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Rubs- Make Them or Buy Them



  • FxLynchFxLynch Posts: 433
    I just went to the natural grocer to get some spices a little fresher to make a couple rubs.  Here is a pic of some of them.  The aroma is so fresh compared to the spices I usually use in American food.

    What makes you think they are fresher?  Those spices can be 5 years old, who knows?  Grinding
    your own spices is really the only way to know how fresh your ingredients

    I like to buy smaller sized
    bottles that are sealed; big bottles may be cheaper but lose their potency
    quicker once opened.  Dizzy Pig does grind their own spices and have some great flavor profiles.

    What makes you think grinding your own is fresher?  How do you know how old the whole spices you are grinding are? They could be 22.5 years old as far as you know. Who knows?

    Smaller bottles also expose a larger portion of the contents to light and plastic (the bottle) as more of the smaller bottles spice are exposed to the packaging they are contained in, than a larger size.

    I like Dizzy Pig as well.

  • Frank,

    Exactly, I think you make my point of bottled commercial rubs can be just as fresh as the rubs you make your self.   I feel that the gentleman making rubs work hard at creating flavor, to simply shy away from their hard work in an effort to be cheaper and fresher is shorting yourself in most cases. JMO



    from SANTA CLARA, CA

  • I'm definintely a newbie, but I really like the order of Dizzy pig I bought several months back. Not cheap, though I think it's worth it.
  • onedbguruonedbguru Posts: 1,500
    We make ours... occasionally we find one pre-made that is pretty good - like Jack Stack (one of the big 3 or 4 KC bbq joints that is VERY good!!!).  In our area there is an Amish farmers market that has great prices on fresh spices so we stock up and make our own more often than not.  They have some really goooood smoked paprika - a deeper, smoky flavor than "regular" paprika. 

    For recipes, we search forums, internet sites etc and find one that sounds good - but usually end up tweaking it a bit to taste. 

    I ate a LOT of q when I was in KC.  Jack Stack, Arthur Bryants, Gates BBQ, KC MasterPiece are the more well known... There are others that are REALLY good as well...  In Lee's Summit (SE KCMO) there is a small place called the Filling Station - a vintage Texaco filling station that has outstanding q.  And there "hot" BBQ sauce is HOT!! I lived in TX - I know what HOT is... 

  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,323
    We learned how to make our own salsa by reading the ingredients on
    store-bought, looking up recipes on the web, and keeping the ingredients
    we liked and tossing the ones we didn't. Our salsa always blows people
    away partly because it's fresh and partly because it addresses all or
    nearly all of the senses. Think about mapping out the senses on the
    tongue, the olfactory, and with salsa tactile or heat! Besides the usual
    fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions, etc. we use salt, sugar, citrus,
    vinegar, herbs, garlic, and hot peppers in a nice blend to hit every or
    nearly every sensual note. We don't measure out anything except to
    determine how large the 'batch' will be in terms of the number of
    tomatoes. From there you put in at least enough of the next ingredient
    to identify it's taste in the blend. Now that we've joined the BGE
    Society it's time to work on a set of good homemade rubs using the same
  • I would recommend making your own. After a couple of years of tweaking my recipes, I now have a rib rub and brisket rub that I am happy with. I like being able to control the flavors and ingredients. But then again, I still buy store bought wet BBQ sauce.
  • jwh70jwh70 Posts: 5
    The Neelys BBq rub is all I use on pork and it's simple and awesome!
    1-1/2cups paprika
    3/4 cup of regular sugar
    3-3/4 tablespoon onion powder
    That's it rub it on any type of pork pretty heavy
    I have had nothing but complements on this
  • Make!  Way cheaper and very easy with no goofy chemicals to preserve or prevent cakiing.  Find a good one (or two or ten) and tweek to individual taste.  Then make more than you need.  When you have lots of different leftovers get a mess of wings and do them with different rubs and have a tasting party!
    My actuary says I'm dead.
  • I have John Henry and Bad Byron.  Both are excellent.  The longer you let the rub sit on the meat the better up to 2-3 hours which lets the meat get to room temp and then get it on the grill.  Also I use a light coating of Yellow Mustard to help it stick to the meat.  Some folks use oil.
  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,323
    I have a pepper garden and so have become relatively insensitive to spicy hot relative to the rest of the family and am in the process of starting 'small' and trying to 'build' a bird rub. I need to make rubs that isn't this or isn't that for the wife (toooo hooooot! fortunately she's hot!) and small childs (HOT, HOT, HOT! just with a lot of black pepper, one even has a garlic allergy, poor kid). And premade rubs almost always have garlic or something 'too hot'.

