Old Bay Seasoning


Old Bay Seasoning Can

16 oz. can of Old Bay spice with a small heap of its contents in the foreground

There are two things you need to know about OLD BAY® Seasoning:

  1. It’s great on seafood, and;
  2. It’s great on everything else.

For over 75 years it’s ruled domestic and commercial spice racks in the USA. The Definitive Seafood Spice, with a world-famous blend of 18 herbs and spices.

From McCormick Old Bay Seasoning webpage

Using Old Bay Seasoning

The seasoning is chiefly used to season crab and shrimp. It is also used in various clam chowder and oyster stew recipes. The seasoning is also used as a topping on popcorn, salads, eggs, fried chicken, french fries, tater tots, corn on the cob, boiled peanuts, dips, chipped beef, baked potatoes, potato salad, and potato chips. Several movie theaters in the Chesapeake region offer it in the condiment section. Potato chip manufacturer Utz created the original “Crab Chip” based on a similar mix of spices. The popular potato chip variety was later copied and marketed by Herr’s (however, Herr’s uses Old Bay seasoning and it is sold as “Herr’s Old Bay Chips”). Lay’s introduced its own Old Bay-seasoned “Chesapeake Bay Crab Spice” flavoured chips in 2018. Early in its history, the Subway sandwich shop used Old Bay when mixing their seafood and crab salad. Many local Subway shops still have Old Bay for use on sandwiches. Old Bay is also occasionally used around the Chesapeake Bay region as an ingredient in Bloody Marys, and even in places as far south as The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.

In 2014, the Maryland-based brewery Flying Dog created an Old Bay-inspired summer ale named Dead Rise to celebrate the seasoning’s 75th anniversary.

Old Bay Seasoning Recipe

Old Bay Seasoning

The ultimate seafood seasoning, but also delicious on most dishes from chicken to pastas to salads and vegetables.
Course: Copycat
Cuisine: Maryland
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 tablespoons
Author: The Cook
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  • 2 tablespoons ground bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes (red pepper flakes)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

Recipe Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in an airtight jar, mix thoroughly.
  • Keep sealed until ready to use.

Cooks Notes & Variations

Grind the bay leaves and red pepper flakes in a spice grinder so that they are the same consistency as the other spices

Rate this Recipe


Serving: 1g | Calories: 15kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.54g | Protein: 0.55g | Fat: 0.63g | Saturated Fat: 0.155g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.398g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 0mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.18g | Vitamin A: 0% | Vitamin C: 0% | Calcium: 0% | Iron: 0%

Old Bay Seasoning History

Old Bay Seasoning is named after the Old Bay Line, a passenger ship line that plied the waters of the Chesapeake Bay from Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia, in the early 1900s. Gustav Brunn’s company became the Old Bay Company in 1939, producing crab seasonings in the unique yellow can container until the company was purchased by McCormick & Co in 1990. McCormick continued to offer Old Bay in the classic yellow can. According to Gustav Brunn, he had worked for McCormick for a week before starting his own spice business.

McCormick has a number of other products under the Old Bay banner, including seasoning packets for crab cakes, salmon patties and tuna, tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, and seafood batter mix. They also make other seasoning blends that mix Old Bay seasoning with garlic, lemon, brown sugar, herbs and blackened seasonings. McCormick has offered a lower-sodium version of Old Bay Seasoning.

In 2017, McCormick changed the packaging from metal cans to plastic containers in an effort to reduce the packaging costs.

From Wikipedia

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