Dry rubs are a mix of spices and dried herbs and they are rubbed into the meat before cooking. They come in a wide range of flavors. There are barbecue rubs, chili powder (yes chili powder is a spice blend), curries, jerk seasoning, sate, Old Bay, and many more. Pastes, wet rubs, and slathers come in two classes: Water based and oil based. Most are just dry rubs mixed with water or oil. They have the advantage of sticking better and can be layered on thick. Most herbs and spices dissolve well in water. Oil has the advantage of helping keep food from sticking to the grates. Rubs are part art and part science. The art is creating a blend of harmonious flavors that will complement the meat or veggie. The sciece is knowing how they will change when subjected to heat and knowing that there should be no salt in a rub. And since most commercial rubs can be up to 50% salt, you need to make your own rubs. Better, and a heckuva lot cheaper. You can buy pre-mixed rubs, but they are easy to make yourself, and a lot cheaper since most commercial rubs are loaded with salt. Every good barbecue cook should have a few signature house rubs to brag on. Just steal our recipes.