Talk about the start of something great!
I like to put a dry rub on just about
everything I barbecue - smoke or grill. Rub
enhances the barbecue flavor and truly
creates that special barbecue eating
experience when a good rub is properly
applied to the right meat.
Barbeque rubs will also help keep the
juices of the meat inside the meat instead
of flowing out of the meat. I have yet to meet
very many people who prefer their meat dry,
so this is almost always a bonus
by-product of a good rub.
Barbecue Rubs can contain a great many
ingredients, or a simple few. We have
some of our favorites in the Dry Rub
Recipe section - take a look, use a couple
and see what you think. There are many
good rubs available commercially as well.
Depending on your tastes, and the strength of your rub, you can either sprinkle it on, as shown above, or you can literally rub it into the
meat. Personally I do a little of both - sprinkling to get it onto the meat initially, so I can keep it pretty evenly spread, and then lightly rubbing
it in to make sure to get some penetration. Make sure your meat is slightly moist so the rub clings to it and doesn't fall off when you put it
in the smoker.
Like marinades, the amount of time you want your rub on a meat can vary. Some people like to put them on hours ahead of time. My
rule of thumb when I cook is to do it when the meat has warmed to room temperature, just prior to cooking. I feel this allows for the best
absorption by the meat and, since I am planning on cooking most of these meats for a good, long time, the rub will have plenty of time in
the cooker, mixing with the juices of the meat, to add its flavor.
Also, the amount of rub you put on the meat will greatly affect how strongly it affects the taste. This is a personal taste issue, but I try to
moderate mine a bit, especially with my stronger rub. The picture below shows some Spare Ribs and Boston Butts pre-rub and post-rub
to give you an idea of how I apply my rib rub.
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Sprinkling on some of that magic!
Rubs are very common on ribs. If you've ever been asked if you want your ribs 'wet or dry', the reference is to with or without barbeque
sauce. Often they are offered this way because a great many people prefer the flavor of just the rub on the ribs over a barbecue sauce.
I like them both ways, and I like them together - my favorite is to put a spicy, salty rub on the ribs, then add sweet barbeque sauce, and
you end up with a tug of war for your taste buds, and you are always the winner in that battle.
Two Butts and a
slab of Spare Ribs
sit poised to be
rubbed down with
my prized recipe
Look below to see
how they fared
after the rubbing!
Now they are
ready to begin that
transformation I so
love, into a BBQ