Buck’s Rub Seasoning Is A Hit

Hilger develops line based on mom’s recipes.

Some cooks jealously guard their secret family recipes.

Jason Hilger thinks there is no better tribute to his mother, Judi, than sharing them with the world.

Hilger and Lynn Karl have created Buck Rub Seasonings, LLC, a new spice company with seasoned blends for everything from venison and burgers to steak, ribs and chicken.

Unveiled in 2015, the spice blends are already proving to be a hit with grilling connoisseurs across the northwoods, Midwest and, soon, nationally.

“It’s exciting. It’s very exciting,” Hilger, who lives just south of Antigo, said. “We’ve had some great reviews and some exciting comments.”

Hilger has been canoodling around the kitchen his entire life, learning some seasoning tricks of the trade from his mother.

“I had a knack for working around the kitchen,” he said.

It stayed a hobby through high school and college, although his marinades won rave reviews from classmates and even avowed “venisonhaters.” He tried off and on to market the blends, but the timing was never right.

“I converted a lot of people in college who said they would never eat venison,” he said.

He and Karl got serious about it a few years ago, sitting down and concocting ingredients, “having a lot of fun and maybe putting on a little weight too.”

The final tryout came on a fishing trip to Lake Erie with buddy Corey Lese.

“People fell in love with it,” Hilger said. “It kind of fell into line from there.”

Hilger and Karl developed recipes for the four initial rub blends—and there may be more in the near future.

“When I said, ‘let’s open up a spice line,’ Lynn went handin-hand with it,” Hilger said.

Batches were mixed by hand, using local ingredients, developed different tastes and consistency when manufactured and blended on a large scale.

“It was a lot of adding a little of this and subtracting a little of that,” Hilger said. “It took several months of trial and error.”

The resulting Buck Rub Seasonings, LLC—feature finely ground blends using only the highest quality and freshest ingredients. All products are MSG free, gluten free, and created in Wisconsin.

The current stable of offerings include:

—Buck Rub: The original blend of spices that can be made into a simple marinade for venison, refrigerated for days, and grilled in minutes. This can be served in small quantities as an appetizer or as the main course.

“The recipe on the bottle will keep venison tender and moist and will make venison lovers from most non-venison eaters,” Hilger said.

—Burger Rub: A blend designed for a thick burger, meatloaf or any other burger dish.

—Steak Rub: Designed for any cut of steak. Rub steak with olive oil, shake seasonings generously and allow to marinade for a few hours or even overnight. Grill and enjoy.

—Rib Rub: A unique blend of spices is sure to be a favorite for any pork lover out there. Generously season any cut of pork or ribs, let marinade and cook. It also works very well on broiled and sautéed shrimp and fish or chicken.

Locally, Buck’s Rubs can be found at Northern Roots Artisan Market, Schroeder’s Gifts, Lakeside Pharmacy, Inspiring Images, Butch’s Super Valu, Langlade Ford, Ken’s Hwy. 45 Meat Locker, Backes Food Market, Mattoon Market, Dave’s County Market, Schaefer’s Food Mart, Flowers from the Heart, Emy’s Salon & Gifts, Lakewood Super Valu, Parks Cheese & Candy Shop, St. Germain Sentry Foods and The Cheese Board in Minocqua.

Order by mail through the website at www.buckrubspices.com.

“I enjoy putting smiles on people’s faces with food,” Hilger said. “It’s makes me proud to be part of a little dream come true.”

Lynn Karl and Jason Hilger with their selection of Buck Rub spices, a hit with consumers.

Lynn Karl and Jason Hilger with their selection of Buck Rub spices, a hit with consumers.

Source: Antigo Daily Journal, Saturday, July 23, 2016 edition