    Anyway, for spatchcock chicken, which we've quickly grown to favor, I've simply been putting enough celery seed into a small bowl to cover the bird of the moment. And then by eye throw in SOME black pepper, SOME unground rosemary, and 'enough' salt. Well just about everything has salt and pepper so now we're talking about celery seed and rosemary. They form a very aromatic and tasty flavoring that toasts up nice with the bird. So nice in fact that I'm almost hesitant to even try to add another ingredient. Eventually I will and haven't thought yet what that will be (any suggestions? That's kind of what I thought we'd talk about in this forum a little, each spice ingredient). In the meantime we have a family-friendly rub that Dad likes, too!
  • @bigguy136  Have you started making your own rub mix?  I like making my own because I can control the sugar and salt.  There are way too many rubs that seem to use salt and sugar as fillers. 
    That said there are a few rubs out there that or just plain good, Cluck and Squeal is one and if you what heat the Rattlesnake Dust is another  Caveat: Rattlesnake Dust is hot if you don't have a tolerance for heat then mix it with other spices.  It seems to play well with every spice and rub I have mixed it with.  
    Don't forget fresh herbs can make a wonderful wet rub too
    Large, small and mini now Egging in Rowlett Tx
  • billyraybillyray Posts: 1,171


    Since garlic is out, how about some onion powder and cumin. I've used fennel seed before and really enjoy that flavor.

    Felton, Ca. 2-LBGE, 1-Small and waiting on a mini
  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,161
    edited January 2012
    @bigguy136  Have you started making your own rub mix? 

    I live in
    the frigid cold up north (Minnesota). I do some smoking in the cold and bought
    some of the popular rubs but this spring I will start making my own.

    Thanks and
    will start posting some cooks/ results/ questions in another two months.

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • mrjwhitmrjwhit Posts: 83
    Been using 3 beer. I'd certainly like to make my own just for the skill and eggperience. 
    Large BGE as of Father's day '12
  • MattlockMattlock Posts: 64
    edited July 2012
    The Neelys BBq rub is all I use on pork and it's simple and awesome!
    1-1/2cups paprika
    3/4 cup of regular sugar
    3-3/4 tablespoon onion powder
    That's it rub it on any type of pork pretty heavy
    I have had nothing but complements on this
    No Salt? :-O
    Newbie Egghead - Just got a LBGE at the Georgia Eggfest! Life is Good!
  • I do both...I enjoy making my own, it gives you a sense of accomplishment when it turns out really good.  However, I live in Southeast Texas and we have a little mom and pop business that makes some of the best BBQ rubs, Poultry rubs and steak seasonings out there in my opinion and supposedly coffee if you are into that sort of thing.  It is TexJoy.  You can check them out on and you will see the variety of seasonings and rubs and crawfish boil additives and coffee and.......  They have a unique cajun influence.  In fact I plan on doing a couple of whole chickens this evening using their poultry rub.  I used it previously and I think it is just absolutely great!  And their prices are very reasonable!

  • trin98trin98 Posts: 3
    I enjoy making my own when I have time. I do a large batch and keep it sealed using my FoodSaver. One hint for anyone using brown sugar in a recipe!!!! Be sure you dry it first to avoid clumping. Lay out some parchment paper on a baking sheet or stone, and place in the oven at the lowest setting possible (mine drops to 115 degrees). Leave it in there for about 15-20 minutes depending on the humidity level of your house and where you live. I'm in Florida, so it takes closer to 30 minutes. Once it's done, remove and let completely cool. Some of the sugar may be stuck together which is ok! The point is to remove the moisture. If you get large amounts stuck together, break it up and place it in a ziplock bag, and gently roll a glass or rolling pin over the bag to break it up. Some of the sugar may turn into brown sugar powder, but who cares! You're using it in your rub :)
    XL BGE, Green Mountain Daniel Boone, Luxor 50" Built In
  • lemonadelemonade Posts: 93
    Now everyone knows why finding a spice route to the orient was worth risking sailing 3 entire ships and crews over the horizon into the great unknown for.....   LOL
    Is it done yet? Is it done yet?
  • YukonBillYukonBill Posts: 23
    I don't think you can beat a rub that you make addition to being satisfying to make your own they taste much better.  I'm also a huge proponent of toasting/roasting my own spices and then grinding on my own and mixing them up.  You'd be amazed what freshly toasted cumin, cinnamon or peppercorns smells and tastes like compared to what you get pre ground.  Absolutely night and day.

    It is more expensive that just buying a coffee grinder but well worth the small extra investment, it works perfectly.  One of my top BGE accessories.
  • HogHeavenHogHeaven Posts: 294
    Want to become an expert on making your own rubs, brines and marinade's. It's easy, easy, easy... Just let Meathead teach you. He is the owner of the best BBQ website on the net. Google and read all he has written on these topics. You will never buy the rubs with all of the additives in them again.
  • I make my own rubs. When possible I buy whole seeds and minimally processed herbs and spices from DeKalb Farmers market east of Atlanta. The product turn over is high and price point low. I throw out (waste if you like) any rub after 30-45 days. I try to make up small batches for a rub I have never used but the standbys' I make enough to last 30-45 days. I use my BGE weekly in the winter and about every other day in warmer weather.
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