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What is the most unusual ingredient you have used in a Rub?


Smoking Guru
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Joined Jul 7, 2005
Since we're talking Rubs here, this is were we'll start this discussion.

Last Saturday, I did 4 pork butts for Pulled Pork Sammiches for the BIL's 40th B-day. His wife requested IF possible that I use a rub with NO SALT. "What in thunder was she thinking?" I asked myself! She told me that her Grandparents were coming to dinner and they both are on a salt restricted diet. Being the SUPER NICE GUY that you all have grown to love and being up for the challange (so what if it was the morning of the day that I'm applying the Rub??)-NO PROBLEM!!! I hit the 'net running and didn't find a thing-I turned to my several Smoking and 'Queing books and actually found a "No Salt" rub. Can't recall off hand who's book it was in but the recipe was written by Paul Kirk (and NO it wasn't in the PK book that I have). The unusual ingredient was LEMONADE powder- Sam thought I had gone off my rocker (again) when I said "Hey, Hon-taste this!" I got one of those "Wife" looks and she said "Not bad, but what's that lemony taste?" She just shook her sweet little head when I told her it was lemonade powder.

I changed up the recipe some from the way Paul Kirk wrote it so I'll try to remember to post my version for you all later along with pix's of the pork.

Here is the link to my version of Paul Kirk's No Salt Rub http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...ead.php?t=1256


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Joined Aug 11, 2005
I guess the farthest I go to "unusual" is to use cinnamon, but thats about it. Lemondade powder is a good one Earl, cuz I'm gonna try one with powdered Cherry now :)

And as a rub tip: Ground Cloves go a LONG way and should be used sparingly. I rubbed that onto a tri-tip one time that tasted like I was chewing on a piece of tree bark.


Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Jun 20, 2006
I've heard the cinnamon thing, but have yet to try it. I am just getting into experimenting with the rubs. I generally just go of a version of Emeril's stuff from the net.


Smoking Fanatic
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Joined May 13, 2006
I have used unsweetened cocoa powder in some of my rubs ..


scott in kc

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Joined Feb 3, 2006
My variation on cinnamon is pumpkin pie spice on brisket and apple pie spice on pork.

Not in any significant quantity, just a bit.


Meat Mopper
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Joined Feb 13, 2006
I've used cloves, ginger, and nutmeg in rubs before. Very sparingly mind you. I haven't used it on any of the que that we've done but years ago when perfecting some meat on the grill (I had gormet asperations in college). Nutmeg is my secret ingredient in many of my meat dishes, it's that flavor that makes 'em go hmmmm.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Jun 7, 2006
I have these honey drops at home I use in place of sugar or in addition to sometimes. They are like dried out honey "beads". Very good. Got them at

I just saw that they also have flavored sugars, they have a lemon sugar which would probably be good in a chic run, a mint sugar...perhaps lamb, a raspberry vanilla, perhaps a fish rub...

deer meat

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Joined Aug 8, 2006
I wonder what grape KOOL-AID what do to a rub???? :idea:

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