Spice Rubs 101- 25 Ways To Transform Your BBQ Rub

by Mick Brown

Rub A Dub Dub, You hear a lot nowadays about Spice Rubs. They are being cooked up on The Chew and other popular daytime TV programs. Of course, every team on those Competition BBQ Shows is using a secret Rub. I hope to compete one of these days, under the right conditions. Would love to have the next “Award-Winning” Rub. But that’s a different article.

The terms Rub, Dry Rub, BBQ Rub, Spice Rub, etc… generally refer to a pre-measured mixture of seasonings. The word “Rub” is quite literally a noun and a verb. Most Rubs are used to marinate meat overnight. With gloves (preferably), you literally Rub the dry mixture evenly over the meat, using the natural meat juices to create a wet paste. This technique is used for Grilling, Smoking and BBQ all over the world. You can use it for Baking, as well. Anyone who has seen my Facebook page knows that International BBQ is a strong interest of mine. Stick with me, and I will show you that the world is a very small place when it comes to BBQ.

25 WAYS TO TRANSFORM YOUR BBQ RUB

Whether you make your own Homemade Rub or are using a good commercial one, it usually acts as a background “symphony” of flavor. Most Rubs are created to taste great on their own. But if you are in the mood to add a new spin- Here are 25 special ways to Transform the flavor:

SWEET TREATS

1. Add Cinnamon with Sugar– Brown, White or Raw Sugars are fine. Especially good for Pork, Ham and Bacon.

2. Sugar, Soy and Sesame Oil- A Teriyaki style spin on your Rub.

3. Honey and Lemon– Especially good for Chicken. Can be added to BBQ Sauce for Ribs.

4. Molasses– Adds a rich natural sweetness to anything.

GET FRUITY

5. Orange Slices– Squeeze and cover to add a bright fresh Citrus Flavor.

6. Lemon Slices– Be careful as acid will begin to “cook” fish or meats. Adds pungent Citrus, best with with something sweet.

7. Pineapple Slices– Fresh is best, use canned if you must. Squeeze the juice and Rub into Hams, Chicken, Turkey, Pork Roast.

8. Lime– It adds nice tangy flavor. Great for Chicken and Fish.

HERBAL POWER- These are best fresh, but you can substitute dry herbs.

9. Parsley– Nice natural Herbal flavor. I like to stuff it into cavity after seasoning Chicken, Turkey or Duck.

10. Fennel– Chop the leafy part and Rub it in. Great for Seafood and Fish.

11. Fresh Dill– No need to chop, break off and spread branches.

12. Rosemary– Can chop branches or pull off leaves. Especially for Steak and Pork.

13. Basil– Unique mild flavor. Especially great for marinating Veggies. Add a bit of Olive Oil to spread flavor.

14. Oregano– Love it with Veggies and Pork Chops.

15. Thyme– Great for Steaks and Beef Ribs.

16. Garlic– Of course. Chopped, or Rub it thinly sliced, can put in slit holes for Beef, Pork Roasts and Lamb.

17. Mint– Generally with Pork and Lamb.

HEAT IT UP!- Use a little or a lot, depending on taste. When Rubbing meat it is good to wear gloves. Especially with these.

18. Jalapenos– Mildly spicy, pickle your Chicken, Pork or Beef.

19. Dry Cayenne– No need to buy a spicy Rub. Add Cayenne.

20. Crushed Red Pepper– Adds general heat and little bursts of flavor.

21. Hot Sauce– Add your favorite, may want to dilute slightly with water or another wet ingredient to spread evenly.

22. Chipotle Pepper– Especially good with Smoked Chipotles in lieu of liquid smoke.

23. Red or Green Chile Peppers– Spicy Southwestern flavor for Chicken, Pork, Beef or Fish.

24. Habanero– Light ‘em up, I’m on fire…

25. Bell Peppers and Onions– Not especially spicy, but will add distinctive flavor.

You don’t have to wait to use Rub or fire up the grill. Feel free to add any combination of these flavors to any recipe. Especially for Baked or Crockpot BBQ Pork, Ribs or Chicken. The nice thing about cooking is the wide variety of alternatives. I am sure there are at least another 1000 ways to transform your BBQ Rub. I welcome your ideas or “tried and true” recipes. I’d be glad to compile another list to share with everyone, of course giving credit to your ideas. Post them here, or email me at Mick@TasteeBQ.com. Until next time, Eat and Be Well.

_________________________________

Mick Brown is a Food Blogger/Purveyor based in Los Angeles, with over 30 years BBQ and Grilling experience. Aside from Catering, his passions are creating Easy Grilling Recipes and searching for the World’s Best Flavors. General Manager of Tastee BQ Grilling Co. and the new California Gold BBQ Rubs. He is also author of web serial blog “The Adventures of Tastee BQ.” Email- Mick@TasteeBQ.com

Related Articles:

LINKS– Some of the latest in BBQ around the Web

Top 10 Brisket Rub Recipes- http://bbq.about.com/od/brisketrubrecipes/tp/Top-10-Brisket-Rub-Recipes.htm

Videos

BBQ-Pork Ribs low and slow – English Grill- and BBQ-recipe – 0815BBQ– He makes a Rub and amazing views from the Grill.

