Sweetwater Spice Co.—Time to step up your grilling game

By Zach Brooks

If you’ve ever brined a turkey for Thanksgiving, you know how much more tender and juicy it makes your bird. But who has that kind of time when cooking up a weeknight dinner? Well, all of us do now, thanks to Sweetwater Spice Company. Straight from Austin, TX, their brine concentrates make it easy and quick to pack maximum flavor into every piece of meat you cook. Twenty minutes in the spicy and smoky Tres Chilies Fajita Bath is all it takes to transform a skirt steak into a special meal. Pork tenderloin? Forty-five minutes in their lemon and thyme turkey bath is just the thing. The bigger the piece of meat, the longer the brine, but gone are the days of leaving it in the fridge overnight. In fact, these brines have so much flavor that Sweetwater recommends not leaving it in longer than the suggested time, which is just fine with us.

Word on the street

  • Tanya Steel, former Editor-in-Chief of Epicurious.com is a Sweetwater Spice fan, using their brines for tough meats, pork roasts, and whole birds.
  • One bottle of brine concentrate is good for five pounds of meat, so that jar you’re getting is going to last way longer than you think.
  • All of the brines are gluten-free and low in sugar.

Smoke-free environment

You don’t need a smoker to take advantage of Sweetwater's Smoked Habanero BBQ Bath. Instead, soak chicken drumettes (six pounds per bottle) in the brine for 30 minutes before putting them onto the top rack of a 450 degree oven. Fifteen minutes per side (or until they’re brown) yields a sweet and spicy low-fat wing with minimum effort. In fact, these wings took third place at the Fiery Food Festival in 2010, and were the only wings to be baked in the entire field of 43 hot wing companies. One bottle can brine up to 15 pounds of wings in three five-pound batches.