Flavour is the most important thing to consider when barbecuing for a large group. Too little seasoning, and your steaks may taste like ash instead. Too much flavouring and the original taste of the dinner you spent so much money on goes to waste. The right amount of rub and seasonings can make a dinner a meal to remember, so finding or making the right one can be a big deal.
Rubs are one great way to add the flavour you need to a dish. Due to the wide range of seasonings that can be put into a mix, rubs are great options for barbecues and smoking and can even add an international twist to your lunch or dinner.
If you’re looking to buy rubs for your next backyard barbeque party or need a new grill and accessories, click here to get everything you need. If you would prefer to make your own rubs and want to learn more about them, this article will cover what you need to know.
Rubs, Sauces and Marinades
When it comes to making sure that your steaks and ribs have proper flavour after they’ve been cooked, it’s important to season the food first. However, there are two main ways you can do this, either by using dry rubs or by marinating it. If you’ve only just started to cook and grill, though, you may not know the difference yet.
Marinating often involves a paste or sauce that’s used to coat and flavour most meats and vegetables over a period of time, usually an hour minimum. These marinades were originally made of an assorted mixture of spices and an acidic liquid ingredient, like vinegar or wine, that helped tenderise tougher foods while seasoning them. They also deepened the food’s original flavour and could also have added salt without the need for adding more via seasoning. Today, thanks to the invention of tenderising agents, some cuisines can replace the acidic ingredient with something like oil
The name tends to speak for itself when it comes to dry rubs. Dry rubs don’t have any liquid content and, as such, are just powdered seasonings. Depending on the type of cuisine, dry rubs that include common ingredients like onions and garlic can still be used thanks to their dried and powdered options. This allows some rubs to have a much longer shelf life than marinades and can last for up to two years on average.
Though most grillers tend to use sauces as an add-on once the food’s been cooked, they can also be used as a marinade. Much like rubs, these sauces come in various ingredients to suit different cuisines, like Cajun and Mexican spice blends. And like marinades, sauces can be used before cooking to add flavour.
Benefits of barbecue rubs
Dry rubs are great to use for barbecues for several reasons. When cooked, the rub creates a crisped layer over any meat, similar to battered fish or chicken. This allows the meat to seal in any heat or juiciness it has, further adding to the flavour the rub adds to the dish. The “skin” formed by rubs makes it great for the more inexperienced barbecuer as well.
Additionally, due to the main fact that dry rubs contain very little if any liquid, they can be considered portable. If you plan to take your barbecue along with you for camping trips or to the beach, all you need to do is pack your bottle of rub. It’s made much better by the fact that you don’t need to wait a long time for the flavours to sink in, since the process of applying the rub pushes the seasonings in. Once applied, you can place it on a lit grill right away.
What goes into a good barbecue rub
When it comes to making your homemade rub to use at your next party, making sure that the flavours are just right is key. It’s hard to appeal to everyone with all the different opinions on what’s good and what’s not. The good news is that there are quite a few classic staples when it comes to making your own dry rubs, and a lot of them have a few common ingredients too.
If you’re looking to make a classic barbecue rub, all you need is five basic ingredients: salt, pepper, garlic powder, sugar, and onion powder. You can add a few extra ingredients, depending on whether you want spice or a more caramelised sweetness to the cooked food. You can add dry mustard, smoked and normal paprika for a spicier kick to your barbecue rub. Additionally, you can use brown sugar instead of white.
Similarly, Cajun rubs include onion powder, garlic powder, salt and sugar and pepper as some of its key ingredients. On top of those, you can add dried herbs like oregano, thyme, and basil. For extra spice, you can add white pepper in addition to black pepper and regular paprika. If you don’t have white pepper, more black pepper works just as well.
The ingredients in a chipotle rub are quite simple. Though they don’t include pepper usually, you could add some finely ground to substitute for paprika. Other than that ingredient, for a good chipotle dry rub, you need sugar, salt, dry mustard, ground cumin and dried ground chipotle pepper.
A good dry rub can make a barbecued lunch or dinner great. Though they need to be rubbed into the meat by hand, dry rubs can form a delicious crispy layer when grilled, all while keeping the juiciness that everyone loves. Additionally, thanks to powdered ingredients, dry rubs can last for up to two years and can also be taken wherever you go. Once properly applied, you can then place your meat directly onto a hot grill without waiting. While marinades and rubs are great options, dry rubs can help everyone, including anyone new to barbecuing.
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