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Seasoning sticks are not the most well-known kitchen tool. They’re not fancy and they look kind of weird, and not many people go out of their way to purchase them. Except now, Sriracha (in a partnership with food company Sugarmade), that beloved hot sauce manufacturer is bringing them to the forefront of kitchen consciousness, and we are all about it. Seasoning sticks are here to stay. But what are they? And why should you use them?
The Sriracha Seasoning Stix are essentially an exercise in food science. Built to flavor meat more intensely (and effectively) than rubs or marinades, the Seasoning Stix start as a solid and transform into a powder during cooking.
“Any serious food scientists will tell you that marinades are of limited use and typically penetrate less than one quarter of an inch into the meat, fish or poultry,” the Seasoning Stix website says. “This inability to impart flavor directly into meat has been an issue for chefs, average cooks and backyard barbecue enthusiasts for generations.”
And so, Seasoning Stix replace these inefficient methods. It all has to do with science: Because evaporation occurs when you grill, roast or barbecue meat, that means water is displaced within the flesh, leaving space there and making it the optimal time for seasoning. That’s where Seasoning Stix come in—by changing from hard solid to powdered solid, which is then absorbed into the meat where the water once was.
The Sriracha brand will sell flavors including Classic (aka Sriracha-flavored), Butter Garlic, Teriyaki and a Mystery Blend to be named by followers. The product is supposed to launch later this month at Srirachastix.com.
But what if none of these flavors appeal to you? Well, you’re in luck, because you can actually make your own seasoning sticks. You can buy a number of options on Amazon made of kitchen-grade stainless steel that simply come apart, allowing you to stuff everything from freshly minced garlic to powdered herbs and spices inside. These DIY seasoning sticks are an affordable and more sustainable alternative to the one-use variety that Sriracha is selling.
There are also a number of online financing campaigns for other pre-made seasoning sticks, similar to the Sriracha brand. Some Kickstarter campaigns have raised almost $90,000 to get these seasoning sticks up and running.
So, would you try seasoning sticks for your next backyard barbecue? I think I’m convinced.