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COF TOWs from 2008 – Circle of friends - Tip Of the Week. - enjoy!!!

Dry Rubs

Every good BBQ team has their own “secret” formula dry rub. No matter what type of meat you are working with, a good rub can take your product to a new level and set your entry apart from the rest of the pack. In this TOW we’ll talk about how to create your own Dry Rub.


First let’s answer the question: Why do we use a dry rub? There are lots of obvious reasons for applying a rub to your product like taste or spice, but there is an important function of a rub when barbequing. Rub provides the all important bark. Bark is the outer crust that forms on your product as it absorbs juices and adheres to the meat. The beginner may look at this as a burned product, but it is really the rub that blackens and helps to protect the meat from burning. This ensures that your rub will add flavor to your product and protect it during cooking.


According to Chef Richard W. McPeake (the Sultan of Smoke), there are four flavor stages of a dry rub. A good rub must have an equal balance of flavors. The flavor profile of each stage may be adjusted to your own personal taste.


Stage 1: Sweet/Salt – This stage is the beginning stage and should be a balance between the salts and sugar used. Usually this stage is made up of equal parts. Use only kosher salt in rubs to get a truer flavor with no additives. For the sugars, use granulated brown or turbinado (natural raw) sugar. Turbinado sugar can take a higher temperature before burning, so it is a better sugar for dry rubs.


Stage 2: Color – This stage is just that, adding color to the rub to define the deepness of reds in your rub. Use mild to neutral spices such as Paprika and Chili Powder in your color stage.


Stage 3: Heat – Be careful in this stage, since it is where you can make your rubs too hot in heat degrees of flavor. Try using Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper and White Pepper. The tri-mix of peppers makes a good heat flavor combination


Stage 4: Flavorings – In this stage you can add a lot of your own personal taste. I recommend starting out with Garlic and Onion powders (not salts) because they add true flavor. Also, try using Lemon Pepper as well. From there it is a matter of personal taste. I like Cumin, Poultry Seasoning, ground Oregano, ground Thyme, etc. Use your sense of smell and taste to your liking. Remember that the flavoring spice must match well with the meat product you are going to use it on.


The standard rule of measurement to follow in making a rub is: 4 parts Stage 1, 2 parts Stage 2, 1 part Stage 3, and 1 part Stage 4.


We hope this tip will help you develop your teams “secret” rub and maybe a winning recipe!


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