Spice Rubs And Pastes

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.

"What really sets one BBQ joint apart from another isn't the way it's cooked, it's the way it's seasoned."

Doug Worgul, Oklahoma Joe's, Kansas City
5 spice seasonings
If you want to add an Asian accent to a dish, there are three ingredients, any one of which will do the job: Hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and five spice... read more
Tuscany
You can taste it if you close your eyes, the flavor we all associate with Italian food. It takes me back to ice skating as a boy and buying pizza by... read more
rubs
Some foods just don't need anything other than a little salt and pepper. A great steak comes to mind. On the other hand, some meats love swimming in... read more
fish rub
In 2012 I had the pleasure of working closely with Marietta Sims. She has a great biography and serious culinary chops. She came in two days a week... read more
Memphis Ribs
Rubs are spice mixes that you can apply to raw food before cooking and there are scores of commercial blends on the market. But there's no need to... read more
cow crust
Catherine O'Leary was a humble Irish immigrant living on Chicago's near Southside. Late in the night of October 8, 1871 her barn caught on fire, and... read more
smoked salmon with horseradish cream sauce
Secretariat was the greatest horse that ever lived winning 16 of his 21 races. From my couch I watched him win the first Triple Crown in 25 years in... read more
ras el hanout
Ras el Hanout, which is Arabic for "head of the shop", is a spice mix often used as a rub for meats, especially lamb and goat in North Africa and the... read more
Dolly's Mutton Rub
Dolly the Lamb (July 5, 1996 to February 14, 2003) was the first cloned mammal. She was produced by Ian Wilmut, Keith Campbell and other scientists... read more
poultry seasoning blend
This is an easy all-purpose spice mix for poultry, it is not made with poultry! Use it on chicken, turkey, pork (pigs can fly, can't they?), or veal... read more

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