Skip to content
Spice & Easy Meal Starter Spice Mixes Are 25% Off With Code EASYSUMMER
Spice & Easy Meal Starter Spice Mixes Are 25% Off With Code EASYSUMMER

Behind the Seasoning: Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning

Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning

There's nothing like cooking outdoors, slow smoking, and feeding hardwood sticks to the fire. But cooking low-and-slow over wood means committing a lot of time to develop the flavors. Plus, you can run into many obstacles that might keep you from cooking outdoors, like lack of equipment, bad weather, and being short on time.

So what do you do when you want the taste of traditional barbecue, but you can't go low-and-slow? We have a suggestion. Reach for Red Rocks Hickory Smoke SeasoningWhen you want to achieve a smoky flavor in cooking but don’t have access to a grill (or it is just too cold), this bold seasoning is great. Add smoke flavor to almost any dish - except maybe dessert! Keep reading to learn all the details of our classic smoky spice blend. 

What is Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning?

This long-time customer favorite is a mix of spices that adds an authentic smoky flavor to any dish, without having to break out the grill. Our hickory smoke seasoning features a blend of eight simple ingredients, but the flavor is anything but simple. This seasoning is a best seller with the perfect balance of sweet, roasted, salty, smoky, and peppery. It replicates the wood-smoked barbecue flavor you crave but without the need for a grill or smoker. Of course, you can also use it to get that classic flavor when cooking on a charcoal grill, too.

Buy Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning on teal background on left and spoon of seasoning on right

What is in Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning?

The name, Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning, pretty much gives away the key ingredient. Hickory smoke is the main flavor of the blend and dominates in the best possible way. We get that distinctive smoky taste with a mix of hickory smoke salt and hickory smoked flavoring. Paprika, roasted garlic, toasted onion, and pepper round out the mix. 

What is the difference between Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning and Hickory Smoke Powder?

These two share similarities in name and flavor - they are very closely related. Both blends are used to create a smoky flavor when cooking meats, vegetables, or stews. Hickory smoke powder is typically similar to a powdered version of liquid smoke and can include some combination of smoke powder, sea salt, paprika, cayenne, sugar, and garlic. Many other blends also include maltodextrin and silicon dioxide. Maltodextrin is a thickening agent that captures the liquid smoke and turns it into a powder. 

Our mix uses a pure hickory smoke flavoring and we add the other spices. With the inclusion of paprika, garlic, onion, pepper, along with the hickory smoke salt and flavoring, this blend is the ultimate BBQ flavor. 

Is Hickory smoke powder safe to use and eat?

If you’ve ever stood in front of a campfire and accidentally inhaled smoke, you know how fast a coughing fit can come on and how it impacts your breathing. So, you might be wondering, is smoke powder safe to eat? There is nothing to worry about when it comes to hickory smoke powder. Even though the product comes from real-life smoke, smoke powder is safe to consume. Because of the miniscule amount of smoke in the powder, there is nothing to worry about when adding the seasoning to your food. 

Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning with a plate of crudite veggies and dip

What does Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning taste like?

The blend is smoky (obviously), with a great balance of salty and peppery flavor. It also has slightly herbal and bittersweet notes. The combination is heavy with paprika, giving it a deep savory-sweet flavor as well. This smoky spice blend goes a long way when it comes to adding BBQ flavor to everything from dips to ribs. The smokiness of the blend is bold and pungent, but not so much that it overpowers the dish. 

Is hickory smoke sweet?

The sweetness in hickory smoke isn’t sugary, like the sweetness you’d find in cakes and cookies. Instead, it is like the sweetness you’d find in spices like smoked paprika or roasted garlic. It’s a warm with a subtle sweetness, not sugary sweet. Our Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning does have a little bit of sugar and salt for a balance of flavor.

What is Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning used for?

Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning is the perfect blend when you want to add a bit of smokiness to your meal, but BBQ or grilling may be out of reach. Keeping Red Rocks in your spice cabinet means you’re always just four ingredients away from a quick homemade BBQ sauce. All you need is white wine vinegar, vegetable oil, beer, and ketchup for Red Rocks Hickory Smoke & Beer BBQ Sauce. Make a double batch, slather it on beef, pork, chicken, burgers, or veggies, and enjoy!

