Meet the new love of my life. (Sorry Mike).
For those of you like, “errrrr Grippawhatta?” Let me fill you in.
Grippo’s seasoning is a sweet, salty, spicy bbq mix best known for it’s use on Grippo chips, simply called by local Cincinnatians, “Grippos.” Grippos are easily one of the best things to come out of Cincy, like waaaaaaaay better than Sky Line or Gold Star “chili.” Seriously, what is that stuff?
There are several restaurants in town that actually use the Grippo seasoning in their dishes. My favorite of these is the Rookwood Grippo french fries. The Rookwood is the first restaurant that Mike and I ate at in Cincinnati so we have such a soft spot for everything they do. Plus their burgers are freaking delicious.
You can actually buy Grippo’s seasoning blend online or locally from the grocery store, but then you get mass produced stuff, when in reality you can probably make it easily and more cheaply from spices in your cupboard.
I recently aimed to test this very concept, which is why we’re all gathered here today.
In order to pick up that smoky bbq flavor, I tried a smoked paprika, which only made sense. I combined that with the other flavors I sensed: sugar certainly, cayenne for some heat, salt, and maybe a touch of garlic.
After some tinkering I came up with a final product that was remarkably close to the Grippo flavor I was after. I haven’t done a side by side comparison or anything, but DAMN.
Since I have a bit of a sweet potato obsession, I decided to make up some sweet potato chips, which are oh so easy.
I love sweet potatoes in any savory fashion: fries, chips, smothered in cheese, etc. It was a clear choice in choosing what I would top my newly found food fairy dust.
BBQ Sweet Potato Chips, “Grippo” Style
- 3 tbsp and 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- freshly cracked pepper (I like a lot so I went kind of heavy)
Add all of your spices together and mix well. Add to a spice grinder and pulse until fine (I use an old coffee grinder that I’ve dedicated to spices only). Ta – da! If you want to go less spicy, halve the cayenne. I like it hot, so went full blown with it.
For the sweet potato chips:
Pour about three inches of a light oil, like vegetable or grapeseed, into a cast iron Dutch oven. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. You want to get up to about 360 degrees. As the oil heats, rinse well and wipe off your sweet potatoes so they are very dry. I like to leave the skin on, personally. Slice the sweet potatoes as thin as you can, or use a mandolin if you have one.
When the temperature of the oil is hot enough, drop a sweet potatoes worth of slices into the oil. I had four small sweet potatoes so I ended up doing three batches. Gently poke at the chips to move them around with a metal implement after two minutes of cooking. After four minutes of cooking, start removing your most done chips to a large paper toweled plate or cutting board. Once all the chips are out, generously season them with your “Grippo style bbq seasoning while they are still hot. Once cooled down a bit more, toss in a bowl to evenly coat the seasoning on both sides of the chips.