AllOutdoor Review: Fire & Smoke Society – Black and Tan Steak Rub
Here at AllOutdoor, we focus on…well…the outdoors. This includes every possible facet that any outdoorsman or outdoorswoman may find themselves taking part in. One common feature of the site is hunting stories, hunting gear, and the results of the two. This means that between a lot of us AllOutdoor employees, we harvest a good and plenty of wild game. I am sure that each of us has our favorite recipes or spices for each type of game we bring home to our family and table. When Fire & Smoke Society reached out to us we were excited and pleased by the opportunity. I know that Editor Adam Scepaniak and I are huge foodies so this was a pleasant surprise. The company has a neat story of like-minded folks who enjoy the art of grilling and cooking in general that wanted to lend a variety of spices and recipes to the world at large. Last August I got to go on a wild pig hunt so I had plenty of pork chops to test this stuff out with. Let’s dive into my review of one of their Fire & Smoke Society Black & Tan Steak Rub!
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Specifications: Fire & Smoke Society Black and Tan Steak Rub
Fire & Smoke Society catalog a wide variety of spices, seasonings, and rubs (something like 26 and counting). They also have a very good blog for lack of a better term that houses a whole host of different recipes that utilize their spices, seasonings, and rubs. They also sell spice bundles for certain types of situations such as holiday gift-giving bundles, bbq bundles, and their best seller bundle. As far as this article is concerned they offer a bunch of different rubs (I counted 11) including this one, the Black & Tan Steak Rub.
- Container Size: 13.6 oz
- Ingredients: Salt, spices (including black pepper and rosemary), Hawaiian black sea salt and activated charcoal (derived from coconut shells), brown sugar, dehydrated garlic and espresso ground coffee. MSG Free, Gluten Free, Non GMO
- Flavor Profile: Hawaiian black salt, cracked black pepper, rosemary, and garlic create an awesome looking rub that delivers robust and satisfying steakhouse flavors.
- Geared Towards: Beef (especially steaks and brisket), lamb, pork, and game.
The MSRP of the Fire & Smoke Society Black & Tan Steak Rub stands at $12.99 (currently as of writing this on sale at $9.99). This steak rub comes in a larger 13.6 oz container and has the “exotic” feature of the Hawaiian Black Salt. That being said, to me, the size alone justifies the price. This would for sure cover a bunch of grilling sessions.
“Medium-rare, please. Our striking black blend was designed to give beef (especially steaks and brisket), lamb, pork, and game a delicious and dramatic looking bark that contrasts beautifully with a rosy interior.
The Perfect Blend: Black Salt, Cracked Peppercorns & Garlic
TASTES GREAT ON
Beef (especially steaks and brisket), lamb, pork, and game.
Hawaiian black salt, cracked black pepper, rosemary, and garlic create an awesome looking rub that delivers robust and satisfying steakhouse flavors.
Salt, spices (including black pepper and rosemary), Hawaiian black sea salt and activated charcoal (derived from coconut shells), brown sugar, dehydrated garlic and espresso ground coffee. MSG Free, Gluten Free, Non GMO
Steaks (hello sirloin!)
Burgers (bison, beef and lamb)
Leg of Lamb
Wild Game (e.g. smoked duck, guinea hen)”
First Impressions: Fire & Smoke Society Black and Tan Steak Rub
I had known of Fire & Smoke Society but just that: known. I had never seen their offerings in person nor had I ever tasted or knowingly tried them. Starting with the Black & Tan Steak Rub label I found it to be sort of old school but in a tasteful and stylish way. The text is bold and ominous and the bull behind the text evokes a feeling that this rub is more hearty and powerful than your average rub. If the title of the rub did not convey its purpose the label mentions “Black Salt Steak Rub”. The side of the label repeats the “tastes great on” and “flavor profile” bullet points. The back of the bottle has an easy-to-read nutrition and ingredients list. The bottle and cap themselves seem to be of quality construction. It is a tough hard to squeeze or dent bottle. The cap itself is a flip-open type with one extra option for “serving size” for lack of a better description. Either largish holes or a flip open once more for a wide-open pour for those larger cooking projects.
