Now for the Rubs that enhances the flavors in beef, chicken, game and fish.
The Meat Rubs
A seasoning rub is a wonderful way to boost flavor when cooking meat, poultry and game and some fish especially when on the grill.
Rubs can be completely dry, or made into a wet rub or paste by adding liquids. Whichever you choose our tips and techniques will help you add spice to your cooking repertoire.
Dry or Wet: Using a dry rub or a wet rub is really just a matter of preference. Dry rubs require a little moisture from the surface of the meat to stay on, but as the meat cooks and releases juices, a dry rub will create a wonderfully flavored crust. If you’re cooking meat that is somewhat dry to begin with, such as poultry, a wet rub may work better for you. Any dry rub can be converted into a wet rub by adding a bit of neutral tasting Olive oil to create a thick paste.
How to Make it: When making a rub, whether wet or dry, it’s essential to use fresh ingredients. Rubs can be made with any combination of spices, dried herbs, dried mushrooms, pink salts and or/sugars. The flavor of rubs will intensify during cooking and if you add a bit of sugar to the mix you will also get caramelization, which adds another layer of flavor as well. Sugar 1st, will make Choice Grade beef taste a whol lot better: Lightly dust both sides with brown sugar, wrap tight and refrigerate for 24hrs.
When using rubs, rub the mixture into and all over the meat with your hands, covering completely. Use about one tablespoon for every pound of meat. You can apply a rub right before you cook or a few hrs ahead of time for basic grilling or up to 24 hrs ahead if you are hot-smoking.
Dry-rubs will stay fresh for about 6 months if kept in an air-tight jar in a cool, dark place. When using, always decant the portion you need from the storage jar into a small bowl to prevent contamination from your hands that have been in contact with the raw meat. Wet rubs can be stored for about 1 wk in the refrigerator, in a covered jar. Whether wet or dry, date your jars.
Spice rubs are used in many different types of cuisine from French to Jamaican, Chinese to Moroccan, Indian to American barbecue. They are a great way to experiment and get creative with different flavors. When experimenting with rubs, be sure to write down the ingredients and ratios. This way when you find your ‘perfect mix’ you will have a record for it.
- Ground dried mushrooms are delicious in rubs. They add a wonderful earthy, savory character. Put a few dried mushrooms of your choice in a spice grinder or food processor and grind until they become a fine powder. Porcini mushrooms are especially good for this.
- Do not limit your rub ingredients to just spices and herbs, I sometimes use unsweetened cocoa powder or finely ground coffee beans are excellent add-ins. Think outside the spice rack.
- If you want to make a unique wet rub, you can use a touch of robust Olive Oil then add and enhance with a squeeze of lemon, a bit of beer, brandy or bourbon.
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