Wicked Tickle Apple Wood Smoked Chipotle
Key Attributes: There are less than 1,500 residents in Russell, PA, but local spice maestros Electric Pepper Co. offer nearly as many varieties of heat, and in several forms (ground peppers, whole peppers, sauces… you get the idea). But when seeking out that special smoke in a bottle, we can't resist their accurately (if naughtily) named Wicked Tickle line, in particular the Apple Wood variety. Plenty of other brands do the apple-smoked spin on traditional condiments well, but something about the consistency of Electric Pepper's sweet (but not too tart) and savory qualities is hard to quibble with. Maybe it's because they smoke their garlic along with the apples, bridging the gap between fruity tang and Serrano-habanero bite. Whatever the chemistry, this is the right amount of kick with a little extra zest.
Most Appropriate Usage: The bottle claims it to be medium-to-mild, though objectively, it leans more toward medium, so don't slather your summer salad just yet. But get creative: Try it with oatmeal in the morning, chicken salad and cranberries over lunch, or with a glazed chicken at the dinner table.
Where You Can Buy It: Best bet: Their huge online inventory.