Looking for Old Bay Seasoning Substitute? Here is how to make the best Homemade Old Bay Seasoning.
Do you know what's the truest American classic in the culinary world? No, it's not apple pie or hot dogs. It's actually old bay seasoning!
But it's a shame that people limit old bay seasoning to shrimps and crawfish, when it can take any food up to a new level.
Especially if you are using your own homemade old bay seasoning and not from a grocery store!
Try More Seasoning:
- Homemade Taco Seasoning
- Everything Bagel Seasoning
- Ranch Seasoning
- Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
- Blackened Seasoning
- What is Old Bay Seasoning?
- What Does Old Bay Taste Like?
- What is the history of Old Bay Seasoning?
- Is Cajun Seasoning the Same as Old Bay?
- Ingredients for Old Bay Seasoning
- Old Bay Seasoning Substitutes
- Can I make my own celery salt?
- What is celery salt made out of?
- How to make Old Bay Seasoning
- How to store Old Bay Seasoning?
- How do I know my Seasoning has gone bad?
- What do you Use Old Bay Seasoning for ?
- Old Bay Seasoning
What is Old Bay Seasoning?
Old bay seasoning is an all purpose seasoning that is primarily used with seafoods like shrimps, crawfish and crabs.
But you can really use old bay seasoning on anything and everything! Although there are several brands out there that sell old bay seasoning, almost all of them have common ingredients like celery salt, black pepper and other spices.
The best way to describe the taste of old bay seasoning would be saying that it's a jack of all trades. It is sweet, spicy, salty and even has notes of mustard flavour in it!
What Does Old Bay Taste Like?
Old Bay has a sharp and Salty taste. Therefore it pairs well with seafood recipes. The primary taste that you get is of "celery salt". Other than that you have a bit of everything. From the sharpness of Mustard to the aroma of mace to the sweetness of cardamom, Old bay tastes so good.
What is the history of Old Bay Seasoning?
Old bay seasoning holds true to its name, in the fact that it is actually quite old in its origins. Dating back to the era of World War II, old bay seasoning was invented by a German Jew immigrant named Gustav Brunn. His story is as fascinating as how this seasoning came to be invented.
Gustav was a escapee from a Nazi Germany, and he fled to America with only his spice grinder in tow. And it was this small and nifty grinder that changed his life. He first joined America's premier spice company, McCormick at Maryland. He was soon fired from his factory job thanks to his immigrant status. But don't feel sad for him just yet, as this was the final push for him to invent old bay seasoning!
He rented his own small space and started to experiment with different spice blends. Finally he settled on the combination of 18 different spices that remained a secret to this day. He started selling it and it was an instant hit among the Americans. So much so that the company which had kicked out McCormick ended up buying the rights for it! Years rolled by old bay seasoning remains an icon of American food and cuisine!
Is Cajun Seasoning the Same as Old Bay?
Old Bay and Cajun have been America's favorite seasonings. Both hail from the south. But, Cajun belongs to Louisiana. Old bay belongs to Maryland.
Both are NOT same. In fact they are quite different. Cajun is a lot a more spicier and hot as compared to the sweet and aromatic notes of Old Bay.
Ingredients for Old Bay Seasoning
The original recipe for old bay seasoning is a closely guarded secret by its parent company, McCormick. All we know is that there are a total of eighteen ingredients in it. But there have been many tries at making a copycat recipe, and we believe that ours will give the original old bay seasoning a run for its money.
Not only will it taste better and more refined on your palette, but it consists of just sixteen ingredients. That's two less ingredients than the original recipe! The ingredients are also very much affordable for any average person, and can be found at your nearest grocery store. So get your shopping basket ready because we are going to make the iconic old bay seasoning right at your home's kitchen!
Old Bay Seasoning Substitutes
- Celery seeds or alternatively celery salt
- Sweet paprika
- Ground dry mustard
- Ground dried ginger
- Smoked paprika
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Ground nutmeg
- Ground mace
- Ground cardamom
- Allspice powder
- Ground cardamom
- Ground cloves
- Dried Bay leaves
- Kosher salt
Can I make my own celery salt?
While you can always buy celery salt directly from a grocery store, it is a much better idea to make it on your own.
