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Baltimore Old Bay Uses

I'm a huge fan of Old Bay seasoning. To me it just screams summers on the Chesapeake Bay. Besides seafood, it's pretty typical on fries around here, but I've used it on to rim a Bloody Mary, on grilled vegetables, homemade potato chips, chicken and even made a Cheeseball with the tasty stuff. The poor people outside this region don't even know what they are missing! Anyone have a unique use or recipe using Old Bay?

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    1. re: small fry

      Uh-huh. Melted butter. Old Bay and salt on hot popcorn. Cue Twin Peaks.

      1. I sometimes like it on corn-on-the-cob in lieu of salt and pepper.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Hal Laurent

          I like to add it to chicken hash, just a teaspoon or so. Rounds out the flavors and adds some zip.

          1. re: dct

            Do you have a recipe for Chicken Hash?

        2. crabby chicken - oven fried chicken with old bay mixed into the flour

          1. Of course--Old Bay in shrimp salad, with mayo, onions, celery,etc. I've sprinkiled(spelling?) some on cottage cheese. Mix it into tunafish salad. I've made macaroni salad with the seasoning and added small chunks of various shellfish--i.e., shrimp, scallops, and crab meat. When eating lobster--sprinkle a bit of Old Bay into the butter dip. Yum. I wonder if tossing it into a salad. Okay--need to go and experiment. FoiGras

            2 Replies
            1. re: FoiGras

              You've inspired me! I'm experimenting with Old Bay in a salad dressing. No winner, yet. In the past I've used it in seafood salad, mac salad and slaw. Let me know how your experiement goes. Cheers!

              1. re: FoiGras

                Further on the salads, I use it in potato salad - a mix of sour cream and mayo with Old Bay and a bit of mustard powder, s+p, fresh dill and scallions.

                Love the lobster and Old Bay butter tip - sounds delicious!

              2. Here's a shrimp taco recipe with Old Bay we frequently make and like...


                1. Born and raised in Maryland. My favorite use (beside crabs, shrimp, and fried chicken) is in lieu of paprika on deviled eggs. Brings a real Maryland flavor to them.

                  1. It is great in a tomato based vegetable soup.

                    1. The tuna casserole recipe here on Chow uses Old Bay...and dijon mustard in a white sauce instead of yucky old mushroom soup...I love that revamped casserole..!

                      1. As already mentioned, it's good in tuna salad and chicken salad, but I especially like it in egg salad. In anything requiring dredging in seasoned flour, I prefer Old Bay to salt and pepper. It's one of the things I reach for if cooking a stew or soup that seems to need a little more complexity.

                        1. It's yummy on corn on the cob!

                          1. When I lived in Bawlmer we were able to get Old Bay w/o MSG. I can't find it since. I now use the the Penzey's version - no MSG.

                            I've used it or Old Bay on pasta with shellfish, in saffron basmati rice, rice salads, as nosey does on corn on the cob, and more.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Richard 16

                              Here in Toronto I buy it in bulk from House of Spice in Kensington Market. A house ground mixture (still some bits of bay leaf and fragments of allspice evident) which I have been assured contains no MSG.

                              1. re: Richard 16

                                > When I lived in Bawlmer we were able to get Old Bay w/o MSG. I can't find it
                                > since. I now use the the Penzey's version - no MSG.

                                Old Bay has MSG? I just looked at the ingredient list on the can I bought 2 weeks ago and there's no MSG or anything glutamate listed.

                                1. re: Richard 16

                                  Curiousity got the best of me and I emailed the manufacturer to find out about this. McCormick said there is no MSG in Old Bay.

                                2. Not sure where they got the idea, or why actually, but our twin girls (age 10) like it sprinkled on bananas. As for their mom and me, not so much.

                                  1. Utz has Old Bay potato chips. They are really salty but I love them.

                                    My fave Old Bay recipe is a very easy shrimp dish I found in Bon Appetit a year or so ago. You combine melted butter, Old Bay, brown sugar, fresh lemon juice & worcestshire sauce. Take half of the butter mixture and toss it w/ a pound of shrimp and broil them for just a couple minutes. Serve shrimp w/ remaining butter mixture and crusty bread and some corn on the cob - yum! Here's a link to the recipe:


                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: lynnlato

                                      I love the Utz chips with crab seasoning! Mom used to send them to me when I was in college in the Midwest. I season my homemade potato chips with Old Bay as well!

