Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Good Rub

River-Rose contributor "Tex Mex" weighs in on the great barbecue debate - to Marinate or Dry Rub?

Now that you are ready to fire up the smoker how are you going to prepare the meats? If you ask ten people, half will say a dry rub is the way to go, the other half will side with wet (marinade and mop). Both are great, although it truly depends on your taste buds and desired end result.
Dry rubs are very effective, but first one must find the perfect combination of spices to create a delicious rub. Once found, it will become a long standing favorite for that low and slow chef. Commercial rubs can be found at many food stores, although true rub aficionados like to experiment and mix their own. This can be very expensive and time consuming. Once a chef finds that “special rub”, there is no way the recipe will be revealed! It is a winning rub that will get you noticed at BBQ events and once you find one for Brisket, then it's back to the drawing board to find one for the Pork Butt, then Chicken and Ribs. Unfortunately, one rub for all the meats has not been discovered, yet.

Generally, a combination of several spices will be found within a rub. Garlic powder, Paprika, Chili powder, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Cumin, Oregano, and Dry Mustard may be in the ingredients. The proportion of each ingredient is up to the person making the mix. Use all those spices, just three, or use five of them- therein lies the secret! Once you have the “MIX” you desire, apply it to the meat it was intended for. Some people coat the meat with a light coat of mustard before applying the rub. You will not taste the mustard once the meat is cooked. Mustard will help adhere the rub to the meat.
Now you will find out why it is called a rub. Coat the meat entirely with the rub then massage it slowly into the meat. Wrap it in Saran wrap and place it in the fridge for six to eight hours- overnight is better.

Finally the meat is ready to cook, is the pit up to 185- 225 degrees?
Put it on and sit back and enjoy, you have already chosen the wood to smoke with right?
Next we will discuss marinades and wet mopping!


  1. This is wonderful!! Now to concoct the perfect mix and test it on someone in the family :)

  2. I'm sure they will enjoy your experiments!


Your words mean the world to me!