The Magic of Dry Rubs and Why You Should Try It

A rub is a combination of spices that are rubbed onto raw meat, poultry or vegetables just before they are cooked. It contains no liquid and is often made with spices such as paprika and chili powder.

There are many different types of rubs. They can be made with salt and pepper, spices and herbs like oregano and thyme, jerk seasoning or other dry ingredients.

1. They add flavor

Dry rubs are a mix of herbs, spices, and other flavor-enhancing ingredients that you liberally apply and massage onto foods before cooking them. They are a great way to add big hits of flavor and create a beautiful crust on meats, vegetables, seafood, or other foods. Try a pork rib rub from BBQ Mafia and see for yourself! While marinades can also impart a lot of flavor, dry rubs are easier to make and apply to your food and tend to be more flexible in terms of the food they work with.

The most common flavors in rubs are salt, pepper, and paprika, but almost any herb, spice, or other seasoning can be used to make a rub. Paprika is particularly popular for its color-enhancing effects. Other rub ingredients include garlic powder, onion powder, chile powder or other spicy spice mixes, and ground ginger, horseradish, mustard, or other hot spices. Brown sugar and other sweeteners are often used to balance flavors in rubs. To bring out more intense flavors in your rubbing, toasting your spices is also a good idea. Toasting spices releases their oils and changes their chemical construction through a process called the maillard reaction, thereby amplifying their taste and aroma.

While you’re making your rub, be careful not to contaminate it with raw meat. The surface of meat is a playground for all kinds of nasty bacteria. When you handle the meat, rub it, and touch your other hand to the jar of rub, you can easily spread these bacteria around. When applying your rub, be sure to use one hand to sprinkle it on and one to massage it in, rather than both hands together.

Another advantage of using rubs instead of marinades is that they don’t require you to wait hours or even a day to cook the protein. You can apply the rub and then quickly cook it in a grill, oven, or other method of cooking. If the rub contains ingredients with tenderizing properties, however, it’s best to only apply it a few minutes before you plan on cooking it. Putting the rub on too far in advance may actually cause it to lose its tenderizing effect by soaking into the meat and becoming mushy.

2. They make your food tender

Rubs have the unique ability to tenderize meat while also adding flavor. This is because of the spices in the rub, and the way they work with the proteins in meat. Salt, in particular, is great at pulling moisture out of meat and changing the chemical construction of the protein strands. This makes the protein more tender and helps it brown, creating a crust while cooking. This is why seasoned salt is used as the base for most dry rubs.

Peppers are another ingredient that help with tenderizing and enhancing the flavor of meat. They are especially good for boosting the flavor of dark cuts of meat and are essential in many rub mixes. Other common spices like ginger, horseradish, and mustard all have their own unique attributes that make them ideal for rubbing into meat.

Sweetness can also play a big role in rubs. Sugar can add a lot of flavor while also helping the crust and color brown. It’s best to use small amounts of sugar, however, as it can easily overwhelm a rub. This is why it’s important to taste the rub and decide how much sweetness is needed.

If you are using a wet rub, you should lightly coat the meat before applying it. This will help it adhere to the meat better and can make it easier to remove from the grill or oven if you need to. Wet rubs often use vinegar, alcohol (like beer or bourbon), oil, or even mustard to wet the meat.

A rub can be applied to meats that are going to be grilled, slow cooked, or roasted. It’s a great way to enhance the flavors of almost any cut of meat. It’s important to remember, though, that you can’t really over-season a cut of meat with a dry rub. If the rub is over-saturated, it won’t have enough time to fully cook through and will be overly chewy.

When making a rub, it’s important to only use ingredients that you are familiar with. This will avoid any accidental allergic reactions and ensure that the flavor will be consistent. When putting together a rub, it’s also a good idea to toast any whole spices before grinding them. This will intensify the flavors and change their chemical composition to make them more potent.

3. They are easy to make

It may seem that dry rubs require a bit more prep than wet marinades but once you get the hang of it, they are easy to make and will save you a lot of time when grilling your meats. They also have more concentrated flavor so a little goes a long way.

You can use any combination of spices and herbs to create a rub for your food. The key is to mix them together well before you apply them. If you want to enhance your rubs, toasting some of the ingredients is a great option. This helps to intensify the flavors of the spices by releasing their oils and changing their chemical constructions through the Maillard effect. This can be done in a skillet or in your spice grinder.

Another tip for making dry rubs is to rub the mixture into your meat with clean hands. The surface of raw meat is a playground for bacteria, so you have to be careful when handling it. By rubbing your rub into the meat with clean hands you are helping to distribute the spices evenly. This will help to ensure that your meat is well seasoned and will have a delicious crust.

When making your own rubs you should try to use whole spices as much as possible. They will keep longer and have a fuller flavor than ground ones. If you have a grinder, it is also a good idea to grind your own black pepper and other spices instead of buying the pre-ground kind from the store. This will give you a more consistent result and it will make your rubs taste even better.

Once you’ve made your rubs, it’s a good idea to let them sit overnight before you use them. This will allow the flavors to penetrate the meat and develop a deeper flavour. Then you can either grill it or slow cook it in the oven, depending on your preference.

Whether you’re looking to take your grilled steaks, chicken thighs or even sweet potatoes to the next level, dry rubs are a great way to do it! Check out the Robertsons range of rubs to find the perfect blend for your dinner.

4. They are healthy

There’s something to be said for getting back to basics in the kitchen, and that’s what dry rubs are all about. They allow you to get the most out of your ingredients without any extra work or effort, while adding amazing flavor to whatever it is that you’re cooking up.

Generally speaking, dry rubs consist of a mix of spices and herbs that are rubbed onto meat before it is cooked to add flavor and create a crust. They can be used on anything from beef, chicken, fish or vegetables – they’re versatile and can bring almost any dish to life. The best part? They’re super easy to make!

A good rub is comprised of spices that work well together. These can include salt and pepper which are a must-have for any rub recipe, but they don’t have to stop there. If you’re using a rub for cooking at high heat levels, it’s often a good idea to add some chile powder or cayenne pepper for a spicy kick. Paprika is also popular in many rub recipes for barbecue or smoking because it gives foods a nice color when they’re slow cooked or smoked.

To make a rub, start by patting the main ingredient to remove any excess moisture with a clean cloth or paper towel. Then, apply the rub generously and gently massage it into the surface. Once you’ve applied the rub, wrap the protein in plastic wrap and leave it to sit for at least 2-4 hours, but overnight is better. This allows the flavors to meld and the proteins to tenderize.

Once your protein has been covered in a dry rub, you’re ready to grill it, bake it or cook it in the oven. Just be sure to let your food rest for 10 minutes when it’s done so that the juices can redistribute evenly. With the right rub and the right cooking method, you’ll be making mouth-watering meals that your friends and family will rave about. Try one of the many Robertsons’ masterblend rubs and braai and grill seasoning mixes to bring your next meal to life!