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Monday, September 9, 2013

Rubs for Meats, chicken and more

You may have noticed a wide variety of "dry rubs" available at grocery stores and specialty food stores lately. These fragrant combinations of herbs and spices add texture, color, and, of course, flavor to everything from steaks to chicken. Sometimes though, the commercial rubs are very salty and many contain MSG, which may give some people a headache. So why not try to make your own dry rubs with whatever herbs and spices you have in your pantry or spice rack? You see so many recipes that call for a rub of some kind, well instead of going to buy those, make your own.

Here are some of my favorite and most used recipes

All-purpose Spice Rub

3/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup ground black pepper
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne

Mix the spices thoroughly in a bowl. Store covered in a cool, dark
Makes about 2 cups.
Basic Pork Rib Rub


4 Tbs. Pickling Salt
2 Tbs. Garlic Powder
2 Tbs. Onion Powder
2 Tbs. Paprika
1 tsp. ground Thyme
1 tsp. ground Sage
1 tsp. ground Bay Leaf
1 tsp. Celery Seed
1 tsp. Black Pepper


Sprinkle seasonings on the ribs and rub. Refrigerate for 1-5 hours. Prepare the grill for long-term, low-temp cooking. Baste the ribs with the basting sauce and let them dry while they reach room temperature. Baste again and place on the grill. Baste and turn at 30-minute intervals for 5-8 hours until tender. Do not let the temperature rise above 225 for extended periods. Finish off with your favorite barbecue or finishing sauce. Apply when the ribs are done and coals are cooler.

Basic Beef Rub
1/2 Cup Pickling Salt
1/4 Cup Garlic Powder
1/4 Cup Onion Powder
2 Tbs. ground Thyme
2 Tbs. ground Bay Leaf
2 Tbs. ground Mustard
2 Tbs. Paprika
2 Tbs. Black Pepper
Mix thoroughly and put into a shaker-type dispenser. Place the meat on a rack over a pan large enough to contain it, and rub the mix well into the meat. Load it with all that will adhere. If you don't have enough, mix another batch because, you will use any leftover soon. Or you may put it into shakers and provide at the dinner table.
Cajun Seasoning Mix
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon pepper

In a bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.

Chicken Rub
2 Tbs. Pickling Salt
1 Tbs. Garlic Powder
1 Tbs. Onion Powder
1 tsp. ground Thyme
1 tsp. Sage
1 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Black Pepper
Mix well and store in an airtight container with a shaker top. Add rosemary, tarragon, basil or other herbs as desired, in the same single-teaspoon increments. Best when utilized with a basting mix to help the seasonings adhere.

Amazing Meat Tenderizer:

Tenderize meat with equal parts of strong brewed Tea
and double strength beef stock to a tough pot roast
or stew. The tannin in tea is a natural meat tenderizer.
Try this basic rub which is enough for about 10 steaks.

Basic Steak Rub

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. paprika

3 tsp. cinnamon

4 tsp. brown sugar

2 tsp. oregano

3 tsp. ground cumin

Combine the ingredients in a large, shallow baking dish. Place one steak in the dish and gently pat it down to coat the bottom side of the meat with the rub. Flip the steak over to coat the other side. Gently rub the mixture into both sides of the meat.

Repeat the process for each steak. Let the steak rest for about an hour or so, coated with the rub, then grill as usual once the steaks are at room temperature.

NOTE: Throw away any of the leftover rub that came into contact with the raw meat.

Serving the Steaks: Serve steaks without steak sauce since it will overpower the rub and you will only taste the steak sauce.


Marjoram, basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, lemon pepper, dry mustard, celery salt, red pepper flakes, Chipotle powder, etc. - experiment until you get just the right combination of ingredients for your version of the perfect rub.

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