Meat smoker and BBQ message board newbie here, and I apologize if I've posted this in the wrong place.
I purchased my first ever smoker about 3 weeks ago and intend on making some delicious treats, however I'm having difficulty finding a well-balanced (sweet, salty, spicy, savory) rub. I smoked a pork butt last weekend and BB ribs this weekend and both times I've come away with thinking the rub was too spicy, and not in a good way.
The pork butt rub I used was 4 parts salt, 2 parts black pepper, 2 p garlic powder, 2 parts chili, 2 paprika, 2 cumin, 2 cayenne, 1 part orange peel, 1 part lemon peel. I used hickory chips every two hours for the first 6-8 hours or so.
The ribs I used a rub recipe that was:1/4 cup paprika, 4.5 teaspoons black pepper, 4.5 teaspoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1.5 teaspoons celery salt, 1.5 teaspoons cayanne, 1.5 teaspoon garlic powder, 1.5 teaspoons dry mustard, 1.5 teaspoons cumin. I used a mix of hickory and apply chips for the first 4 hours and nothing after that. I used a mop of the rub and apple cider vinegar. I did wrap them in foil the last two hours until they hit a internal temp of 188.
In both cases the rub turned out too overpowering with the cumin and the cayenne. I was hoping for something sweeter with the ribs considering I used brown sugar in the rub, apple chips and the apple cider vinegar. The vinegar added an unnecessarily acidic component to the ribs.
Do any of you smoking veterans have any suggestions of what I can try for a more balanced rub? I have loved the rubs I've had at a couple of local places and at a fantastic smokehouse in St. Louis (Bogart's Smokehouse). If I could only replicate it...
Seriously, any suggestions of how to improve my rub or flavor of the meat would be appreciated!!