Don’t stop at main dishes. This seasoning can (and should) be used in side dishes too! For a quick flavor boost, add a few dashes to pasta or potato salad. It’s also tasty sprinkled on fries or tots. Like many of our seasonings, Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning can be added to sour cream for a unique and Super Easy Savory Dip.

But it's most popular use might be to create that fresh-off-the-grill feeling for your meats and vegetables. The seasoning is an ideal dry rub and great for marinades or to add on top of a finished dish for a hint of smoky flavor. Try it on everything from chicken to burgers.

Smoky Pork Burgers

Smoky Pork Burgers

How do you use hickory smoke seasoning in grilling or BBQ?

Don’t think just because you are barbequing, you can leave the Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning behind. The smoke seasoning is actually great to use as a dry rub or in marinades for meats and veggies that you are cooking on the grill to help enhance that smoke flavor. The smoke seasoning is also great for making condiments like smoky BBQ sauce or adding directly on top of dishes for a smoky finishing flavor. Anything you put on the grill will benefit from a dash of the Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning blend. 

You can use this seasoning to step up your game for family burger night. Skip the standard ground beef and try Smoky Pork Burgers instead. We also have a vegetarian version which substitutes quinoa for the pork (which might sound far fetched but trust us on this one). These burgers make for a quick and easy dinner that hits all the smoky, sweet, and tangy notes.

Of course Red Rocks is great on a variety of meats, including favorites like steak, chicken, and pork. For a simple meal that can cook while you’re at work, try Slow Cooker Smoky Chipotle Pulled Pork and pair it with a baked potato. It's also great if you're cooking for a crowd, just add buns!

What can be substituted for Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning?

If you find yourself with an empty bottle of the Red Rocks Hickory Smoke seasoning, don’t panic that you’ll lose that smoke flavor. Look for another smoky rub, like our Longs Peak Pork Chop Spice or other smoked spices like smoked paprika, Whiskey Barrel Smoked Black Pepper, or smoked sea salt to get that smoky flavor into your dish. Add roasted garlic, toasted onion, black pepper, and Greek oregano to make your own version. Liquid smoke will also be a great replacement if you happen to have that on hand.  

Where to Buy Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning

Our stores carry Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning in multiple sizes for all your smoky cooking needs. If you’d rather check out the Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning in person, head to our store locator. Pop in your zip code and see what stores in your area are carrying our spices in person. 

Most local markets and grocery stores carry smoke powder or liquid smoke as well.

What To Make With Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning

With Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning being so versatile, there are so many recipes it can be added to. Here are some of our favorites that we recommend trying out. 

  • Smoky Pork Burgers - Step up your burger game and get the smoke flavor from the inside out with these smoky pork burgers. The seasoning goes directly into the meat to create a smokiness all around. 
  • BBQ Butter - Use this smoky flavor to baste steaks, brush on slices of bread before toasting, or drizzle on veggies before roasting.
  • Smoky Ketchup - After one bite of this smoky ketchup, you’ll never want to use regular ketchup again. The base of the tomato powder creates a new style of ketchup that will become a regular in your condiment rotation.
  • Red Rocks Hickory Smoke & Beer BBQ Sauce - This BBQ sauce will make you question if you ever need to use your grill again. The smokiness is so pronounced in the sweet BBQ sauce, making it a great addition to anything you put it on. 
  • Grilled Green Beans - Don’t let the meats have all the fun. Add the Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning to green beans to create a flavor that is right up there with the meat on your plate. 
  • Red Rocks Mac & Cheese - Give your comfort dish an upgrade with the addition of the Red Rocks Hickory Smoke Seasoning. The seasoning mixes in with the bread crumbs to create a smoky finish on the creamy dish. 
Red Rocks Mac & Cheese


Have you tried Red Rocks yet? Let us know your favorite way to use it in the comments or share your Savory creations on social media using #savoryspiceshop!

Previous article Behind the Seasoning: Pyramid Peak Lemon Pepper
Next article Behind the Seasoning: Spice & Easy Recipe Mixes

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields