Homemade Texas style rub

Discussion in 'Sauces, Rubs & Marinades' started by lovelife, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. lovelife

    lovelife Smoke Blower

    I made a rub for my ribs and did it Texas style. Lots of black pepper, it has a nice kick to it but for most people in the area I live in this will be a tad too spicy.

    My rub consists 1 part salt, 2 parts black pepper, some paprika for color and a little bit of garlic and onion powder. 

    When I use the rub on my ribs the way I can tell how much I put on it is by the black color of the pepper.

    It makes sense that using less rub is the solution, right? Because if I change the ratio and add some more of the other spices, I am still going to check for the color of the pepper on my ribs and if I go for the same color that means I used just as much pepper as last time=same amount of heat.

    The answer is probably really obvious, but I am kind of confused. Maybe I am overthinking it.

    Anyway, some help would be appreciated. Thanks!
  2. lamar

    lamar Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I don't understand why you are going by the color of the pepper on the ribs. If they are too spicy, simply cut back on the amount of rub.
  3. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I don't go much by the color when applying dry rub...color of the rub will change when it gets wet from moisture drawn out of the meat, and, can be quite deceiving. I look for how much of the meat or fat is hidden by the rub. With ribs, it's pretty easy to overdo the rub application for some people's tastes, especially with a high ratio of black pepper or anything that's heat-provoking such as chilies/peppers. BTW, garlic can have a bite as well, but it doesn't seem to catch you in the back of your throat like black pepper can. Garlic is more of a slow heat that builds up over time. I had a relative nearly choke due to the black pepper in a cured/smoked semi-dry sausage I made several years ago...completely caught her by surprise.

    The rub you speak of is just a slightly modified SPOG. Preferences vary, but depending on the meat, I tend to learn more towards onion and garlic, with less salt and slightly less pepper, falling somewhere between 1:1:1.5:1.5 and 1:1.5:2:2 ratios. By just increasing OG you are effectively reducing the pepper and salt.

    If visual signs don't give relatively uniform results during rub application you could go by weights of the meat vs measure of dry rub...that may seem like overkill, but if uniformity is an issue, that's your best bet. How you apply the rub is really the first step, though. Finer particles tend to stick more easily than coarse ground, and when sprinkled on from more distance above, it scatters more uniformly (reducing heavy and light areas). I find coarse ground rubs to be the most difficult to apply with any real uniformity. If you actually work the rub into the surface, that will also change uniformity vs just letting it sit and bond naturally. Salt in the rub draws some moisture from the meat and helps the rub to stick while it rests for a few minutes before handling. Being you're doing Texas style you probably aren't slathering the meat with mustard...I never have done that...just meat and spices, with an occasional olive oil and/or butter pre-rub treatment for yard birds, although I prefer to just work it into the skin.

    Coarse vs fine ground black pepper: coarse tends to give more bite when you chew it up with less up-front bite and flavor; fine ground is more up front, allowing you to use much less for the same overall flavor.

    Smaller particle size of anything in your rub has less lingering flavor and is stronger from the beginning. Depending on what you really want your dining experience to be, you can fine-tune you rub ingredients based on particle size alone. If you want up-front and longer lasting flavors of any particular ingredient you simply use varied particle size to cover the middle and both ends, from bite to chew to swallow. Think about it like smoke wood size: small goes quicker with more smoke at the start...larger goes slow and long.

  4. lovelife

    lovelife Smoke Blower

    Thank you so much for your reply Eric!
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you want moderate heat and consistency. You need to start to weigh or volume measure your rub, experiment, document and when satisfied stick to that recipe and amount. Me, with SPOG and slight variants, I like 1 to 1 for ingredients and 1/4C per rack of ribs. I use Diamond Kosher Salt, fresh ground Coarse Black Pepper and Granulated Garlic and Onion. I am sometimes lazy and this is easy to remember...JJ

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