, smoke-infused salt and pepper blend that takes flavors to new heights. 

Buy Black Label Reserve with spoon shot of Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt & Pepper

What does Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt & Pepper taste like?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt & Pepper tastes like salt and pepper, but it's even better. The seasoning is a balance of salty, smoky, warm and pepper, and is slightly pungent with notes of toasted oak and smoked hickory. All of these the bold flavors are balanced to create a smooth, finishing flavor. Together, salt & pepper are full-flavored but can also be a blank canvas for other ingredients…or for smoke! 

Why are salt and pepper paired together?

Salt effectively opens up your tastebuds and accents other flavors. Pepper is warm without being spicy. So, when you think about flavors, it’s no wonder that pepper is almost always paired with salt in savory dishes (and even some sweet dishes, we have an excellent recipe for Cherry Bonfire Bars!) Combining sea salt and black pepper creates the perfect blend of sweet mineral notes that underscore the saltiness and earthy, spicy pepper flavors. For more on the culinary history of salt & pepper, read this interesting article by NPR.

Is salt and black pepper a seasoning?

When you break it down, yes. However, salt on its own is a mineral that is used to enhance flavors. When mixed with black pepper, which is classified as a spice, the blend is defined as a seasoning — especially with the smoke flavors infused. 

Black Label Reserve Smoke Salt & Pepper on black background with smoke wisps

What spices and seasoning are in Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt & Pepper?

With Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt & Pepper, the seasoning is pretty straightforward. The ingredient list is Smoked Salt and Smoked Black Pepper. It’s simple, in the best way possible. 

It took some trial and error to figure out the right temperature, smoke levels, and timing. The road to perfectly smoked spices was a little bumpy, but we prevailed. We regulate the temperature and smoke to ensure that the spices never get too hot for too long and carefully time rotations to ensure that each granule can fully absorb the smoky notes.

What is the ratio of salt and pepper mix?

Believe it or not, salt and pepper mixes are not 1:1. Mixing equal parts salt and pepper would taste, for most people, overwhelmingly peppery. Instead, most traditional blends have much more salt than pepper. Our traditional Salt & Pepper Tableside Seasoning uses a 75% kosher salt blend and 25% coarse black pepper.

But it's not just about ratios, in this case, size matters. When we first blended our smoked salt & pepper, we realized that our Whiskey Barrel Smoked Black Pepper was just a little too coarse to mix thoroughly with the salt. So, as we do with any blend, we tweaked and re-tested. We landed on a perfect size and ratio that allows the salt and pepper to integrate fully for the ideal mix in every sprinkle!

Where and How to Buy Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt & Pepper Seasoning?

Many supermarkets and grocery stores will carry a variety of salt and pepper blends. However, you can only get the signature Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt & Pepper seasoning blend from Savory Spice. Our store carries the blend, along with Whiskey Barrel Smoke Black Pepper and Bourbon Barrel Smoked Salt if you’d rather have them on their own. 

Our store locator feature will also guide you to a local market where you can see our products up close and personal. 

 

Watermelon and Feta Salad in bowl with two wooden utensils to the left

 

What is Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt & Pepper used for?

You can use Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt & Pepper anywhere you typically use salt and pepper for an extra hint of smoke and depth of flavor. The smoky blend is great for use on everything from the sweet (smoked salt & pepper caramel sauce) to the simple (sprinkle on buttered bread) to the sophisticated (sprinkle on soft cheeses on a cheese board). Here are a few more ideas…

  • Add to breakfast foods like omelets, sprinkled on a soft-boiled egg, or to top avocado toast.
  • Use it as a rub on meats, steak, or vegetables. (Even when grilling.)
  • Season baked potato or roasted veggies
  • Excellent for finishing a dish with a burst of flavor. Try it on burrata, fresh tomatoes, and salads.
  • Salted watermelon (which sparked a delicious Smoky Watermelon & Feta Salad)
  • Sprinkle on your favorite snacks - like popcorn!
  • Use as a rimming salt for margaritas or bloody marys

What can be substituted for Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt & Pepper?

There is nothing worse than going to grab your Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt & Pepper only to find it empty. Luckily, there are a few substitutes that will work in place of the smoky spice blend. Swap it out with Whiskey Barrel Smoked Black Pepper and Bourbon Barrel Smoked Salt by creating your own blend. If you don’t have any smoke-infused spices in your spice cabinet, traditional salt and pepper with a bit of liquid smoke will do the trick. 

Recipes using Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt & Pepper

Adding Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt and Pepper is a simple way to elevate your dish. This spice blend doesn’t fit into one box and can be enjoyed in both sweet and savory ways. Here are some of our favorite ways to use the spice mixture. 

  • Salted Caprese Salad - Fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella cheese don’t need much fuss to make a good dish. Sprinkle on some Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt and Pepper for the addition you never knew you needed. 
  • Smoky Watermelon Feta Salad - Elevate a classic summer salad with a sprinkle of the Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt and Pepper. It redefines a traditional dish in the best way possible. 
  • Black Label Burger - No grill? No problem! The Black Label Reserve Smoked Salt and Pepper adds the smokiness you need, regardless of the cooking method. 
  • Cherry Bonfire Bars - Surprise your tastebuds with this sweet and savory treat. The smokiness adds a tasty complexity to these classic treats. 
Cherry Bonfire Bars with smoked salt & pepper

From veggies to popcorn, we have more unique Shakers and Shaker Sets that will add plenty of flavor to your everyday meals.

Next article Behind the Seasoning: Saffron & Chanterelle Risotto

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