Dry rubs are mixture of seasonings, spices and herbs liberally applied to coat the outside of poultry, meat and fish prior to grilling. Salt is usually the starting ingredient for the barbecue rub, since it helps the other ingredients of the rub to penetrate. Salt rounds out the flavors of other ingredients in the rub. When exposed to high heat, sugar caramelizes which makes it another popular addition to rubs. If you add a sugar in the rub, it should be done sparingly, since it burns easily. When using nuts, seeds, spices and dried herbs, it’s better to crush them first, because that way they will release more of their flavor. However, the only rule about preparing rubs is that there is no right or wrong mixture, everything is a matter of personal preferences. In general, rubs can be dry or wet. Dry rub contains spices and dried herbs and this mixture adheres using the natural moisture of the poultry, meat and fish. Wet rubs have also a moist ingredient added to herbs and spices, for example finely chopped garlic, yogurt, mustard, oil etc. Wet rubs are often referred to as pastes, because of their consistency.When applying rubs, especially dry rubs, you should keep in mind that it takes some time to work its magic. If you apply a rub to poultry with skin on, place the mixture under the skin. Lightly scoring poultry (fish or meat) helps the flavors penetrate further. How long before the cooking should rub be applied on food? This spans from 15 minutes up to several hours depending on the density of the rub and the strength of the flavors it contains. The rubbed food should be kept in the fridge (even though it elongate the required preparing time), for safety’s sake.
How to store dry rubs? If you keep them in tightly closed containers, they will be safe and easy to use up to six months. However, if you plan to store a larger batch of dry rubs, use spices and dried you have bought the most recently, since they lose their flavor after the can has been open for a year or so.
*Big Fat Daddy’s barbecue offers a free dry rub guide!