Nashville Hot Seasoning

  • By: Jack Mancuso

Nashville Hot Seasoning - Cuso Cuts

jou have seen me make Nashville Hot Sauce Ribs, and Nashville Chicken Wings, but what about a dry preparation? There’s a great thing about dry ingredients. You can always add them to other components for a wet treatment. And, they have a longer shelf life than wet preparations. 

For what might you use Nashville Hot seasoning? 

  • Kicking up the flavor of vegetables, baked, roasted, or grilled. 
  • Popcorn pazazz. A little goes a long way toward a unique batch of salty treats. The flavor profile transfers to corn on the cob if you prefer. 
  • Egg, potato, or tuna salad: Sprinkle in a bit at a time, tasting as you go. Consider this as an addition to deviled eggs, too. 
  • Get saucy! Mix Nashville hot seasoning into sauces and dips. 
  • Pork, fish, and turkey: All benefit from a blend like this. 
  • Burgers

Spicy Stars:

You will get many people telling you what to put in Nashville hot seasoning. I am here to say, stick with some keynotes, and then get creative. Some of the best results in cooking come about through experimentation. The only caution is adding hot components slowly and adjusting the heat to your tastes.

  • Cayenne: One possible pepper for any hot seasoning. Other possibilities include habanero, chipotle, ancho chili, and red chili flakes.
  • Brown sugar: The sweet to your heat. You can use white sugar because it doesn’t clump, but you won’t get as deep a flavor. Tip: You can buy dehydrated honey powder as an alternative. 
  • Garlic powder: You can use granulated, but it won’t give you as smooth a blend as you get with powder. Whenever possible, your ingredients should be the same size.
  • Onion powder: Optional but tasty.
  • Smoked paprika: A bit of the benefit of “smokiness” without having to smoke anything!
  • Salt: Salt brings out the brown sugar.
  • Black pepper: A standard. If you are going with granulated garlic, use coarse ground.


    ¼ cup heat

    2 tbsp sweet

    1 tbsp each spice (garlic, onion, paprika, salt, pepper)

    1 tbsp Cuso’s Spicy Garlic Buffalo Seasoning

    Mix these together and keep them in an airtight container out of sunlight. Do not store in the refrigerator.

    Pit Master’s Memo: Regional Flavors

    Every region in the US has a seasoning rub for which they’re known. Texas-style, for example, has mustard, allspice, and chili powder. In the Carolinas, most seasoning is swapped out for a mop mixture. 

    Memphis goes all-out with rubs that may contain as many as 40 components, of which garlic, ginger, and paprika are three! St. Louis spice blends often feature smoked salt, mustard seed, and cumin. And, in many Kansas City blends, you’ll find clove and coriander.  


    Here are a few of our recipes featuring the Spicy Garlic Buffalo seasoning, or to which you may enjoy adding Nashville Hot Seasoning.

    Pineapple Pulled Pork

    Fried Chicken Sandwich

    Honey Garlic Smoked Salmon

    Caveman Style Steak

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