Rubs or SnP?

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Nov 25, 2023
Just curious as I have no real-world experience yet... and I realize it is subjective and something that will take some experimenting to figure out for myself. With that having been said, I see Franklin and the other notables using mainly salt and pepper for their briskets, pulled pork, etc., but a lot of other Youtubers use all kinds of rubs and spices. Again, I realize this is subjective and needs some testing, but I also do not want to potentially ruin any expensive meat for the family with something that is too over the top. What are your thoughts?

Thank you!
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I've gone away from rubs and just use S&P now.
Just a personal thing. Many use rubs.
It's something you will have to experiment with to find what you like.
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Welcome. I think salt & pepper are the two essential ingredients. Some including me add onion and garlic also. A great start is buying Jeff's rub recipes from this site. He has a TX version that I just described, and Original that has some paprika, brown sugar and a few others that is great on pork, chicken and about anything else. I have used some Meat Church, Kosmos, or Malcolm Reeds and they have there place. But I go back to Jeff's most of the time. If a commercial rub starts with Salt as 1st ingredient I put it back on the shelf.
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Depending on what I'm cooking....Steaks, brisket, and the like I just go salt and pepper. Esp when I just want the flavor of the beef to shine through. Butts and ribs I'll use a rub on them.

For me it's s&p on beef and some type of rub on pork. Poultry I generally go with spog and one or two added ingredients to change it up.
a lot of other Youtubers use all kinds of rubs and spices.
Don't look past the fact , in my opinion , that most of them are looking for likes and views .
For every ten , you might get one with usable info .

For me brisket is always coarse salt and pepper mixed 50 / 50 . Sometimes I use a Canadian steak seasoning that I buy .

I normally brine my poultry . The brine contains salt , so I don't add any more salt on the surface . I make a salt free rub for that , or just grind black pepper on the surface .

You'll just have to see what you like . Biggest thing in my opinion is you will need to be aware of salt content .
If you dry brine , soak or inject something the contains salt , don't add a rub with salt it in before smoking . Even washing the surface off , the salt is already in the meat . You can always salt at the table , but it's hard to take it out after cooking .
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IMHO- With beef I only use SPG. I start by salting it 48 hours before grilling/smoking. I add the Pepper and Garlic a few hours before grilling/smoking.

- Jason
For beef as a base I love SPOG and a little MSG in the mix as a base. Depending on what cut and end use I like to add a dusting of things like espresso powder, savory herbs (rosemary /thyme) or a bit of an activated charcoal rub. Pork and chicken pretty much a paprika / brown sugar (or Brown Swerve) based rub.
At then end of the day, do whatever makes you happy. I was pretty dogmatic about only salt and pepper on brisket, and then found out Franklin was also putting Lawry's on their briskets. I still often do only salt and pepper but sometimes I'll go with some Meat Church Holy Cow or add some garlic and onion powder. Every time I stray away from salt and pepper and come back to it, I really find I love the sat and pepper. For pork, I find I really want at least some sweet in there, so I'll use many other rubs.

If you are cooking a Texas style brisket or beef ribs I'd stay away from too powdery of a rub. Coarse black pepper and Kosher salt make for an excellent bark, especially on the fat cap.
S&P are the anchor. The other is for enhancement

In a commercial setting they control costs and sweet rubs and other spices and easily burn. S&P works especially if you have people then like different sauces like a commercial setting.

you can skip all the other spices and have a great tasty protein. If you skip the salt in what ever form you know it!
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Save the experiments until after you've mastered getting the protein smoked correctly. For briskets I would definitely go with a generous coating of 50/50 S&P period.
Don't look past the fact , in my opinion , that most of them are looking for likes and views .
For every ten , you might get one with usable info .
Don't forget about kick-backs from mentioning someones rub on their channel and providing links to purchase the rub.
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