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Buy your rub? Or make it?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've been bbqing for about a year and a half. And was wondering what most of you guys do when it comes to rubs? I generally do St. Louis cut ribs, and pork butts every weekend. Packer brisket occasionally and steelhead salmon after I catch them.

I have a really good grocery store chain near my work. And buy all my spices and herbs in bulk quantities. I'll buy spices like paprika chili powder etc in 1 pound increments. And mix up my own blends to suit my needs. Starting off the only problem was salt content. Sometimes I would add too much. Sometimes not enough. I've gotten pretty good at blending and just eye ball the amounts now.

Here's my basic pork dry rub blend.
Brown sugar kosher salt paprika chili powder onion powder garlic powder ground rosemary cumin dry basil dry oregeno cyanne powder and freshly cracked black pepper and 2 other spices that kind of make it my own blend. For this pork blend. I would say brown sugar and paprika is about 2/5 the total volume. And the rest of the spices and herbs making up the rest. Certain spices like cumin and rosemary with a lighter touch. Because they can overwhelm the rub.

Wanted to try a good commerical rub. What do you guys like to use? I wanna buy one or two and see if my rub is good. Or needs tweaking.
post #2 of 20
I did a tremendous amount of research a couple of years ago and put about 40 recipes on a spreadsheet to see how they stacked up against each other. It was amazing how similar they were. I there were 12 overall ingredients, every one had at least 9-12 of them. Also, the major ingredients (2 or 3) were about the same %. After all of this OCD experimentation, I thought I had the perfect recipe. Of course the wife said it was too hot and needed to be sweeter, so I did a little tweakiing. After all this, I used this rub for over a year until I bought Jeff's recipes for rub and sauce. The proceeds from these recipes go to maintain and support this great site. This rub is very user friendly and you have the option of tweaking it to your personal taste. Soooo, you're buying a recipe but you're making it yourself, so you have the best of both worlds. They are awesome recipes, so give them a try.

Good luck, Joe
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well it sounds like a worthy cause! I'll definitely have to order some now. When I started making rubs. I just kind of Google a bunch. And went from there. Using spices I like. And mixing and shifting until it suited my own palate.
post #4 of 20
I make all my own. But I only use salt and pepper or salt, pepper, garlic, onion and paprika.
post #5 of 20

I make my own too.  I rarely use store bought rubs.  Typically I just throw together whatever I feel in the mood for.  I personally think the best thing to do when making your own rub is keep it simple.  Don't use too many spices, it makes it too complex and your taste buds are all over the place.  I like to keep it around 5 different spices max.  I use to use more, but since I started keeping it more simple, it has tasted a lot better, and most of my family and friends agree.  But again, do whatever tastes best for you.

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ok. Good advice guys. Pork kind of has a more neutral meat taste. So I read to make the rub a bit more complex. I'll try a simple rub this weekend. Maybe brown sugar black pepper paprika garlic powder onion powder and Chili powder and little ground ginger. Those are kind of my go to spices anyways.

When I do brisket. It's just kosher salt fresh cracked pepper paprika and a tiny bit of sugar.
post #7 of 20
I used to use famous Dave's rub kind of mild not real hot but my family liked it until I bought Jeff's recipe now that is all I use
post #8 of 20
I make my own. More often than not I just use SPOG.
post #9 of 20

When I make my own I use Jeff's recipe with my own modifications to it. I also buy a lot of blends from The Spice House. They have some great blends and are always top shelf fresh.

If I don't buy blends from them I buy all individual spices from them for making my own. Comes to spices freshness is the most important ingredient. I have picked up spice jars or bags in the grocery store and swear there was 2 years worth of dust that needed to be brushed off! :icon_eek:

post #10 of 20

I'm like the others, I started with Jeff's, then modified it to my own taste.


