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A FRESH Point of View: Grilling Rubs That Rock

Real grill masters know that it’s all in the rub – the secret mix of salt and spice that gets patted onto the meat or poultry before you slap it on the grill or in the smoker. A good rub will not only add a deep flavor to food, but can help hold in moisture and form a caramelized crust.

Rubs are a no-brainer to make; all you’re doing is mixing together salt, herbs, spices, and usually   sugar. But developing the perfect homemade rub mix can take years of practice. Below, I’ve given two favorite recipes. The first works best on pork or brisket; the second is delicious on just about anything. But you can also find a dizzying selection of dry rubs in the spice and herb aisle at FRESH. Some of my favorites:

Kent Rathbun Elements: The Dallas chef – you may have met him during his appearances at FRESH this summer – makes a good barbecue rub, but I really love the simple, intense flavor of his Steak and Chop Garlic Salt.

Leigh Oliver’s: Tyler’s own Leigh Vickery has created several delicious rubs and spice mixes; try her hickory-smoked Grill House seasoning, based on her dad’s longtime recipe.

Charcrust: A favorite of chefs and introduced to the home cook about a dozen years ago, this line of rubs has some unique flavors. Try the Ginger Teriyaki on grilled chicken, or the Amazin’ Cajun on catfish or shrimp.

User Friendly BBQ Rub
1 lb light brown sugar
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbs kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red chile flakes
1/4 tsp dry mustard

Mix all ingredients until evenly distributed. Store in a tight sealing container in a dry, cool place.

Makes enough rub for one big pork butt, a medium sized brisket or 3 racks of ribs.

View this recipe to print or add items to your Shopping List.

Grilling Rub
3 Tbs sweet smoked Spanish paprika
1 Tbs cracked black pepper
1 Tbs kosher or sea salt
1 tsp granulated garlic
3/4 tsp brown sugar
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients until evenly distributed. Store in a tight sealing container in a dry, cool place.

View this recipe to print or add items to your Shopping List.

When ready to use, evenly distribute over all sides of item and grill over medium-high heat. Great for beef, pork, chicken and seafood.