While it's easier to bring a little Cajun love to a meal with a shake of a product, why must so many blends combine so much salt to accompany the fire? I can't tell you how many times I've aimed for a spicier, more Cajun dish, just to end up in a salty disaster. (And I can't be the only one here, right?)
The easiest solution is to make your own, which allows you to control both the saltiness and spiciness. Here's a recipe for a homemade Cajun spice blend that you can throw into hummus or use to blacken fish or veggies (green beans work well, in my opinion).
Or, if you really want the fast shake of a store-bought blend, here are five that passed our test.
Habanero Cajun Seasoning from Hell: The spiciest blend in a bunch we tasted, this one's a winner for heat fanatics. The habanero flavor will really carry through to any dish seasoned with this blend. We loved it on homemade nachos. cosmicchile.com
Very Hot Cajun-Style Seasoning: If you're looking for some good heat and smoky flavor, this spice blend will rock your Cajun world. thespicehouse.com
Slap Ya Mama: If you're looking for intense flavor, then this rub is for you. Slap Ya Mama delivers a punch of pepper flavor with a slow-building heat. slapyamama.com
Cajun Island Blackening Spice: This rub brings absolutely traditional Cajun flavors. It's definitely a go-to shake for purists. cajunisland.com
Joe's Hot Stuff: WIth a smoky flavor and hint of thyme, this blend can spice up any dish. neworleansschoolofcooking.com
About the author: Andrea Lynn is senior editor for Chile Pepper magazine, where she not only creates a wide range of zesty recipes for readers, but also participates in numerous tastings for hot sauce, salsa, and other spice-laden products (even chocolate!). Her favorite chile? A tie between the mild yet flavorful poblano and the mighty, reliable fire of the serrano.