Spice up the grill with River Rock Spice Company

Who better than a barbecue competitor to develop a really rockin' spice blend? Before he created River Rock Spice Company, Steven Everett spent six years in professional barbecue competitions as part of the Rub 'Em Raw BBQ team.

"As competitors we like to make sure our spices go together," says Everett.

Named for regional waterways, Everett's Chewelah Creek Chipotle has a slightly smoky flavor, while the Hamma Hamma Habanero has more heat. But not too much — during taste trials, Everett says he gave away 150 samples and only had two people say it was too hot.

Everett, an Army veteran, worked with Tri-State Market Supply to develop his signature blends, which are MSG-free. Although Everett still enjoys barbecuing — he has five smokers at home — he's focused on growing the business slowly, in addition to working his regular job in information technology.

For his smoked brisket, Everett uses a combination of the two spice blends — adjusting the amount of Hamma Hamma Habanero to the desired heat level.

He cooks the meat in a smoker until it's done. What follows is the necessary, and hardest, part: Allowing the meat to rest — in a warming drawer if possible — for a full hour before eating.

Find River Rock Spice Blends at Super 1 stores in Washington, and at Rosauers in Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon.

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