                                      1. re: lynnlato

                                        If good on potato chips, why not Old Bay, butter and/or sour cream on a baked potato. Or mix the OB with cream of shrimp soup and serve on a baked potato, rice, or pasta. FoiGras

                                        1. re: FoiGras

                                          Brilliant! Or potato salad. The options are endless.

                                          Hey Oldbaycupcake, have the Utz chips been around long? I thought they were fairly new to the market.

                                          1. re: lynnlato

                                            First time I remember having them was the late 80s/early 90s. Perhaps they aren't or weren't widely distributed or a seasonal product?

                                            1. re: oldbaycupcake

                                              Wow. Well, I'm in NC and they just recently came to Harris Teeter here. Which thrilled us b/c we are originally from PA and fondly remembered Utz chips & pretzels. But we never had the Old Bay chips before. But we're happy to have them now!

                                              1. re: lynnlato

                                                I am at the beach and just had Old Bay on chicken thighs w/ s&p, chili powder & lots of fresh lemon juice. Cooked them at 425 degrees for 45 mins and they were so tasty!

                                                Tomorrow it's the Southern BBQ Shrimp from Epicurious w/ baguettes and corn on the cob. I'm giddy in anticipation.

                                                Is OB not available nationwide?

                                      2. I grill skate wing once in awhile, with a generous sprinkling of Old Bay. The texture of the skate is almost lobster-like, and the delicate flavor takes the seasoning like crab....ohhh boy!
                                        Sometimes I'll sprinkle it on plain, raw celery.

                                        1. I like to sprinkle some Old Bay on fresh Diver Scallops, and them pan sear them in a mixture of olive oil and butter. Really delicious.

                                          1. Wow-why didn't we think of this--a BLOODY MARY with a sprinkle of OLD BAY and some lemon along with the celery.  I also mix  OB into whipped cream cheese along with  some chopped sweet onion and/or scallions, a little mayo. Makes a nice dip for crackers, chips, shrimp, etc. FoiGras

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: FoiGras

                                              We did think of it. Both the Bloody Mary & Cheeseball action were mentioned in my original post. For my Cheeseball or dip, I throw some cream cheese, mayo, chopped garlic and scallions in the food processor. Garnish with a sprinkle of OB seasoning & a bay leaf or two. For the Bloody Mary, not only is it yummy in the mix, but I rim the glass with Old Bay, too.

                                              1. re: oldbaycupcake

                                                Yes, indeed. You did mention the Bloody Mary and cheese dip with the addition of Old Bay. Sorry about that. I tried an experiment with raw, mixed nuts and roasted them with Old Bay.
                                                They were terrific. FoiGras

                                                1. re: oldbaycupcake

                                                  I agree perfect with the Bloody Mary!

                                              2. I make cocktail sauce with ketchup, hot sauce, apple cider vinager and Old Bay.

                                                1. Old Bay is good on everything..I grew up in Va. Beach and had friends send me OB when I was stationed in Europe, 'cause I couldn't get it there, though after enough asking, they have it. Here's the list of foods I eat it on...Tater Tots (it rocks), fries, shrimp, scallops, crabs, clams, any kind of fish, especially catfish, chicken breasts, pork loin, eggs, hash browns, and here's the real kicker...shake some on your pizza. It's to die for. BTW....There's no MSG in Old Bay. Just your basic spices. Enjoy Chowhounds!!!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: BobbyG

                                                    I lived in Baltimore 25 years ago. Good to read it no longer has MSG. I'll check on the label, though, because MSG listings often masquerade under other names. (i.e., "natural seasoning").

                                                  2. I marinate either catfish or talaipia in an old bay and hot sauce combo, grill or pan fry and serve with tasty black beans and its a wonderful cajun meal via-Baltimore

                                                    1. Goes great in gazpacho. Try adding some jumbo lump crab as well.

                                                      Adds some zip to ranch dressing as a dip for veggies, wings or fries.

                                                      Does well in homemade Chex mix or on roasted pumpkin seeds.

                                                      1. Homemade corn tortilla chips sprinkled with Old Bay immediately after they come out of the oil are great to dig into some crab dip.

                                                        1. Love the stuff on french fries. When I lived in Delaware, I'd always order the Old Bay fries at a local restaurant (The Trap, nee Crab Trap). They were so good! Since I don't make my own fries, I haven't eaten them since moving to the midwest.;

                                                          1. we add it to our salmon croquettes.