Cooking: Fire & Smoke Society Black and Tan Steak Rub
It took me a long while to settle on what to make with the Fire & Smoke Society Black & Tan Steak Rub. That may sound laughable since it is self-explanatory…”Steak Rub” but I do not believe the Fire & Smoke Society intended to limit its users to only use their spices, seasonings, and rubs on set things. As I mentioned in the beginning I had gone on a pig hunt in August and got myself a 250-300lbs (I honestly forgot) pig. With this website leaning more into the outdoors and especially encouraging the sport of hunting and its net bounties I felt it only fitting to make some of the pork chops that were in my freezer.
Since this was a more controlled setting at home I decided to get slightly fancy with the process. I own a Sous Vide immersion cooker and absolutely love working with it. Sous Vide, for those of you who may be unfamiliar, is a device that heats a tub of water (often circulating) to a precise temperature and keeps it at that temperature for a certain amount of time. This means that the user can perfectly cook steak, pork, chicken, or even fish. It should be mentioned some things like steak and pork come out better than softer meats like fish. This process is desirable because it is mostly hands-off and leaves the tenderness of the meat without sacrificing safety or taste.
I had never sous vide-ed pork but there is thankfully a whole host of helpful information as far as temperatures and times on the internet from more experienced people than yours truly. My goal of using the sous vide was that the Fire & Smoke Society Black & Tan Steak Rub would absorb much like it would on a steak in a grilling or oven-heated setting. Pork has a tendency to always come out very dry and well done because of the obvious and common food safety concerns. With sous vide, the pork could be cooked at precise temperatures to ensure safe eating while leaving a good amount of juicy taste and tenderness.
I started by patting the thawed pork chops dry with some paper towels before putting a healthy coating of the Fire & Smoke Society Black & Tan Steak Rub all over every inch. I purposely did not go overboard since the sous vide has a habit of embracing the seasoning that is there more so than other cooking methods. With the pork chops full of the rub I vacuum sealed them individually to remove any air to aid in proper cooking but more importantly create an anaerobic environment that inhibits the growth of certain bacteria. After the bags were all properly sealed they were placed into the bath of water that was already up to temperature (I believe I had it around 140 degrees F, plus or minus 5 degrees), and the timer was set for two hours (longer=more tender, too long=less juice).
After the timer went off, the pork chops are technically ready to eat but eating something right out of the immersion bath is typically very soft and slightly warm which can be off-putting. This is why instead we have a large pan with butter hot and ready to sear the entire outside of the pork chops to ensure all those juices get sealed in and a delicious buttery crust encloses the Fire & Smoke Society Black & Tan Steak Rub. To give it that extra hint of deliciousness I recommend scooping the melted butter onto the meat after searing each side. Sear for ten seconds, flip or rotate, baste with the butter, and repeated until every part is seared (especially any large chunks of fat. Sous Vide does not render fat like regular cooking!).
Taste & Final Thoughts: Fire & Smoke Society Black and Tan Steak Rub
I wanted to end on the whole tasting notes portion to give it its proper due. Right off the bottle and on the nose the Fire & Smoke Society Black & Tan Steak Rub has a salty meaty smell. Obviously, the rub itself has a high salt content but the black Hawaiian salt is more known for its pungency or discernably meaty/tangy smell or taste. The peppercorns I have to guess are the most dominant component in terms of smell. I am not a huge fan of rosemary so I was afraid that would be overpowering but it was a such slight compliment that it felt just right. Tasting without anything else it is a very salt-forward start before it melts into the soft bite of the garlic and peppercorns. On the pork chops and complimented by the butter baste and crust the salt really popped and so did the slight garlic properties of Black & Tan.
The Fire & Smoke Society Black & Tan Steak Rub is one of many different rubs that they offer. This is one particular one out of the few Fire & Smoke Society items I have on hand that impressed me the most with its “just right” qualities. I can see it being very good on steak, game birds, and lamb. The salt is very upfront but not overpowering. The scent is more powerful than the taste in such a good way. The soft bite of the garlic and peppercorns that I brought up earlier is wonderful and not too “spicy”. I would recommend this to anyone looking to spice up their grill game!
In closing, I want to say thank you to Fire & Smoke Society for allowing AllOutdoor and myself the opportunity to try out their Black and Tan Steak Rub. That is greatly appreciated. Also, we would like to know what all of you guys and gals think. Do you believe that this specialized steak rub is worth spending your money on? Would you take this to the grill? Would this be your go-to steak rub? Let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.