Once upon a time in a land far away, cooks just like us dabbled with aromatic and flavorful spice blends as they prepared rice and other food in their traditional covered ceramic cookers.

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Those kamado grills and ancient seasonings were the foundation that led to our universal love of the Big Green Egg and every possible Trader Joe’s seasoning.

Fortunately you don’t have to be like Marco Polo and run the Silk Road gauntlet to find proper spice blends while Mongol hordes invade your caravan along the Steppe.

You just have to jump in your car or truck and drive to the nearest TJ store, and then head for the back and the wall of wonder where all the funny-punny jars are on display. Then buy every food that can go on a Big Green Egg and start THROWING TJ seasoning jars in your cart.


I know this whole seasoning subject is going to be a touchy one, because once you’ve poured your heart and soul into an Aaron Franklin brisket it’s hard to imagine rubbing anything other than a salt-and-pepper combo or his own brand of seasoning onto your meat.

And let’s face it, some of those Youtube dudes are kind of spooky with their big sharp knives, crazy facial hair and pro wrestling voices. They can intimidate a social follower who maybe bought a case of their Boogie Bob Snakey Shakey because that one spooky video dude won a local BBQ contest judged by close personal friends and cousins, wink wink.

But I’m here to tell you right now that you’re making a BIG mistake if you don’t use Big Green Egg and Trader Joe’s in the same sentence every day. It’s sort of freeing. It’s like the 100th tip to get the most out of your kamado cooker, since we already gave you 99. Just put away that Snakey Shaky batch that you secretly hate and start having some fun.
You will always need Trader Joe’s basics like sea salt and rainbow peppercorn mill shakers, and maybe Everyday Seasoning. But TJ keeps adding new ones, and I keep growing my collection. Reporting live right here from the TJ Seasoning Aisle, your intrepid DrizzleMeSkinny correspondent has these 20 examples that make a Big Green Egg ceramic cooker even better:


We checked the TJ careers page to see if any of the “Crew” or “Mate” job openings include “Seasoning Labelsmith” and unfortunately someone else is apparently gainfully employed in that awesome role. But this is what we would put on our application. Seriously! You can put Trader Joe’s Green Goddess Seasoning on any Big Green Egg smoker recipe. This versatile seasoning blend is a can’t-miss for any veggies, especially roasted potatoes, and if you’re like me it can go on every single piece of meat. We are not making this up just for a label!


The first thing I ever made on my new Large Big Green Egg was a thick cut of ribeye. It’s all I wanted to see on that clean grate, with flames lapping at the meat for a perfect sear and then maybe the most mouth-watering steak I ever enjoyed. It’s still a cherished tradition, but these days I add a secret ingredient, Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute. It combines onion, black pepper, celery seed, cayenne pepper, parsley, basil, marjoram, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, savory, rosemary, cumin, mustard, coriander, garlic, carrot, orange peel, tomato, lemon juice and lemon oil. Don’t overdo it but do give this a try.


Big Green Egg aficionados know there are many ways you can make a great piece of salmon in a kamado cooker. You can quickly grill farm raised salmon filets on a cedar plank, you can make salmon skewers, or you can enjoy my personal favorite with cold smoked salmon to eat for a whole week. Use the ConvEGGtor for indirect heating and smoke a full-size wild sockeye. salmon filet until it flakes. There are plenty of favorite salmon seasonings out there, but none of them tops Trader Joe’s Salmon Rub. Then make a caper sauce with mayo, sour cream and lemon zest, and enjoy it on a cracker with your salmon. Nearly a half-million tons of salmon are consumed by Americans each year, and the three reasons are taste, sustainability and versatility, and this is the way to do it!


This ingredient is massive in Asia and Hawaii, a natural companion to ramen and noodles, and all you need is some imagination to make it work on countless recipes. Lodge has a 14-inch wok that is a perfect fit for a Large Big Green Egg, and you can downsize if you have a smaller cooker. Build your fire with direct heat and squirt a little vegetable coil into the wok with sizzling heat. Sprinkle Trader Joe’s Nori Komi Furikake over any stir-fry or steaming veggies. Close the lid periodically to build flavorful smoke and help soften the food.


“Umami” is a Japanese term meaning “fifth taste” in addition salty, sweet, sour and bitter. It is translated as “pleasant savory taste.” It occurs naturally in mushrooms, and Trader Joe’s packaged it into a versatile seasoning that can make all kinds of Big Green Egg recipes rise up. Add it to anything that is “missing something.” Try mixing it into your marinade that you’ve either made from scratch or bought at the store. Sprinkle it over burgers and roasted sweet potatoes alike. You can also use Trader Joe’s Ground Fermented Black Garlic, which is subtly sweet and full of umami.


Hi, you had me at Seasoning in a Pickle. Next.


Some people collect baseball cards or green glass or import cars. I collect Trader Joe’s seasoning jars. When they retire one like Ajika Georgian, I freak out for a few hours. When they add new ones like Aglio Olio, I bring them home. Classic Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (Italian for “garlic and oil”) in Napoli combines just four ingredients: spaghetti, olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Rub chicken breasts with olive oil and then generously apply this TJ seasoning, grill it on your Big Green Egg, then remove and serve on a bed of pasta. Also something you’re going to need right after you get that pizza stone.


