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Quick and dirty rubs and sauces.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm not big on using sauce during the cooking process. I like the taste of the meat and smoke, but I do enjoy having some sauce on the table for dipping and such. Thing is, I hate bottled sauce, at least most of what I've tried. They're generally kind of one dimensional and bland.

Store bought rubs, by the same token, are usually little more than flavored salt. So, in case anyone's interested, here's what I like to do.

First I'll make a rub. I don't like to over think this. I usually start with some brown sugar, chili powder, onion and garlic powder. Then I'll add whatever I'm feeling at the time. For pork, I like a little cinnamon and nutmeg. For chicken a little rosemary and thyme. For beef, celery seed and maybe some rosemary. Fish gets a dash of lemon pepper. I'll toss in some cayenne and or red pepper flakes as the mood strikes me. I try to go light on the salt. Once I have my rub the way I want it, if I want sauce I just take equal amounts of whatever rub I'm using and brown sugar. Add some apple juice and cider, balsamic or red wine vinegar (or beer, wine, grape soda pop or what have you) in a 2:1 ratio 'til I get a thick syrup. If the sugar isn't dissolving to my liking, I'll microwave it for a couple minutes. (by the way, it's a lot easier to thin a too thick sauce than thicken a too thin sauce) Then I'll divy it up into 3 equal batches. To one I'll add some ketchup, ending up with a thick, sweet Memphis style sauce which can be divided in 2, one half getting a healthy dose of cayenne, minced habaneros or tabasco for a sweet/hot sauce. To another I'll add a small amount of ketchup and more of the apple juice and vinegar as well as a pinch of red pepper flakes, resulting in a thin Carolina style sauce. To the third, I'll add some mustard and maybe a little bit of white wine, giving me a North Carolina mustard sauce. Proportions are guessed at on the fly and are completely dependent on the consistency and character you're going for. The cool thing (to my mind) about doing it this way is that since the sauce and rub are made from the same base of spices, your meat and sauces are automatically perfectly complementary. If you use whatever beer or wine you're planning to have with the meal as part of your liquid in the sauce, there's another complementary component.

Generally speaking, the total amount of time I'll spend making the rub and all the different sauces is under 30 minutes.

It's fun, home made and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing exactly what you're feeding your friends and family.

post #2 of 4

Mdboatbum-thanks for the tip. I'm not a regular sauce user, but when I do end up using a bottled sauce I find that the rub and the sauce doesn't always compliment each other.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Dutch, that's the thing. I could never see going to the trouble of making a rub and then completely obscuring it with bottled sauce.

By the way, hope Mrs. Dutch is doing better.

Edited by Mdboatbum - 5/31/11 at 11:59am
post #4 of 4

Thanks Mdboatbum, I was wondering what rub to use on my Brisket this weekend. I'm going to try yours for beef...unless you have different advice on Briskets?

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