The Perfect Spice Rub For Summer Grilling & BBQ

spice rub from food craftsmen

Get ready to take your grilling to the next level with this versatile spice rub.

We have been looking at some of the most used rubs by BBQ competitors and how they formulate their spice rub, “magic dust” for all sorts of meats.

Perfect spice rub from foodcraftsmen

Today we are sharing with you a simple formula for making an excellent rub you can use on just about anything. Once you understand the basic ratio of the spice rubs competitive BBQ masters use, you will be able to change it up a bit to add the flavors you love most. Remember, this is your grill, your bbq, or your smoker. You are in control.

We use spice rubs to flavor large cuts of meat or poultry when cooking using “dry-heat” cooking methods; grilling, barbecuing, sauteeing. The Rub can penetrate the meat depending on how long it is allowed to sit on the food before cooking.

We recommend on larger cuts to rub the meat up to 24 hours in advance. Remember to keep everything refrigerated for safe keeping. Smaller cuts of meat, or whole chickens, can be rubbed 2-4 hours in advance to achieve the desired results.

Let us start with a basic ratio of ingredients. We like to keep it as simple as possible with our principal seasonings being sugar and salt.

Remember, this is your grill, your bbq, or your smoker. You are in control. 

The original ratio looks like this, 8:3:1:1.

In this situation, we will be using tablespoons as the measurement, but you could use cups, teaspoons, grams, or ounces if you prefer. Using tablespoons allows for making a generous amount of spice rub without having too much left over. Once you have determined a spice rub you like, you can scale it to larger quantities to have on hand at a moments notice.

Okay, on to the standard ratio:

  • 8 Tbs Turbinado Sugar
  • 3 Tbs Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tbs (no salt added) Chile Powder
  • 1 Tbs Onion Powder

That is it. That is the standard universal dry rub you can use on most of your meat heading for the grill or BBQ.

The salt and the sugar do most of the work introducing the other flavors into the meat itself. You can add one or two more seasonings to this mix to customize the flavors to your liking without actually disturbing the ratio. Any more seasonings and you end up with muddled flavors.

For pork or poultry, try replacing the onion powder with dry thyme or oregano. If you want a more southwestern flavor for dinner, adding one-half tablespoon of cumin to the standard dry rub will give your grilling experience the “south of the border” flavor you want.

Now that you have your standard spice rub and any variations you can create. It is time to put it to good use.

For large cuts of meat; brisket, pork shoulder, pork belly or a whole bird rub the outside liberally. Store it in the cooler overnight, uncovered. Let it breathe. One hour before the meat hits the grill or gets placed in the smoker remove it from the cooler and allow the temperature to come up. Tempering the meat this way helps it cook evenly, whether it is a chicken breast or a whole New York Strip.

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