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My rub recipe

Discussion in 'Pork' started by suprcharg, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. suprcharg

    suprcharg Newbie

    Brand new here so I thought I would get some thoughts on this rub. I looked at about 20 different rubs and pulled this together.

    1/2 cup dark brown sugar
    1/4 cup paprika
    2 tablespoons garlic salt
    1 tablespoons garlic powder
    1 tablespoons onion powder
    2 tablespoons chili powder
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 tablespoon black pepper
    1 Tablespoon red pepper flake

    How does that look? I'm going for a sweet heat.

    Not real sure about the Chilli powder, guess we will see how it goes!
    silverwolf636 likes this.
  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If my calculations are correct, you have a cayenne percentage of 1.67%, which won't add much heat at all. The chili powder is @ 9.68%, which is fairly well balanced for a spicy, but mild heat.

    The red pepper flakes don't add much heat to the food until you chew them up, so keep that in mind.

    The black pepper adds a bit of spicy heat, and that's a ratio of 4.92%...my milder rubs have about 9-10%.

    The brown sugar will be fine for pork ribs, beef ribs, chicken, chops, steaks and other shorter smokes (watchout for high temp grilling, though), but I'd pull it from the mix if smoking a butt, brisket or anything else which will run over 6 hours total time to smoke/cook, as sugars will carmelize after just a few hours, and shortly after will burn even at lower smoke chamber temps of 225* or so.

    I used to put light brown sugar in my spare rib rub and it worked out fine. Dark brown sugar is OK too, it just turned very dark after a few hours into the smoke, and I wasn't sure how long it would take until it started to burn, so I only used it once. If I recall correctly, it was about 2/3 the ratio as your recipe calls for. I haven't used sugars in my rubs for almost 2 years now, due to a diabetic the family.

    Some folks don't like cayenne for heat because it can leave you with a slightly bitter after-taste. I offset this with about 8-10% cinnamon by volume of cayenne pepper. If I want to pack some heat with a great flavor, I grind up a few dried ancho chilis for some heat and a great flavor not at all like the red chili in bottled chili powder, then top off the heat level with cayenne pepper and a pinch of cinnamon, and we're off to the rodeo! Ha-ha-ha!!!

    Oh, if you want to try the ancho chili route instead of red chili powder and pack alot more heat, I would double your amount and omit the red chili powder, add the bit of cinnamon, and double your cayenne. You should be able to find whole dried ancho chilis in the ethnic section of most grocery stores, near the mexican foods (taco shells, salsa, etc). Oh, I freshly grind as much of my ground spices as possible with an electric coffee grinder, but don't ever use the grinder for coffee again.

    You won't like the wild flavor of your coffee for days afterwards if you do...[​IMG]...and your significant other half will want to[​IMG]. Two grinders: one for spices, one for coffee [​IMG]

    Great smokes are coming your way...playing with dry rubs is one of my favorite past-times, 'cause once I get a new one formulated, I gotta put it on some meat, smoke it and eat it to find out if I got the new flavor craze I was looking for.

    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
    rstr hunter likes this.
  3. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    forluvofsmoke, great analytical rub post, dissecting the components into logical groups!
  4. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Eric, What Pops said. You are the mad scientist of dry rub!
  5. Outstanding post, I lvoe the science behind cooking.

    As far as the brown sugar.  I have to agree with Eric. Another thing I've noticed other than the burning if the chamber gets a bit hot as it tends to close up the meat and not allow smoke to penetrate as much, at least that's the theory I'm going on. :) 

    So having said that I now leave my sugar out of the rub and coat the meat either right before the smoke (as in ribs, I saw that technique somewhere on here) and in the case of pork shoulders I smoke it until it reaches 140 then I pack on some brown sugar.  Also when I foil I add a bit more brown sugar with whatever breaising liquid I use.
  6. bamaboy

    bamaboy Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Thank you,That helped me alot,glad I caught this post....
  7. coacher72

    coacher72 Smoking Fanatic

    The only thing I would add, if you need a little more heat is that I like adding chipotle powder to my rubs. It adds some heat with a smoky flavor. Also a little cumin is good.

    Enjoyed you post forluvofsmoke!
  8. Is there a way to print these post strings/threads?  Without printing the entire screen?  I'd love to have this recipe, Eric's scientific analysis and everyone else's recommendations in my cook book..., but I don't see an option for printing just the thread.

    Appreciate any help;

    Great thread, by the way!


  9. placebo

    placebo Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Copy and paste the text you want into microsoft word or notepad and then print it.
  10. suprcharg

    suprcharg Newbie

    Wow. LuvofSmoke, you related to Alton Brown?

    I totally agree with the way you dissected my rub. I am going to replace the chili powder with some Ancho powder or Chipotle powder.

    Were you saying to kill the 2 tbsp of red chili powder and substitute 4 tbsp of Ancho powder?

    I had also thought about replacing the paprika with smoked paprika in the future. A hint of Cinnamon seems appealing to my taste buds too.

    Thanks for everyone's cool little mods.
  11. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ha-ha!!! No, no relation to any profesisonal chef's here.

    Yeah, the thing with red chili powder is it it gives you that red chili flavor you would have with a homemade pot of chili with beans and beef. Nothing wrong with that, but it just doesn't always seem to fit the flavor profile of a smoked meat, IMHO. You could go serveral routes there, and either keep the same amount of red chili powder and add the same amount of ancho or chipotle powder, or, go with a cambo of ancho/chipotle/red chili powders, or drop the red altogether and run with a combo of ancho/chipotle...it's all about the flavor of the different powders and how they will effect your final product's flavor profile.

    If your looking for a combination of sweet & heat, there are tons of diffeent ways to get from point A to point B, but the additional flavors and differing profiles you can add are nearly countless. A bit of savory spices, some heat provoking chili powders, with some adding tons of different flavor to the background, while others just taste like something you've already eaten that did not come from a smoker.

    Personally, I go for a unique profile of flavors, some hints of background heat, some up-front heat, some savory, some sweet anmd play with the variables of differing spices and smoke woods for an all-out smoke festival on your dinner table.

    Anyway, I enjoyed going over your recipe. It brought me back about 8 years, before I knew a thing about dry rubs or the ingredients I had on hand to work with for that matter. I spent 6 years working on a spare rib dry rub which I decided to keep to 14 ingredients or less...I made minor changes to it every couple of months and just banging away at it in an attemp to figure out what each ingredient did for the rub as a whole, and how it mingled or clashed with the meat and/or smoke. Now, I have more knowledge about what each ingredient can do for the flavor and what meats they are best with and what they aren't so good with...most of this is based on my own experience, and it in turn reflects my opinion. Opinions vary widely, so you have to find out what you (and yours) like, and keep building from there. Some like hot, some not...some savory, some sweet...now a combination of all three would just about satisfy anyone, as long as the heat weren't too intense.

    Oh, that maximum of 14 ingredients rub is no longer part of my routine...I just go with the flow, and it's always good eats.

    Hey brother, have fun with your new hobby...er, addiction. And, no, the only cure is to keep that smoker warm and happy! Ha-ha-ha!

  12. Rgr, Placebo, I was going to do that but it's such a PITA..., was hoping there was an easier way.

    Thanks for the quick reply,

  13. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    If you put it on your meat and it taste good it's a good rub.
  14. wow!

    loving the disection of the rub! Very scientific!
  15. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    That post is spot on Eric.  I too have the dedicated grinder for spices. I am a Chipotle Chili head big time. I love the smokiness of it both in the whole canned version or dired. Next year I hope to get enought time to make some of my own like Rich does.   
  16. hardslicer

    hardslicer Smoking Fanatic