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
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
Scarborough Fair Chicken
In 1966 Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel popularized their modified version of this haunting 16th Century English canticle on their album named "Parsley... read more
brisket rub
In Texas many barbecue joints use just plain old salt and pepper, called Dalmatian rub. But beef brisket can and BBQ beef ribs handle, and benefit... 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
Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous
In Memphis it is common for barbecue joints to offer their ribs "dry", without sauce, just a liberal sprinkling of spices and herbs. The most revered... 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
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
pesto
Probably invented in Genova, Italy, where fragrant fields of basil grow abundantly, the aromatic herb leaves were originally made into a paste with a... read more
harissa
Harissa [hah-REE-suh] has become my favorite hot sauce. I use it on everything from fajitas to stews, soups, couscous, fish, and meats. It's great... read more

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