Pakistani style BBQ in the Netherlands– Nice looking Grilled Chicken and interesting glimpse of grilling Naan near the end.

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Is it time to Recycle those Old Spices in your Kitchen Cabinet? An Easy 4 Step Plan

By Mick Brown

#oldspicebottle

It is surprising what you may find in the back of the Cabinet..

OK. I have a confession. As you may know, my company has offered in-home private grilling lessons for years. The first order of business is usually checking out the client’s pantry. You can learn a lot from seeing what kind of dry seasonings people are using. For example, I always discourage Garlic and Onion Salt(s) if I encounter them. The biggest question is always “How old are these Spices?”.

#oldtea

My Spice Cabinet also holds Teas, Medicines and Health Supplements. This box of Tea from 1998 was the oldest date I found.

With that said, my confession is that I have not done a thorough upgrade of my home shelf for a least a couple of years. For the past 14 years, I have owned restaurants or worked out of others’ for catering gigs. So I always have access to fresh and fast moving dry spices. I rarely dig into my home stash of spices and herbs anymore.

#expiredspicebottles

Many Spice Bottles have an Expiration Date on the bottom or on a side panel. Others come with Lot Numbers.

In the New Year, I already have a few private BBQ lessons lined up. This article will be in the front of client hand-outs this year. I am now the proud owner of newly cleaned and re-organized kitchen spice cabinets! It feels good to know the current inventory of fresh usable seasonings, and where they are located. Here’s how I did it in 4 Easy Steps:

#vintagevoodoorub

Dust and Rust are good indications that it is time to let an Herb go. The Voodoo Rub was a souvenir from a trip to New Orleans about 10 years ago.

4 EASY STEPS TO UPDATE YOUR SPICE CABINETS

1. Take out your fresh, newly bought bottles and put them aside. They usually populate the front rows of your lower shelves. These are going back in.

2. Carefully inspect the older “questionable” bottles for an Expiration Date. Sort out bottles with dates that have expired and those that come with a lot number (manufacturer lot numbers can be searched online). Of course those with good dates are kept. Questionable bottles that are dusty and rusty have seen fresher days. Why bother looking them up online?

3. Dust and clean shelves before replacing the good spices and herbs. I happened to have some new shelf liners laying around from the last cabinet project, so I applied them to the clean shelves. If you are thus motivated, feel free to buy liners at your local Kitchen Supply Dept.

4. Of course now you can restock/re-organize the shelves in a way that makes sense to you. But- What do you do with the expired herbs and spices? Put the bottles in the Recycling Bin? Of course. Recycle the actual old spices and herbs? Sure- especially if you have a little extra time for a home craft project. You can always save the project for another day.

#oldhealthaids

An embarrassing view of the graveyard of Health Supplement programs of years past; Human and Canine.

RECYCLING OLD SPICES AND HERBS

From a BBQ Perspective, it is the best to use the same Herbs and Spices you would add to a Rub or Recipe; like Garlic, Rosemary, Cumin, Oregano, Paprika, etc…

Here are 3 BBQ Ideas:

1. For Gas Grills add the Spices with your Wood Chips in Box, Tin Pan or Foil Pouch for Smoking.

2. If using Wood Chunks or Logs with Charcoal, add Spices and Herbs to your Pan of Water, Juice or Beer for humidifying the Smoker. Herbs will add a nice aroma to the smoke.

3. For Stovetop or Electric Smoking, combine the Spices with the Wood Chips in Pan.

Otherwise, there are plenty of other uses for expired spices and herbs- from Heated Potpourris, Homemade Candles, Soaps, etc… You can even use old dry Cayenne to ward off garden pests. [See Links below.] In the meantime, my catering company has created a new Rub, with freshly blended herbs and spices. I have provided a few links, if you’d like to check it out. Until next time, Eat and Be Well.

Related Articles:

LINKS- RECYCLING OLD HERBS AND SPICES

10 Ways to Use Up Old Spices  http://earth911.com/food/use-up-old-spices/10

5 New Uses for Old Spices  http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/recipes/healthy/spice-uses#slide-6

How To Recycle Old And Expired Spices  http://www.bubblews.com/news/920343-how-to-recycle-old-and-expired-spices

How long should I keep dried spices? http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/questions/how-long-should-i-keep-dried-spices

LINKS- FROM OUR SPONSORS

California Gold BBQ Rubs- http://www.californiagoldrub.com/index.html

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaGoldBBQRubs

Tastee BQ Grilling Co.- http://www.tasteebq.com

POWER Rub on Amazon- http://www.amazon.com/California-Gold-BBQ-Power–10oz/dp/B00CVCMR88