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Tri tip, pork roast, and experimenting with rubs

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Last week I experimented with making rubs with various foods.  I ground up dried fruit into a powder and used as a base for a rub.  Used cherries, apples, pineapple, dried oranges I was not all that impressed with those rubs.  The more savory base of 3 tablespoons paprika, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and black and chiptole pepper was my favorite.  From that based I add my favorite herbs and the all time favorites garlic and onion powder.  Here are pictures of those.  I used a pork roast that I cut into 4 pieces for the dried fruit rubs and a beef tri tip for the savory rub. 


Here is the tri tip.  It was about 3 1/2 pounds and smoked it for 6 hours. 





2011-10-25 03.59.19.jpg


tri tip before smoking


tri tip after smoking


Here are the 3 pieces of pork roast


dried fruit rub




From left to right Apple N spice, Orange Ginger, Cherry Chiptole


Finished Smoking Cherry Chiptole





Apple N Spice and ORange Ginger


2011-10-27 07.56.52.jpg


I think that the fruit based rubs need more brown sugar and salt.



post #2 of 11

The Tri-Tip looks great, What temp did you pull at?

post #3 of 11

It all looks great. Don't discount the fruit based rubs yet try them on some poultry bet it would be good then

post #4 of 11

Looks like you had a nice project for getting a smoke going. The pork roast has some great color inside...love the tri-tip, too. I still haven't tried a tri-tip, to this day...sheesh! I like to experiment alot with flavor profiles myself...been accused of being the mad scientist of rub, among other things...LOL!!! Anyway, were there any flavors which seemed way out in left field? Over-powering, or too far in the back-ground?


I've never tried dried orange or pineapple, myself...I think the acidity of those may be high enough that it may give a stronger sweet/sour flavor for most meats. Well, milder cuts of pork (loin & center-cut chops) and chicken would work with a good selection of savories. Rosemary, thyme, oregano, cumin, maybe a bit of sweet basil, depending on the theme of the recipe you're looking for, should pick it up and carry more depth and back-bone to the flavor profile. I have used fresh orange and lemon (along with the zest) for marinades with pork chops, and they went over very nicely. Lemon/pepper chicken or pork chops (with garlic) is great on the grill or smoked, too. Not sure how I would bring pineapple into a dry rub, though...I'd would have to think about that one for a bit, but I'm imagining a similar treatment as with lemon or orange for savories, and possibly use a heat provoking ingredient as in your ginger, or, some moderately hot chilies.


Another thought on the citrus rubs is to blend some fruitwood (cherry, apple, peach, plum) along with a touch of hickory for some extra bite. Cherry and apple are great solo, or blended, and pecan as a third addition to the blend takes them over the top with pork and poultry. So, what you aren't getting from the dry rub, you can bring into the end product with the smoke wood you choose.


Have you looked at my Hawg Heaven Rub? Since you're playing with the ground fruits for dry rubs, this may give you some ideas on where to go with your project as well. It has cherry, apple and red bell pepper for the base...great rub for pork shoulder and milder cuts alike.


Hawg Heaven Rub Wiki


Pics got really skewed/stretched for some reason in the Wiki, so if you want a better visual, here's the thread:

Hawg Heaven Rub and Here Piggy-Piggy Brine


Another one you may want to check out is my Cherry Dry Rub. I have several variants for beef and pork, cherry spiced corned beef pastrami, etc. The Wiki is found HERE.


Or, how about Cherry/Balsamic Marinated Ribeyes?


Oh, I can't forget about Cherry/Balsamic Wet Rubbed Pork Ribs !!!



When formulating a new rub, marinade, brine, etc, be sure to smell and taste before using it. You can usually tell if something in specific is too strong or too weak in the overall profile, especially with some practice. Sometimes you may get in a pinch, and have a strong flavor that you want to smooth over a bit. A sniff of this and a sniff of that, and next thing you know, you find the solution in your spice cabinet.


