All BBQ Needs Is A Good Rub!

June 18, 2008 by  

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By Kevin Bevington

As the masses begin to uncover their bbq grills and smokers for the season of barbecue and Grilling, many wonder what will set theirs apart from the rest. The answer? A good rub can make a world of difference. Sure, a good barbecue sauce is still a good thing to have to compliment your meal, but the seasoning is the key.

A bbq rub, is commonly referred to as a dry marinade, many times, it can actually bring more flavor to your barbecue than a liquid marinade, especially when used in a similar fashion.

Ok, lets look at the ingredient make-up of the barbecue dry rub, first, almost all barbecue rubs will contain the following basic ingredients;

Kosher Salt
White Sugar
Black Pepper

These ingredients are typically used in fairly equal amounts, and other spices, and sugars can be thrown in to enhance flavor based on the type of meat you are cooking. A few of these additional ingredients are;

Celery Salt
Chili powder
Cayenne Pepper

Brown Sugar
Turbinado Sugar
Demerara Sugar
Golden Granulated

The most important thing to remember about putting a good dry rub together is balance. A good balance of flavors is key to complimenting the meats natural flavor, you don’t want to cover it up.

Once we have our ingredients established, along with their measurements, we can now use them on our bbq. On thicker cuts of meat, such as pork shoulder cuts (used in pulled pork bbq), or beef brisket (a texas bbq favorite), we will want to give ample marinate time for the flavors to work into the meat. On these thicker cuts, you will want at least 4 to 6 hours at a minimum, but ideally 10 to 12 hours is best. On thinner cuts such as pork ribs, or steaks, you should be looking for a minimum of 30 minutes to 1 hour, and ideally 4 to 6 hours.

Another key to using a rub is to work the rub into the meat. When you apply a bbq rub, you can apply it over a wet base, such as mustard, or oil (olive or canola). This is called a wet rub application, and can help the rub adhere to the surface of the meat. The most popular way to apply a rub is to shake it on heavy and dry. Once this is done, it is important to work it in, or massage it into the meat. This will help the rub flavor penetrate much quicker.

Now that I have given you the basics, it’s your turn! But, I will give a great all purpose BBQ Rub that works especially well on pork, and chicken. Enjoy!

Basic BBQ Rub
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup paprika
1/3 cup garlic salt
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper

Kevin Bevington is the Pit master of the Championship BBQ Team, He has won over 50 Championship Titles. He also sells some of the finest bbq and grilling rubs, and Barbecue Sauce. For more information, please visit:

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