Juniper berries in my dry rub?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by old poi dog, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Aloha All,

    A family freind sent me a pound and a half of dried Juniper Berries. First time for me. I would like to include it in my pastrami dry rub. I originally thought I'd toast them up with coriander seed, mustard seed and whole peppercorns then grind them up in the coffee grinder. However the juniper berries have some moisture between the skin and the inner hard seed. Can I still go with the original plan?
  2. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The ones I have received have always been dried but many spices and seeds will have a 10-20% moisture content in them which would have the need to dehydrate them a bit more for a rub.
    Considering you are using it as part of a pastrami rub I wouldn'nt worry about drying it all the way. Hell, when you toast seasonings (glad to hear you are doing that with yours, gives another level of flavor) the oils that are activated and released are moist themselves but are still perfectly fine.

    To shorten my answer, yes, toast them up but don't add them too early, have to be careful to not burn the skins too much, I would add them towards the end right before turning off the heat, this will still heat them, activate the oils and get rid of the risk of overcooking/burning the skins of the berries.
  3. plj

    plj Meat Mopper

    I get them at a local shop here, they cost about a buck for a small jar (maybe a dozen tbls). Like FIU says, they probably have about 10-20% moisture. Drier than a raisin, but not like a peppercorn. Anyway I just grind them up in the coffee grinder.

    Why are you concerned that they're not totally dry? They will absorb moisture from the meat, so they'll be moist again a couple hours after you rub them on anyway.
  4. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Aloha Fire it Up and Plj,

    Thanks for the information. I asked because I was wondering as to the order that I should add it to the pan when toasting the seeds. I try to do the coriander first, then the peppercorns and then the mustard seeds. I will add it towards the end and make sure the skins do not get burnt. I'll post qviews when I do the pastrami sometime next week. [​IMG]

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