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gotta rub question

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
alright so using the 8-3-1-1 method and 8 being your sugar, 3 being your salt ( by the way isn't that alot of salt) now i know that one of the 1's is just a mix of whatever you want, but what is the other 1. i thought alot of rubs had quite a bit of paprika in them and just 1 part doesn't seem to be enough. i want to start developing my own rub. any help on this one would be appreciated. also does anyone know much about storage for rubs made in larger quantities than used for one smoke?
post #2 of 11
Seems like will vary some on who you ask.........seems like I remember one (Alton Brown comes to mind but don't hold me too that) where one of the 1s was chili powder.............hmmmm typing it out it doesn't seem right.

Anyhow. That is kind of a guideline to get started from, I would not worry about it too much. There is also a 2,2,1 guideline that surfaces from time to time. FWIW (which isn't much) My homemade rub that I am kind of fond of is probably 2,2,2,1,1

Either way, just keep in mind that they are just good starting points/suggestions.

Hope some of this rambling helped

Good luck
post #3 of 11
It was chili powder for AB, here is his. (had to look it up for my peace of mind)

8 parts brown sugar (light or dark, pending your taste)
3 parts kosher salt
1 part chili powder
1 part Other Stuff (Other Stuff can be anything you want, mixed however you want, so long as it adds up to 1 part. I usually favor ancho powder, cayenne, black pepper, and onion salt. AB adds in Old Bay, which appeals to my Maryland upbringing, but I think it gets lost in the mix.)
post #4 of 11
Most rubs are paprika based, so your starting point would be 2 parts paprika and 2 parts kosher salt and 1 1/2 parts packed brown sugar. Everything else can be 1 part, except for a few strong spices which could go 1/2 part. All my rubs start out this way. Alton Brown's seem way too sweet for most, and it will burn a lot quicker. Just remember... it's all in the taste.
post #5 of 11

too much sugar

With that much sugar you are going to get caramelisation which isn't really desirable. It might turn you finished product black.

In Paul Kirk's book on rubs and sauces (which you can find used on ebay for like $5) he goes through the process of designing a rub. The first thing he does is analyze commercial rubs by looking at the ingredients which are listed in order of volume. One of the first things you'll see is salt and sugar at the top. He also states that sweet paprika is the key ingredient that makes the BBQ meat that signature color.

My base rub is equal parts sugar and "seasoned" salt, 1/2 part paprika and a few teaspoons ground annatto for the red color.

From there I vary it for brisket, ribs, chicken and pork butt. For the sugar part you can go turban, raw, dried brown, cane etc.. For the salt I like garlic salt, onion salt, celery salt and sea salt. I like things hot so I've been known to grind up dried chipotle peppers and throw that in as well.

Do yourself a favor and get this book:


You can get it used and shipped < $10.

good luck,

post #6 of 11
Rich is correct. It's all taste. No rule of thumb. I took a rub recipe and tried it out and then changed it up. That's what most do. Once you find a base rub, add or take away from that point. Try AB rub and go from that point on. If you ask for a rub recipe from the group, you'll most likely get 80,000 recipes.

Have fun with it!!!! icon_smile.gif
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
hey thanks guys. so by the 8-3-1-1 method the 8 being sugar might be too much for a pork butt or brisket cause it would burn or carmalize?? i guess that does make sense that would be a sweet tooth rub. i'm just wanted to have my "own" thing. and not have to search on the net everytime i want to smoke something to find that right rub.
post #8 of 11
Some of the proportions also take into account how long you plan on leaving the rub on before you smoke, but that is probably leading down a deeper path than you want.

Like everyone has said.........experiment. There is no right or wrong if it tastes good to you.
post #9 of 11
as said above it's all about taste. You can start off with the commons and adjust to your likeing. Here's one I use for Pulled Pork.

5 TBS fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup dark B sugar
3 TBS paprika
2 TBS kosher salt
1 TBS mustard powder
2 TSP onion powder
1 TSP cayenne

It's a basic simple rub and pretty good. Somes time I'll throw chilli 1 or 2 TSP of chilli powder, cumin, and corriander. Have fun!
post #10 of 11
As you have read, it is all a matter of personal taste.. I for one do not like the taste of paprika so I came up with a rub that me and my family likes.

4 tbls brown sugar
2 tbls season salt
2 tbls garlic powder
2 tbls onion powder
1 tbls black pepper
1 tbls ground basil
1/2 tbls old bay sea food seasoning
post #11 of 11
I use the receipe for "Magic Dust" quite often. It is highlighted in the book Peace, Love, and Barbecue (which I highly recommend).

Magic Dust:


Peace, Love, and Barbecue:

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