Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Homemade Dry Rubs and the Dry Rub Paradox

If you've done any serious channel surfing lately, especially the foodie channels,you've probably noticed the same thing I have…it's all barbecue, all the time.

There are two
common themes in all these shows; whichever town they're in, has "the best barbecue in the country," and if your dry rub is good, "you don't even need a sauce."
This video recipe for a basic barbecue dry rub, features my favorite all-purpose formula.

I really like this recipe because it works nicely on chicken, pork, beef, vegetables, and even salmon or tuna steaks. Of course, half the fun of making your own rubs is playing around with different spice blends, so I hope you'll use this video recipe as a just a starting point.

There are countless commercial rubs out there, but I can't see paying twice the price, and using something that is most likely made using the least expensive ingredients available, when blending you own is so fast and fun. Once you have your homemade rub in a tub, you may be surprised to learn that, paradoxically, it should be sprinkled on, and not rubbed. Why? Clumpification! Enjoy.

Click here for ingredients and transcript

25 comments:

u2me40 said...

I know exactly what you mean by Clumpification. I made your recipe for brisket and rubbed the mixture on before baking. What a mess! Balls 'o smoked paprika! Because I'm a hands-on kind of person I may not "trust" the spice mix to stay put by only using the shaker-method, so I wlll probably just give it a little "pat" to set it. Do you see clumps in my future?

PS Loved the Pork belly laugh!

Chef John said...

your future looks clump-free!

seryph07 said...

Thanks for the rub advice. My problem when experimenting with rubs is that I put too much of one thing in, so I'm glad you gave out the perfect salt to spice ratio.

OH, and I would definately buy pork sprinkle.

seryph07 said...

Thanks for the rub advice. My problem when experimenting with rubs is that I put too much of one thing in, so I'm glad you gave out the perfect salt to spice ratio.

OH, and I would definately buy pork sprinkle.

PrimeBrit said...

Chef
Do you press the rub into the meat after sprinkling?

Chef John said...

I usually don't. I let it sit for a while, while I prep the barbecue, or oven, etc., and it sort of melts into the surface moisture. If you are immediately going to be moving it around then you can gently press it in.

Scott - Boston said...

DON'T rub your rub?! I wish someone would've told me that sooner. Back in the day... well, you know...

Oh well, I do still enjoy listening to the audio portion of your videos. I bet it looks great...

Scott - Boston

Chef John said...

OK, if you're under 45 and still got Scott's "you'll go blind" reference, please chime in! People aren't still being told that are they??

Jessica said...

I am 25 and got the reference... but we were only ever told that as a joke.

Love these videos Chef!

Anonymous said...

Excellent video! I'm a fan of using rubs, but I just assumed that because of the name it should be rubbed into the meat. The ratio guideline for sugar, salt and spice is helpful, too.

Thanks for another helpful video, I greatly appreciate all the posting.

A loyal reader... first time commenter

shreela said...

Thanks for the shaker, and proportions tips. So how do we keep spices, and mixes from clumping in the container in humid areas? I'm not sure the baggie trick would work where I live. Thanks.

dan said...

I've always been afraid to put sugar in a rub for fear that it will burn. How can I get around that problem?

Annie & Nate said...

Excellent video!

I make my own rubs too because commercial rubs are like 50% salt. I'm not paying that much for salt.

I have to learn how to resist not rubbing the rub and getting clumpification. Would you sprinkle the rub on until you can't see the meat anymore?

Chef John said...

in that case, I would make just enough as needed

Chef John said...

proper BBQ is done over very low, indirect heat. In the oven, you just cook the ribs, or brisket at 225, for many hours, until fork tender. It won't burn at that temp.

Outside, you have to use small amounts of charcoal, not directly under the meat.

I may do a demo soon.

Chef John said...

yes, sprinkle until covered. Any extra that doesn't melt on, will fall off, so you don't have to worry about too much, especially for a think piece of meat like a brisket or shoulder.

clair said...

Love your video as always. Wow, I had no idea I shouldn't be rubbing the rub. Never made a dry rub before but I'm sure going to now. Thanks :).

Robert Lewis said...

Chef,

What kind of shaker do you use in the video?

Chef John said...

no name, just from a kitchen store. you can get at bed bath beyond, etc.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef John,
I'm a real Jamie Oliver convert - I've been addicted to Pork Shoulder ever since he started ranting about cheap it is! However, I wouldn't have a clue how to BBQ it :( Oven first then finish it off? Demo pls!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Edwin said...

Hi chef,

I am from Singapore and we don't use rubs like these, so do you just sprinkle the rub on the pork and barbecue it or do you leave it overnight and barbecue after?

Thanks.

Chef John said...

You can do it both ways! Stronger flavor if overnight.

1Bigg_ER said...

Quick question Chef John, does that rub ratio take into account the type of salt? Kosher or regular salt.

Chef John said...

I used kosher salt so fine salt would be half the amount.