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Jul 12, 2010 07:27 AM

Am I the only one who likes Char Crust?

I'm curious if anyone has used Char Crust. I have been using it for 10 years now and I love it. It's particularly good on grilled skirt steak because it develops a nice char on the outside while still only cooking it to medium. It works for pan searing also.

It has some wheat products and spices in it. It works well for boneless chicken breast, which is another item that doesn't char much without overcooking it.

What do all the grill meisters say?

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  1. I'm pretty sure these caught my eye in the store and I picked them up and put them right back on the shelf. I'm pretty sure that's because there's nothing unique in them that I can't toss together quickly at home, and they are primarily sugar and msg, though the company says they're going to switch over to something
    to replace the msg.

    I find it very easy to develop a crust on marinated or seasoned chicken breast while keeping it very moist and juicy. It requires cooking over low heat.

    11 Replies
    1. re: mcf

      Well said. Why pay some company for some salt, sugar and spices? Well, I suppose if you make a mix at home you don't get hydrolyzed soy protein or caramel coloring...

      1. re: Shaw Oliver

        ... or just bust out your blow torch that you use for creme brulee.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          I don't like premixed spices myself. This one doesn't add much in terms of any spice flavor but it does add a nice char, more than you could get for the same time on a grill without it.

          There is some sugar in it but it certainly is not enough to make your steak taste sweet. The main ingredient is wheat.

          Slow cooking a boneless skinless chicken breast will not give you a nice char on the outside.

          1. re: cajundave

            Tell me what processed wheat is. Seriously. I don't know.

            To me it sounds like flour.

            For all intents and purposes this is a premixed spice box.

            So the first 3 ingredients are flour (?), salt, and sugar. Flour to help achieve a dry surface on the meat, salt to season it, and sugar to caramelize and turn crispy. I can do that at home with flour of my choosing, nice Kosher or sea salt, and some organic sugar at fractions of the cost. Add in some spices like smoked paprika or other dried spices and herbs and you can have your own customized char crust.

            1. re: Shaw Oliver

              You have a good point, maybe that's all it is.

              I'll do an experiment on the grill tonight with boneless skinless chicken breast and take some pictures. I have some smoked paprika and of course flour but I think I might have to use powdered sugar so it sticks to the chicken better. The box says 1 tps of char crust has 1 carb and 1 tps of sugar has 5 carbs and 1 tps of flour has 1.93 carbs, say 2. I'll figure out the ratio and make a batch for the test tonight.

              1. re: cajundave

                Try mixing your homemade batch then buzzing it in a spice grinder or a food processor... maybe a blender would be better if you don't have a spice grinder. Pulverizing the sugar and salt will give you a finer texture of course, without using something as fine as powdered sugar.

                1. re: Shaw Oliver

                  Good idea. I have a little electric spice grinder.

            2. re: cajundave

              "Slow cooking a boneless skinless chicken breast will not give you a nice char on the outside."

              Actually, it does, on the grill, turning often. I know because I've done it many times.

              1. re: mcf

                And that makes sense, when you consider the "crust" on a rotisserie chicken.

                1. re: sbp

                  Perzackly. I just put some olive oil and seasoning, or marinate, then grill as I said.

                  1. re: sbp

          's the skin on a rotisserie chicken that is crispy. And the dude that gets a crust on a boneless SKINLESS chicken breast is getting it from the olive oil burning that he puts on the outside. Most people are no fans of burned olive oil that cooked beyond it's flashpoint, but if he likes it, then so be it.

        2. I've seen them andafter hearing your comment, I think they sound interesting. I'm not going to criticize something unless I've tried it.

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. I used Char Crust for years until I discovered their rude, dismissive attitude towards customers. After they lost me as a lifetime customer, I went on line and found Micky & T's rubs, which are like Char Crust in technicolor and 3D. They are bursting with flavor and texture and much, much better than Char Crust in every way. Similarly priced, Micky & T's come in glass jars as opposed to Char Crust's messy enelopes. I'm glad Char Crust was so rude to me, because otherwise I would never have known that so may superior products are available.