I have been a long time griller and am branching out to smoking. I can slap a steak on the grill or a roast on my rotisserie and have everyone at the diner table chowing down rather than talking, but for some reason have never tried smoking before last weekend. My first attempt were baby back ribs which turned out great and had my youngest son coming back for seconds when we usually have to force feed him anything with a bone in it.
But here is the rub (pun intended) when it comes to smoking...... I am an experimenter and prefer to make my own rubs and sauces. I am trying to find a source for general "rules" (which I will be sure to break) for creating rubs and sauces. Basically, what works and does not work with different meats. For instance, I know that mint is good in preparing lamb but can ruin a good steak or a good orange marmalade is good for a roasted ham but did not work so well on a shoulder roast....... Yea, I tried them both. I also would assume most of my grilling knowledge will transfer to smoking, but being that I rarely use rubs on my grill and when I do, I will take a commercial rub and add my own tastes to it, I am trying to find general rules for the meats I put in my smoker
For my ribs this last weekend I used a rub made out of McCormick's Steak House Rub and added sage, scallions additional garlic and red pepper and for my BBQ sauce, I use a combination of Sweet Baby Rays regular sauce and Sweet Baby Rays Spicy and added white vinegar, Worcester sauce and a combination of spices I had laying around..... What I really would like to develop is a rub with all fresh ingredients and a sauce I can call my own rather than enhance store bought.
My question or what I am looking for is:
What are the basic ingredients for rubs for pork, ham, beef, ribs, butt etc....?
What should I use for glazes or do you even glaze for smoking?
What other things can I add to my smoking recipes?
I am not looking for recipes as much as I am basic considerations for my own concoctions. What are the ingredients I need to buy in bulk rather than a 2 oz spice bottle? When do I use apple juice instead of white vinegar? When should I go sweet rather than spicy? And most importantly, what to use with the specific meat of the day?
Finally, if there is a good book on this topic, please recommend. So far, I have not found any that are what I am looking for.
thanks in advance for your help and recommendations.