Sometimes, like Case said, SPOG is all you need.



post #11 of 20
I only use rubs I make myself. Friends and family always buy me rubs they find all around the country for my birthday, Father's Day , xmas ect.. But I never use them. Why. ?? Simple. I put a lot of pride and time into my smoking and if I use a store bought rub on my meats this time and the next time I can't find that rub and use something else, I get this... "It's good but you changed something !!!"
No no no . Won't let this happen.. I only use Jeff's rub. The family loves it I have "tweaked" it a bit to suit
the bride and it is always the same!! Eliminate your variables!!! For beef I add SPOG and reduce the sweetness but jeff gives you the Texas Rub recipe also.. Same goes for his Sauce. It's full bodied and you can adjust the taste as you wish.
Smoking presents us with enough hurdles to jump
Temp, weather and fuel this is why I use something that always works .. humm Johnny Trigg uses the same technique and spices for 20 plus years and he almost always wins.. He must know the secret..
Ps let's support our forum.
post #12 of 20

Like most of the guys, I've always made my own rubs...some from recipes I've found here (including Jeff's recipe), and some I've developed myself.


About a year ago, I decided I wanted to try some of the popular commercial competition rubs...to see if they were significantly better than homemade.  Of the one's I've tried so far, the only ones I really like are from Simply Marvelous.  I use their Spicy Apple Rub quite a bit these days on pork, and their Peppered Cow Brisket Rub on beef.  These aren't necessarily better than my homemade rubs...just different.


I will still always make my own...but I like trying new things, so I'll likely keep trying different commercial rubs too...just to see how they compare to what I can make myself.



post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ok. Thanks for all the help! I'll definitely be ordering Jeffs rub recipe after work. This site has always been a wealth of info. Even before I became a member recently. I agree with buying the freshest spices possible. Costco has great fresh spices.
I'm at Gordon Food Service store right now. They are basically a restaurant supply store that is open to the public. Their spice selection is top notch and very fresh. So many spices to choose from!
post #14 of 20
For beef I usually just use salt, pepper and garlic powder. Pretty basic. For pork ribs and chicken I usually use a store bought. McCormicks Grill Mates Sweet and Smoky rub. Been thinking of trying to mix my own but not real familiar with doing it as far as amounts to put in.
post #15 of 20

Like the others, I am a SPOD + Cayenne pepper kind of guy.  I have tried some of the others and while they are good, my wife wants it a bit more simple.  Everybody likes different things so you cannot go wrong by trying different rubs.

I have also done three racks of ribs cut in half and tried six different rubs.  It was a great way to find the one we liked best but none were bad.

post #16 of 20

I do a little of both. Typically I use someone else's recipe and make it with fresh ingredients. I jot them down in a notebook so it is easy to find the next time I want to make some. I read that making rubs is like baking. In order to get a consistent flavor, you need to use exact measurements. That way if you like what you made, you can make it over and over again with the same results.

post #17 of 20

i have a few rubs i like on different things that i came up with or tweaked other recipes. Although recently i have been trying Dave Bouska's Butcher rubs. I recently bought a sampler pack of all his rubs for like 8 bucks i think and i have liked all i have tried. i especially like his private blend its a good all around rub and what he says he uses in competition.  Just google butcher BBQ and you can order his stuff from his website. you won't be disappointed.


Happy Smoking,

phatbac (Aaron)

post #18 of 20

I've only mixed Jeff's so far.

Tried many different store bought stuff, most were OK. 


Haven't ate any steelhead, but I have caught a few. They sure are fun to catch with a noodle rod.

post #19 of 20

I have tried a variety of store bought rubs and came to one conclusion...Commercial rubs are a business to make money. Salt is Cheap and Spices cost! You get far more Salt than flavor. A couple of years ago my wife got a Johnny Trigg gift pack from work. Two signiture Rubs and two bottles of Sauce. Great a Big name in the Q Biz, should be Magical! Frankly I have NO IDEA how the man wins so many competitions using what was in that Box! I tried both on two different cooks and tossed the lot in the trash...JJ

post #20 of 20

I make my own most of the time, bought Jeff's recipes and the book.

I'm always trying something different, maybe those ribs I thought

were great can be better.

I've always got the ones I know are good for special times.

But I love to experiment.



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