HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Sep 10, 2008 12:33 PM

Bulk spices in NoVA - Not Penzey's please

I need to make a large quantity of bbq pork rub for this weekend. Can anyone suggest a good store - Giant, Safeway, Super H - that will have a good selection, either in bulk or big canisters of the basics: paprika, dry mustard, cayene, cumin, etc? I know all of this is available at Penzey's but I'm doing this on the cheapish.


Cocinero Cubano

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Any good Hispanic market should have many of these.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wayne keyser

      Yes, of course. Already had La Union, El Chaparral, on the list to check. Thanks for the reminder.

    2. You can probaby find all the spices you're looking for in one of the big box stores (Sams Club, BJ's, Costco) or even Wal-Mart. They've got everything you mentioned in big canister sizes for pretty inexpensively.

      Short of that, see if you can find a Pennsylvania Dutch Market - they too sell spices inexpensively by weight, so you can buy just what you need.

      4 Replies
      1. re: pastrydiva

        Hadn't thought about Wal-Mart, Target, etc. Good ideas those. I don't have a Costco, BJ's membership so I'll have to hook up and make friendly with someone who does. Thanks for the tips.

        1. re: Cocinero Cubano

          I think the important thing is to make sure you are buying them from a place where they don't sit around on the shelves. If you making a rub you plan that you intend to use over the course of a year, bear in mind that the spices may already be a year old, depending on where you buy. Penzey's is expensive, but they are dependable for freshness.

          1. re: MartinDC

            Had thought of that so my first places to hit will be Giant, Target, Wal-Mart, etc. I'll try and give whatever I look at the sniff test anyway.

            Cocinero Cubano

            1. re: Cocinero Cubano

              Sorry, the stuff you will get from any of the above will be sub-par at best. You are looking at ~6months age bare minimum on anything ground, and more on non-ground. The smell test is only going to be useful on the non-ground spices.

              Stick with ethnic and or penzys. I know you don't want to spend a ton of money, but you will use VASTLY less of the stuff from penzys or some internet spice places as compared to the crap (and I don't use that lightly) from normal markets, target or walmart.

      2. My neighborhood MOM's has a really great bulk spice selection. I'm a Target fan, but I've never seen bulk spices there, same with Giant...

        1. Restaurant Depot in Alexandria and MD has good quality spices at great prices. Anyone with a business license can join, or any tax deductible organization (school, church, etc).

          1 Reply
          1. re: dallyn

            I'll second that - no one ever objects to my buying $40 of stuff when all around me there are people with dollies full of $1000s, and they're nice. As long as you understand they don't want to hold your hand (that's why they're a wholesaler)

            I buy my spices there in 1-pound size.

          2. The Organic Butcher in McLean will mix up a batch of spice rub for you. I've had them do that a few times. I also bought meat from there so if you've already bought your pork, I'm not sure what they will do. Might be worth a shot.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dcskinsfan

              Was at Wegman's in Loudoun Co. They have bulk spices.