After years covering barbecue competitions across the country—even a roadkill cook-off—as a food editor, I’ve learned one thing: The difference between a mediocre meal and an unforgettable, rave-to-your-friends-for-weeks-afterward one often comes down to heat and seasoning. If your temperature and cook time is on point, you’ll get the sear and juiciness you’re looking for, and if you really want to knock people’s socks off, it pays to have a signature seasoning blend. Enter: Chef Marcus Anthony’s Wah Gwan Pro Suite spice set ($60). While it's currently sold out at most retailers, you can sign up for PureWow's WowText service to not only snag it this week but snag it for 50 percent off.
The Wah Gwan Pro Suite Set Features the 3 Seasonings Every Cook Needs to Take Grilling to the Next Level
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What Is the Wah Gwan Pro Suite Spice Set?
The Wah Gwan Pro Suite spice set is a trio of upscale seasonings that are ideal for grilling. There’s a dry brine for drawing out the flavor in poultry (which hits you with a surprisingly refreshing jolt of fennel and thyme as soon as you open it); G Salt, a coarse French sea salt used for finishing dishes; and the brand's signature Wah Gwan seasoning, a blend of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, peppers and a host of proprietary herbs.
What Did We Think of the Wah Gwan Spice Set?
Wah Gwan means “what’s going on?” in Jamaican, and the short answer to that question is, a lot. As soon as you pop off the lid, you’ll catch peppery, barbecue-y notes—immediately, I wanted to coat it on brisket as part of a dry rub, swirl it into hummus to kick things up a notch and season my scrambled eggs with it. That’s the thing: The seasoning is that versatile. I loved sprinkling a little on roasted vegetables—like shredded Brussels sprouts—converting even the most sprouts-avowed members of my family into cleaning their plates.
The G Salt is equally versatile—it’s a great finishing touch to make a dish stand out. The coarse sea salt clusters together a bit, adding crunch to a dish and really enhancing its overall flavor.
Meanwhile, the dry brine is more of a special occasions addition. It’s the seasoning you bust out on holidays (no dry, bland meat this Christmas!), when you want a roasted bird with a more complex, layered range of flavors (thanks to that mix of coriander, fennel and star anise).
How Should You Use the Wah Gwan All-Purpose Seasoning?
As a rub, Wah Gwan can be used liberally—you really want that flavor to seep in as you cook it low and slow—but as a seasoning, a pinch goes a long way. Add just a little at a time, tasting as you go, to build the level of flavor you want. (The first time I tried it, I tossed nearly a tablespoon in with my roasted veggies, and saltiness overpowered the side. In moderation, it lends more of a smoky-meets-peppery flavor.)
So, Would We Order It Again?
Typically $60 for the Pro Suite, this is a pricier set of seasonings, more akin to what you’d find at Williams-Sonoma than your local supermarket. And that’s because the ingredients themselves are top-notch; you’re not dealing with those stale, jarred blends that have been sitting on shelves for who knows how many months, where you empty half the container just to taste something.
Consider this trio your best-kept secret (that I, apparently, am the worst at keeping, since I’m sharing it with the internet). Instead of spending years of trial and error to perfect your own seasoning blends, like the competition chefs do, you can feel like a pro using these mixes right out of the tin. It’s the kind of giftable luxury that pairs nicely with the grill you bought your partner for her birthday, or a less-expected alternative to those World’s Best Dad socks you’ve gotten Pops three years in a row for Father’s Day (which will be here sooner than you realize).
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