A few things can change in the overall profile after cooking, such as cracked black pepper becoming more intense and giving a bit stronger bite to the throat (especially with high temp grilling), but for the most part, taste and smell will tell you alot about what's going on inside that container before you toss it onto something. Experience with using this method, like anything else, will give you a better understanding of what can happen to various spices and herbs after cooking, based on what the blend smelled and tasted like before use. Practice, and patience with yourself while you build this skill are beneficial and critical to your success. Passion for the art/craft is a must...either you want this badly, or you don't...I think you already have the passion, or you wouldn't have started this thread.


I hope this helps you understand where you are now with your rubs, and what you can do to get where you want to be...getting there's the fun part, so just let it happen, 'cause nothing but great eats can come of it, and the experience and knowledge you gain from working out the details is priceless...you can't buy this with any amount of money.


I'm assuming you're smoking with an electric? Just curious, as I didn't see a smoke ring, but the lack of a smoke ring doesn't effect the smoke flavor.


Stay with it...you will be rewarded with very unique dishes and entree's that can be found nowhere else but from your cookers!




post #5 of 11

Everything looks delicious!

post #6 of 11

It ALL looks great from here !!!


Thanks for the Views!!




post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the great suggestions.  That is a great idea cherry balamsic I will definitely try that.  I think I needed to use more sugar and salt in the recipe too that  was one big problem.  With the orange Ginger adding some orange zest would have given the rub more orange flavor.   I learned also that if I want the flavor of a particular spice or fruit I really need to use alot. It seems to just fade out in the smoking process or end up in the bottom of the pan or so than if I was baking it in the oven.   I went online and ordered alot of spices and herbs and have some dried orange zest coming. So I will experiment with that. We like the home made mustard and the cost of the mustard seeds the yellow and brown are redicilous $4-5.00 for a 1/2 ounce so I went online and found a company that is selling 4 ounces for that price.   I am smoking with an electric but I am adding hickory wood chips but not alot 1/4 cup every 45 mins to hour.  I have a cajun injection smoker I get a nice smoke flavor. I rarely use the oven any more.  Smoke up enough meat to last a week. 



Ti tip I think is the best cut to use.  It turns out so tender and moist.  That is the only beef I smoke now.  The layer of fat on the outside keep the meat really moist. There is a store chain Smart and Final Wholesale Chain that was around before Costco or Sam's Club.  My parents haad several businesses and shopped there all the time.   I think they are primarily on the West Coast but I am not sure about that. Their tri tip is only $2.95 pound quality is fantastic.  Where every where else it is $6.00 a pound.   Last one I bought had 4 tri tip in it.  I am making my own corn beef and pastrami right now with the 2 smallest ones.  They has been in the brine for four days now.  I doubled the spices so we will see what happens.  So by a week from now we will be eating homemade pastrami with home made mustard on rye.  Doesn't get any better that that. 


I just learned about device that T Johnson invented and I am going to get one of those. I do have a passion for smoking meats. I was raised in a small town 10 miles off Lake Mead and my Dad fished every day that the wind didn't blow. He also did alot of hunting Deer etc.  He smoked fish, vension, chicken. Made alot of jerky. He made several homemade smokers and so one year for Christmas I bought him his first manufactured smoker. He had the money to buy one but just never did. He used it all the time. Then two years ago I bought my brother one.


Thanks again and have a great weekend. Ivie

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Tried cherry rub with balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar huge difference.  Thanks for the suggestion.  Type of vinegar made a huge difference.  One of the big things I learned that rubs, marniated need to be more instense that if you were cooking in a conventional oven.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

I did check out the cherry balsmic vinger recipe.  I used same spices except I have brown sugar, chiptole pepper ( I like the heat and smokey flavor it has) in the one I made.  I didn't add water just used as a rub and let meat rest of 3 days.  

post #10 of 11

Very good BearViews of a great looking chunks of meat.


post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks tri tip turned out really great.   I have been brining a tri tip with seasonings to make pastrami since Wednesday.  I plan to smoke it Friday.  

Have  great weekend!!!! 

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