Trader Joe’s South African Smoke Seasoning Blend

Trader Joe's South African Smoke Seasoning

Let's all start smoking! (Our food!)

What have we here? Smoke-flavored seasoning, it promises us. But can anyone really bottle smoke? I mean, it’s smoke man. It’s famously elusive. If you could stick that flavor in a pepper mill and sell it for a couple bucks, then what the hell are people laboring over charcoals in smoke houses at minimum wage for? Let alone selling it in the very same pepper mill / pepper grinder doohickey you’re already selling your sea salt and flower pepper in? A prelimary whiff of the unopened container imparted the strong smoky musk of a dying campfire. Skepticism overruled by curiosity, I decided to give it a shot.

I tried Smoke Seasoning out on a couple different meats – some hamburgers I was grilling up outdoors and a nice, skinless chicken breast. After a few liberal grinds of the (to me) incredibly satisfying built in pepper mill apparatus and both items suddenly smelled a whole lot better. Smell, of course, is one thing. Taste? Quite another. One bite though, and I was stunned. The bastards over there at Joe’s did it. God know’s how, but it effortlessly infuses your food with a seductive, delectable waft of smoke. Just perfect.

What the hell’s in this stuff? Just smoke and paprika, a little salt and garlic? Seriously? And, as we all know, paprika does basically nothing aside from lending color – so basically, yeah, it’s just bottled smoke. But wait, now you’re telling me that the smoke in question is made from a renewable south african hardwood? Man oh man, Joe – you have out done yourself again.

The effectivness of this product is undeniable, but it’s scope is somewhat limited. I only tried it on meat, but the imagination suggests it might go well on grilled veggies too. Even if so, even the toughest of men, men who barbeque their every meal, don’t

want to have their every dish taste strongly smoke. This is an item best used in the height of summer revelry, a delicate but savory flavor to grace the periodic hedonistic grill session. As such, I predict this item will be sitting in a cherised spot in my cupboard until next summer comes.


Would I Recommend It: Without hesitation


Would I Buy It Again: Once this one runs out.


Final Synopsis: Smoke your food the easy way.


Trader Joe's South African Smoke Seasoning - Nutritional Facts


18 Comments on “Trader Joe’s South African Smoke Seasoning Blend”

  1. Used this to season some tortilla soup I made. Delicious! I love this blog, I hope to see some new entries soon 🙂

  2. greg says:

    My god the best new taste I have had in recent memory from a seasoning bottle ! Try this on chicken, salads, soups ! I love this stuff ! It rocks anything I have put it on.

  3. Irina says:

    At my local TJ’s they added it to their frozen Fettucine Alfredo – I tried it and I was hooked… I now use this stuff on my broiled salmon, split pea soup, pasta sauce, homemade pizza, etc.

  4. I agree — I just bought this smoke blend and was absolutely amazed! I went online to see what all the ingredients were, found your post, and what you have listed, I hope, are what it is. I am on a no-fat diet, and need more seasonings, then I this blend, bought it and “voila!” – it is terrific!! I LOVE Trader Joe’s. Sometimes at potlucks I’ll bring something from TJ’s and someone will ask, “Wow, this is good. Did you make it?” And I’ll answer, “I have a friend named Joe, and he’s a trader….” and then they get it – :D. Thanks for blogging about this!

  5. Trebor Egdol says:

    I only use it, and liberally, on top of morning eggs sunny side up/ one flip.

  6. Moonblue54 says:

    I’ve been wanting to try this for some time. No Trader Joe’s in my area. A friend gifted it to me yesterday. Bless her heart!!! As soon as I pulled part of the wrapper off, that smoke aroma nearly knocked me over!!! I started to shake some in my hand and eat it! Just sprinkled some on boiled eggs and there are almost no words to describe how good it was! Can’t wait to try it in my southwest grits recipe!!

  7. […] saying a lot. It has some amazing smoky flavors due to my new FAVE TJ’s purchase: South African Smoke Seasoning Blend.  It is also chock full of chicken, and reheats really, really well.  Perfect for […]

  8. shawnabowman says:

    try it on grilled corn on the cob with a bit of fresh lime juice. delic.

  9. Carolina says:

    Husband and I buy this all the time. All. The. TIME. We use it on steak, chicken, pork, eggs, and roasted veggies. African smoke deviled eggs. Try it.

    I do get disgruntled that, as you tip it over, more salt gets ground up, and when you get to the end of the container, you’re left with pepper flakes that don’t grind up terribly gracefully.

    Doesn’t stop us from keeping it around constantly. When we open one, we make a point of buying a backup grinder.

  10. Anonymous says:

    How can you discontinue this delicious seasoning!! I use African Smoke on everything. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when the clerk in TJ’s told me this today. Please Please put this product back on the shelves!

  11. deleted says:

    Please Please put this seasoning back on the shelves! I use it on all my foods!

  12. Anonymous says:

    yep – one of my favorite spices – and no longer stocked in San Jose CA!! 😦 😦 😦

  13. Anonymous says:

    I am sooooo bummed. South African SMOKE grinder just fell out of cupboard and shattered! I considered licking it out of the sink. What shall I do? Saw one for sale on Amazon for……wait for it…..$14.00!

  14. Stacy Dailey says:

    I put TJ’s South African SMOKE in and on everything I cook or eat!!! My family thinks I am a great cook … it’s really just the SMOKE. I went to the store today to buy some to put in a gift basket for a friend of mine, only to be informed that they will not be stocking it again until May, 2015. My heart bleeds. I considered keeping my last bottle for myself; however, decided that would be just too stingy. So my last bottle goes in the gift basket, and a lump has taken up residence in my throat until I see my tasty little friend back on the shelf at Trader Joe’s in Louisville, KY.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I wish I could order this online by the case, I now Live in a State that doesn’t have a Trader Joes, So Sad ……..

  16. Anonymous says:

    I need my smoke..please bring back!

  17. Sabrina Biscardi says:

    The BEST spice ever!! ☺

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