Hi, my name is Mark and I am an addict. I shake this stuff over way too many foods but I don’t care. I happen to like almost all my foods with a kick, so this Trader Joe’s seasoning jar is always within arm’s reach and I’ll typically add it to anything during a cook.


If you can only buy one TJ seasoning then this is it because it makes everything a toasty wonderland. In fact, this might have been my earliest introduction to Trader Joe’s, period. In addition to sesame it includes sea salt, garlic and onion. Add it to a pat of butter on your steak and on your sliced onion appetizers. This seasoning is such an institution, they even made Everything but the Bagel Seasoned Bite Sized Crackers and Everything but the Bagel Cheddar Cheese.


“Elote” means corn cob in Spanish, and a Mexican Elote is your basic grilled corn on the cob with all the fixins including mayo cream sauce, chili powder, cheese and lime. That’s standard street food south of the border. So grill some lightly oiled cobs on your Big Green Egg until they’re done. Then serve it with a mayo sauce containing lime juice, and once that’s all slathered on your corn, finish it with this cheesy and smoky seasoning. Enjoy the slightly spicy kick! You’ll want to shake this over your popcorn, too.


OK, I made up everything after the first eight letters, just because I think Trader Joe’s should make that the official name of this spice! Just calling it “Turmeric” is so 2,000 years ago. Ancient health nuts have sworn by its medicinal properties for millennia and today I sprinkle it on about half of all the food I make, like pulled pork sandwiches. Turmeric contains Curcumin, which has mighty anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Severely low levels can play a role in raising your susceptibility to diseases such as heart and metabolic disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and autoimmune conditions. Incorporate this into your diet and help to increase disease-fighting antioxidants.


You can squirt sriracha sauce into your marinade for Sriracha Pork Chops on the Big Green Egg barbecue grill or skip a step and just sprinkle this TJ seasoning onto your chops as they cook. It’s also great for tofu-loving vegetarians if you want to grill these on a grill topper. Here are some delicious sriracha substitutes you might like as well.


Our winner for prettiest Trader Joe’s seasoning container, it also gets points for everything it can do. We make Big Green Egg chicken with it and it smells so unique you won’t ever forget it. Spanish Saffron is different than more expensive Persian Saffron and has a dark yellow color. It was once used to make medicine and dye fabric. Place your chicken on a bed of rice and beans or a bowl of risotto, easy peasy.


We included Million Dollar Chicken in our 25 Best Big Green Egg recipes right here (it’s No. 14), and you have to believe that a hint of harissa is worth at least $50,000 or so in that recipe. Right? One great way to include that ingredient is Trader Joe’s Ketchup Flavored Sprinkle Seasoning Blend, which has a hot chili pepper paste with herbs and spices for easy spreading.


While you are making one of these mouth-watering Big Green Egg dishes, how about munching on some chunks of watermelon with this sprinkled on. Not lying at all! You can also use it on the Big Green Egg as a nice way to dust fish, chicken, baked potatoes, fries or tots. Try sprinkling it into your Skillet Cornbread on the Big Green Egg, too.


Thanksgiving Cuban-style! When the big event rolls around again, keep this TJ spice in mind because it will add a distinctive and delicious flavor as you spatchcock the perfect turkey. Replace one of the usual traditional side dishes with yellow rice and beans. Then finish off the night with a big Cohiba and a glass of Havana Club rum with a little sugar and water to unwind.


I have a son who puts Ranch dressing on just about every single food in life, and that includes drive-thru chicken. So you can just cut straight to the chase and put the Ranch IN the chicken. Drizzle pieces with oil and rub them down good with this Trader Joe’s Ranch Seasoning, and then cook them until tender with any other foods on your Big Green Egg. Keep the temperature moderate and the lid closed, cut inside to make sure there’s no pink, and serve my son with . . . guess what . . . still more Ranch dressing! This is also really good to sprinkle over any pizza in life whether you’re baking it or eating from delivery.


New Mexican cuisine wouldn’t be the same without red and green Hatch Chiles, and the dried version gets you a little closer to the Land of Enchantment. If you want to go a little West of Texas for your next brisket, sprinkle Trader Joe’s Green & Red Hatch Chile Flakes in your morning rub or marinade and that night you’ll have a dreamy kick in your favorite meat.


You can make a delicious Napoli-style pizza on your Big Green Egg with indirect heating and a pizza stone. Or you can just sprinkle pizza flavor on everything else. Guess which is easier!
This TJ seasoning blend has a nice tomato-ey and zesty flavor that is going to be fun for experimentation throughout grilling season.


The “holy trinity” of Italian cooking consists of these fine ingredients: onion, celery and carrots. There’s even an actual MasterClass to show you how to make a basic Italian Soffritto that is the base for all good things in life. Trader Joe’s took all that and put it into this seasoning, so you could say it’s the holy trinity in a jar. Keep it right there on your Big Green Egg nest shelf and you are on your way to a delicious Italian dish already.

And that’s it from the Trader Joe’s Seasoning Section. These are just as good on your Weber gas grill, Blackstone griddle, Traeger pellet grill or Pit Boss smoker, and we’ll look at those as well.

These are way better than Boogie Bob’s Snakey Shakey no matter how fierce and convincing that guy looks on Youtube with his big mustache, Samurai sword and tats. Try them out and tell us in the comments which TJ seasonings you like best and why

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About Mark Newman

Mark has 20-plus years of BBQ experience working on just about every device and cooking medium.

He is a crafted expert on open fire cooking.

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