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5 Popular Seasoning Salt Recipes

According to Tony Hill, author of the Spice Lover’s Guide to Herbs and Spices seasoning salts are one of the fastest growing categories of spice sales. They are incredibly versatile from a marketing perspective he says; you can attach just about any culinary trend or herb and spice blend to a seasoning salt. Tex-Mex, BBQ Spice, Greek, Italian, Poultry, the sky is the limit.

Seasoning salts aren’t hard to formulate and the nature of salt is that it will stabilize and preserve whatever tastes you care to add to them.

The blends also tend to get better over time as the flavours infuse and marry with the salt and each other. This means one can make a large batch every three months and draw from the pot as needed.

Buy a good quality sea salt and start experimenting.

1.Basic Herb Salt Recipe

Most of us are familiar with celery salt and garlic salt. But few cooks realise how simple and easy it is to make a whole range of herb salts. Use the following basic recipe and any herb you prefer. The stronger more robust herbs maintain their flavour best in a herb salt.

You are also welcome to try some combinations of herbs and spices.

4 parts fresh herbs 8 parts sea salt

  1. Set your oven to its lowest temperature.
  2. Chop the herbs as finely as possible and mix with the salt. Spread the mixture on a baking pan and cover with foil.
  3. Place in the oven, keeping the oven door slightly ajar, and dry for approximately 1 ½ hours or until the herbs are dry and brittle.
  4. Allow to cool. Crumble the herbs with the salt.
  5. Package the herb salt in airtight containers, which have been decorated and labelled beforehand.

Seasoning Salt Recipes

seasoning-salt-food-400405_1280For all the seasoning salt recipes below, it’s best to grind or crush all the spices together with the salt by running the entire batch though a coffee mill. The texture depends on your preference. Little bottles make great gifts for family and friends and won’t break the bank.

2. Poultry Seasoning Salt

This seasoning salt is a good example of the endless variations available to you when you start cooking with herbs and spices. Since we like pungent food we add 1-2 Tbs extra hot chilli powder to this recipe.

1 cup coarse sea salt
8 tbsp dried Italian parsley
4 tbsp dried sage
4 tbsps dried marjoram (or 2 Tbs dried oregano)
2 tbsp dried winter savory (optional)
2 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp dried lovage (or 1 tsp Maggi Fondor)
1 tbsps dried lemon rind
1 tbsps brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion flakes

3. Vegetable Seasoning Salt

1 cup coarse sea salt
3 tbsp dried marjoram
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsps dried thyme
1 tbsp dried sage

4. Salt-Free Seasoning Salt

Herb blends are a worthy substitution for the salt shaker on the dining table. And they also offer a healthy addition to your diet. This recipe has been created especially to be used in place of salt.

2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp dried parsley
2 tbsp dried marjoram
2 tbsp dried savoury
2 tsp dried rosemary
2 tsp paprika powder
2 tsp onion granules or flakes (not powder)
2 tsp powdered milk (aids shaking and prevents caking)

Mix all the ingredients then ground them finely in a blender. Put in a shaker bottle.

5. Salt-Free Barbecue Rub

This rub works well with any kind of meat. Beware: because of the high sugar content it caramelizes (blackens) quickly on the braai.

9 parts brown sugar
6 parts paprika powder
3 parts black pepper
3 parts garlic powder or flakes
1 part cayenne pepper
½ part onion powder
½ part mustard powder
½ part celery seed, crushed
½ part chilli powder
½ part cumin, crushed

Mix all the ingredients then store in an airtight container.

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How To Make Your Own Deli-Style Mustard

Making your own mustard mixes can be fun and interesting! The combinations are endless, delicious, aromatic and rewarding.

home-made mustard
Home-made mustard makes a great gift for a foodie. Photo credit: iStockPhoto.

Mustards are made of a basic mixture of dry mustard seeds, vinegar and seasonings. They get their distinct and varying flavours from the added vinegars, wines, sugar, herbs and other seasonings. Some prefer their mustard to be a natural pale yellow or brownish shade; others add turmeric for a vivid yellow mustard.

Your mustard can be sweet to sharp, winy, biting, hot, pungent, musty or tangy depending on your personal preference.

You can add herbs such as basil, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, sage, thyme or rosemary. I prefer using dried herbs because they stand up better to the mustard flavour. But you can also fresh herbs. Add at least 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs to this recipe.

How To Seal and Store Your Mustards

Remember to sterilise your jars before using them. Simply pour boiling water into them, then empty and allow to dry completely. After sealing your jars keep them in a cool dark place for 1-2 weeks before using, to allow the flavours to develop. Use the mustard within 3 months. Once opened, the flavour will start to deteriorate, so refrigerate and use it up fairly quickly.

What Can Go Wrong With Your Mustard and Why?

If the mustard dries out on the surface, it has not been sealed correctly. Some of the flip top jars does not always seal tight. Cover the mouth of the jar with cling wrap before closing. If the mustard is left too long, it will lose most of its strength. If the mustard develops mould or an ‘off’ aroma you did not sterilise your jars properly.

Mustard Recipe Variations

  • Clove-spiced mustard – add one teaspoon of cloves.
  • Chili-garlic mustard – add 1 dried chili pepper and 1 clove garlic.
  • Horseradish mustard – add ½ to 1 tablespoon grated horseradish.
  • Tarragon mustard – add a pinch of cloves and a teaspoon tarragon.
  • Beer mustard – use 130ml beer and 70ml vinegar instead of the 200ml vinegar. Add a pinch of ginger, cinnamon and some caraway seeds.
  • Honey mustard – add 50ml honey instead of the brown sugar.
Basic Deli-Style Mustard Recipe
Prep time
Total time
  • 50g white mustard seeds
  • 30 g black mustard seeds
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 5ml salt
  • 5 ml turmeric
  • 5ml dried herbs.
  • 200ml white wine vinegar.
  1. Put the mustard seeds, sugar, salt, turmeric and herbs into a liquidizer and blend together.
  2. Gradually add the vinegar, 1 tablespoon at a time, blending well between each tablespoon, then continue blending until you have a coarse paste.
  3. Leave to stand for 10-15 minutes, to thicken slightly.
  4. Sterilise the jars and spoon the mustard into the jars. Seal (cover with cling wrap), label (remember the date) and keep in a cool dark place for 2 weeks before using, to allow the flavours to develop.
Click to view our Chef's Pantry Recipe Archive.
Click to view our Chef’s Pantry Recipe Archive.