I Stock Up on This $2 Trader Joe’s Seasoning Before Summer Ends — And You Should Too

published Sep 2, 2022
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Trader Joe's groceries in canvas bag.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

The sweet and smoky flavor of barbecue is always in season. What isn’t always in season is one of my favorite barbecue rubs: Trader Joe’s BBQ Rub and Seasoning with Coffee and Garlic. It’s a gem that can only be found at the grocer during the summer months.

Each year, as soon as the temperatures begin to rise, I wait for it to reappear on the shelves. Now that summer is coming to a close and pumpkin-flavored fare looms large, I’m making sure my spice cabinet is stocked with no fewer than three canisters so I can enjoy the summery seasoning well into the cool-weather months.

Credit: Jessica Prudenti-Montalvo

What’s So Great About Trader Joe’s BBQ Rub and Seasoning with Coffee and Garlic?

I first tried this rub three years ago on a whim. Between my appreciation for the grocer’s spice section and the charming canister, it was just a matter of time before it made its way into my cart. And I’m glad it did!

As someone who can’t handle heat, one of my biggest hesitations when buying a ready-made seasoning blend is that it’ll be too spicy for my tender tastebuds. This seasoning, however, brings tons of flavor without the burn, making it ideal for those who prefer to live on the mild side. The blend is earthy and bright, combining smoked paprika and brown sugar to balance the savory depth of the garlic. The orange rind in the mix also adds a zest note.

My entire family fell in love with the spice blend after trying it on grilled pork chops, and they’ve been smitten with its smokiness ever since. At $2.29 for a 3.5-ounce canister, I’ve also found it to be more affordable than many other store-bought options.

Credit: Jessica Prudenti-Montalvo

What’s the Best Way to Use Trader Joe’s BBQ Rub and Seasoning with Coffee and Garlic?

The rub adds its own distinct flavor, but it also highlights the savory and sweet qualities of steaks, veggies, and burgers (beef and veggie alike). Packed onto baby back ribs and grilled, the coarse blend forms a crunchy coating that seals in the juices and brings extra flavor to every bite.

I also love to use the rub to make next-level crispy roasted chickpeas. I just toss canned chickpeas with oil and some of the spice rub, and pop the pan into the oven until the chickpeas are crunchy and golden-brown. Toasty and perfectly spiced, they’re a stellar three-ingredient snack! And as we head into fall, I should let you know that the simple spice rub and olive oil combo is also great on a host of other roasted veggies, including carrots and sweet potatoes.

What seasonal Trader Joe’s items do you stock up on? Tell us in the comments below.