Dry Rub Seasonings, the Ultimate “Man Food”


Part 4 of the Series on
DIY Holiday Gift Giving from the Kitchen


Caricature1You are probably thinking, “Herb Lady, I have men on my gift giving list too. What can I make from the kitchen for them?” Well, meat rubs of course! Meat rubs are gaining in popularity with chefs and Joe Barbecues alike, and it’s easy to understand why. Rubs are a fantastically simple way to add flavor and nuance to everyday meals. And what man can resist the lure of firing up the grill and showing off his carnivorous cooking skills? Quite a few of the ladies on your list may enjoy them too!

A rub is a mixture of herbs, spices, and seasonings liberally applied directly to coat the outside of meat, poultry, or fish before cooking. What makes a rub different from a marinade is that you apply the flavoring directly to the surface of the meat itself. This gives you a different way to control the intensity and distribution of the seasonings. Dry rubs adhere using the natural moisture of the meat, poultry, or fish and many chefs prefer dry rubs as opposed to wet rubs for grilling because they won’t burn, which also makes them perfect for meats that require long cooking times, like briskets and ribs.

Salt is always a great starting place for a rub. It helps the rub penetrate, and it rounds out and brings together the flavors of the ingredients. Sugar is also a popular addition to rubs as it caramelizes when exposed to high heat. If adding a sugar, do so sparingly as they burn easily. If using seeds, nuts, dried herbs, or spices, be sure to crush them first to release all their flavor. The only real rule is that there is no right or wrong mixture. It’s all a matter of personal preference!

That being said, here are a few basic rubs to get you started.

Recipes

How long a rub should rest on the food before cooking spans from 15 minutes to two hours and up to several hours. It depends on the density of what you are applying it to and how strong the flavors of the rub are. The thicker the steak, the longer you should marinate it in the refrigerator before cooking. A good rule of thumb is 1-2 tablespoons of rub per pound of meat.

After crushing seasoning to release the flavors, apply a rub, wrap the meat in plastic and place it in the refrigerator before cooking. This will allow the meat time to absorb the flavor from the various spices. A plastic Ziploc bag is great for this. You can apply the rub and freeze too. Just thaw and enjoy at a later time.

Montreal Steak Seasoning Rub

One of my personal favorites when grilling steaks…

1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dehydrated onion
1/2 tablespoon dried garlic
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 tablespoon dried fennel
1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar

  1. Mix all dry ingredients well and pour into a container with a tight seal.
  2. Dry rubs will keep in tightly closed containers up to 6 months. If you’re planning on storing a large batch of dry rub, use the most recently dried herbs and spices. Most lose their flavor after the bottle has been open for 9 months to a year.

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Dry Rub for Wild Game

Try coating a venison flank steak (sometimes called a London broil) with this, searing it quickly on the grill until medium-rare and then slicing it across the grain into very thin, spice-edged strips. You can also make a killer Carolina-style barbecue “mopping” sauce for game by adding it to some apple cider vinegar and a little tomato sauce.

1/4 cup ground black pepper
1/4 cup sweet paprika
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons dried thyme
3 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed and minced
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  1. Mix all dry ingredients well and pour into a container with a tight seal. For best results, use your fingers to fully distribute the juniper oils.
  2. This is enough for 8 to 10 pounds of meat. Dry rubs will keep in tightly closed containers up to 6 months. If you’re planning on storing a large batch of dry rub, use the most recently dried herbs and spices. Most lose their flavor after the bottle has been open for 9 months to a year.

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Chipotle Dry Rub

This one’s for the Tex-Mex and chili fans. The chipotle peppers and smoked jalapenos in this rub give it a lot of flavor. Delicious on brisket, steak and pork, this it especially flavorful on flank steak, a Tex-Mex favorite dish.

2 dried chipotle peppers
3 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried cilantro leaves
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground dry orange peel

  1. Combine all ingredients in a spice mill or blender, and grind until even.  Finely grind this rub for maximum results.
  2. Dry rubs will keep in tightly closed containers up to 6 months. If you’re planning on storing a large batch of dry rub, use the most recently dried herbs and spices. Most lose their flavor after the bottle has been open for 9 months to a year.

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Pork Country-Style Rib Rub

Pack on this dry rub onto your next rack of pork spare ribs.

2 tablespoons tomato powder
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon bell pepper powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Mix all dry ingredients well and pour into a container with a tight seal.
  2. Dry rubs will keep in tightly closed containers up to 6 months. If you’re planning on storing a large batch of dry rub, use the most recently dried herbs and spices. Most lose their flavor after the bottle has been open for 9 months to a year.

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Pollo Tropical Chicken Rub

This rub is an easy, surefire way to add a little taste of the islands to your bird. The orange flavor combined with nutmeg and cloves can’t be beat. This is great on turkey, giving it an decidedly different taste from the traditional Thanksgiving fare. Note: If you are cooking a large bird, double the recipe.

2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons dried orange zest, powdered
1 tablespoon dried lemon zest, powdered
1 tablespoon finely ground black pepper
1/4  teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4  teaspoon ground cloves
1/4  teaspoon ground chilies

  1. Mix all dry ingredients well and pour into a container with a tight seal.
  2. Dry rubs will keep in tightly closed containers up to 6 months. If you’re planning on storing a large batch of dry rub, use the most recently dried herbs and spices. Most lose their flavor after the bottle has been open for 9 months to a year.

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Fish Sweet and Spicy Rub

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

  1. Mix all dry ingredients well and pour into a container with a tight seal.
  2. Dry rubs will keep in tightly closed containers up to 6 months. If you’re planning on storing a large batch of dry rub, use the most recently dried herbs and spices. Most lose their flavor after the bottle has been open for 9 months to a year.

Download Free Printable Labels for you own containers here: Dry Rub Seasoning Blend (labels).

 

Footer Part 5 ROUND

If you missed any of the previous parts of this series, they can be found here:
Part 1, Popular Herb/Spice Blend Recipes
Part 2, The REAL Stars of Movie Night—Popcorn Seasoning Blends
Part 3, Gifts from the Sea—Flavored Salt Blends