All you need is a bunch of celery seeds. This way you will get to control the flavors as market bought celery salt comes already flavored which can ruin the balance in your old bay seasoning.
What is celery salt made out of?
Celery Salt with made with common table salt, ground celery stalk, and leaves. Use it in the ratio 2:1.
How to make Old Bay Seasoning
Although Gustav Brunn had used a spice grinder to make the original old bay seasoning, you won't be needing to do the same for this recipe. Just having a regular blender or grinder is enough to get the job done. It'll also make the making of old bay seasoning much quicker, hardly taking more than five minutes of your time!
- You have two options to do this. First one is grinding all the spices separately and then using a mixing bowl and a spoon to combine everything. Or alternatively, you can use this method when all your spices are already in the ground format. The latter way is much more efficient than the former.
- This second method will get you much more authentic results. It's also the easiest way of making old bay seasoning! All you have to do is throw in all the whole ingredients together in a blender and give it a few spins, until everything is grounded into a smooth powder.
- Your old bay seasoning is ready to be used now. Store it away carefully so that you can preserve it for a long time!
How to store Old Bay Seasoning?
Most seasonings can be preserved for a long time, but only if you store it properly. Old bay seasoning is no different in that aspect as well. If you want to make sure your old bay seasoning lasts for a good time, then pack it in an air-tight glass jar and store it in a cool and dry space. Absolutely do not let it get in contact with any moisture or heat as that will spoil your old bay seasoning faster. Just keep it cool, dry and airtight! This way you can expect the old bay seasoning to last three months easily!
How do I know my Seasoning has gone bad?
While almost all seasonings have a long shelf life, including old bay seasoning, they don't last forever. The first sign that your seasoning has started to go bad would be the loss of fragrance. If your nose can't pick up the scent of your seasoning, that's a warning sign. The next signal to seasoning spoiling is its colour. Old bay seasoning is light brownish in colour. If it starts to go dark in colour, that means it's time to throw the seasoning out.
What do you Use Old Bay Seasoning for ?
If you've been using old bay seasoning only in your seafood recipes, then you have been missing out on so much all this time! There's a good reason why even the professional chefs call old bay seasoning as an "all-purpose" seasoning. You can literally use it anywhere! But to get your started, we'll list out some basic places you can put your old bay seasoning to good use!
- The next time you get French fries, give them a good shake along with some old bay seasoning. You can even do this with Shrimp Popcorn or Chicken Popcorn. We promise that you'll be wowed!
- Thanksgiving is around the corner. So why not give this year's baked potatoes an extra touch with old bay seasoning? It'll make your Thanksgiving dinner so much better!
- You can kick your meat marinades up by a notch by adding a few spoons of old bay seasoning to it! Alternatively, you can also give your meat and even seafood a dry rub of old bay seasoning for a crispy crust and extra flavor!
- Alright, this one is really interesting. Take some softened butter and mix in old bay seasoning into it. Then chill it until it solidifies into old bay seasoned compound butter!
- Use it in Crock Pot Shrimp Boil.
- Make your Soups even better with a touch of Old Bay Seasoning.
- Make your Southwestern Quinoa Black Bean Salad stand out with this seasoning.
- Make Southwestern Chicken Bake with Homemade Old Bay Spice mix.
- Make a batch of Southern Fried Okra in Air Fryer with some Old Bay Seasoning.
- Make Southern Smothered Sour Cream Chicken with a pinch of Old Bay.
- When Making Broccoli Rice Casserole try adding some Old Bay to make it taste better.
Old bay seasoning had always been relegated to only seafood based food, but we hope that perspective has now changed for you. Not only is old bay seasoning easy to make but you can also use it for so many other things! So go and use this American classic the way it deserves to be used!
Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Celery Salt
- 1 tablespoon Sweet Paprika
- ½ teaspoon Smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Dry Mustard
- ¼ teaspoon Ground dried ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon Freshly ground white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon Ground mace
- ⅛ teaspoon Ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon Allspice powder
- ⅛ teaspoon Ground cloves
- 2 small Dried Bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt or, to taste
- Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Transfer to an airtight container, preferably a glass one.
- Store in a cool and dark place for at least 3-5 months.