Pompeii Smoke and Fire Blackening Seasoning

Pompeii Smoke and Fire Blackening Seasoned Pork Chop

As for a personal suggestion: A pre-made jar of this seasoning might just be the perfect gift for a beloved fireman!

There was an initial question about how “P.C.” the title of this recipe is, but my concluding thought was that there isn’t anyone left from the area to be offended by it.

The foundation of this blend came with an attempt at making a personalized Greek seasoning. At one point we discussed blackened chicken and Caesar salad which lead us down a path of terrible jokes about the after-math of Vesuvius on Pompeii and Herculaneum. (Don’t forget them. They always get forgotten… I mean after both cities were forgotten for 1600 year.)

All poor-taste aside, this is an excellent blend. To blacken a piece of meat it is first dredged in melted butter, then heavily coated with herbs and spices. When fried in a hot skillet this crust becomes very dark and ‘blackened,’ leaving the well seared meat incredibly flavor packed.

You can blacken pretty much any kind of meat. Fish, chicken, and steak are the most common, and this blend will work well for any of these. The only thing to consider when purchasing your meat would be the thickness.

Fish cooks very fast, so a quick sear in a very hot pan is not a problem. Chicken needs to be cooked thoroughly so you want to make sure your selection isn’t too thick. Given, you will pretty much be charring that outer layer of herbs and spices, but you don’t want to absolutely annihilate the meat with burn in the process. The same issue goes for a piece steak. Though it is perfectly fine to leave steak uncooked in the center, (and the only real way to eat it, in fact,) if your steak is particularly thick you may have a hard time cooking it through to the desired doness. After all, we want our meat ‘blackened,’ not ‘burned.’

Pompeii Blackening Season

By: Semiserious Chefs
Makes:~7 Tablespoons;
(enough for both faces of 4 average pork chops)


  • 2 T dried oregano
  • 2 T dried basil
  • 1 t garlic granules
  • 1 t coriander
  • 2 t smoked paprika (I prefer Spanish)
  • 1 t urfa biber or aleppo pepper
  • 1 t red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t smoked salt – or more to taste
  • 2 t coarse ground smoked pepper


  1. Mix together all of the herbs and spices.
  2. Dredge your protein of choice (see notes above) in melted butter.
  3. Add a tablespoon or two of butter to a very hot skillet, cast iron works well, and proceed to pan sear your crusted meat on all sides. NOTE: Fish should become opaque and flake easily with a fork, chicken needs to be cooked through with no pink, and steak can been cooked to the liking of the consumer.

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