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Why are commercial rubs so salty?

forktender

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I've seen so many comp guy's absolutely loading heavy layers of their rub onto ribs, chicken and butts. I used 1/3 rd of what they use and I destroyed three racks of St Louis ribs last night. I tasted the rub before I used it and it didn't taste overly salty, I guess the moisture of the ribs activated the salt flavor, and yuck they turned out unedible. They were total salt licks, I was so pissed that I sh!t canned all three racks.
I don't really want to go into who's rub it was but I will say that he is a BIG youtube guy.
These ribs were one of my biggest failures in a LONG time, I was so embarrassed that I distroyed supper and wasted the money spent on the ribs, rub and pellets. What a bummer!!!

Have any of you noticed the same with commercial rubs?

I'll stick with making my own rubs from hear on out.

The ribs looked great and the texture was spot on, what a complete downer.

To top it all off my Camp Chef caught on fire when I was burning off the grates after the cook. I hav no idea how it happened as I burn it off after each use. It was not my day yesterday, but it taught me a valuable lesson, never use these grills without a high/low alarm.....NEVER!!!!!!!
I was lucky and caught it right away and unplugged it and doused the flames with the hose before it became fully engulfed in flames.

Be careful and never use these grills without a high/low alarm set. Truth be told all pellet grills should come stock with a power shut off high temperature sensor, be warned they are like blow torches and things can go wrong in a hurry.

Unplug them and DO NOT LIFT THE LID UNTIL THEY ARE COOLED DOWN!!!!!! ACTUALLY CUT THE POWER AND HIT THEM WITH THE HOSE.
I have a nice burn on the palm of my hand from grabbing the door handle to pull the cooker away from the wooden deck railing, not too smart on my part.

What a sh!tty cook yesterday!!!!!!

Today the grill will get a good power washing and a new motherboard and temperature sensor installed in it just for safety reasons.

Please learn from my mistakes, this could've been really bad if I hadn't caught it before the hopper caught fire.

And trust me when I say that my grill wasn't that dirty inside.
From now on it will get cleaned much better after each use.

That was a close call!!!!

Dan.
 

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mr_whipple

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Damn. I've burned the hell out of my hands many times over the years. I feel your pain. What caught on fire? Did you have an auger burn back or what??

As to rubs, I almost always make my own but when I do buy, the first thing I do is look at the list of ingredients. If salt is listed first or second, I run away.
 

SmokinVOLfan

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Man I am with you on the salt in rubs. Most of the time its just not needed. My wife cant eat much salt due to medical stuff so I don't cook with it much and to be honest I dont miss it either. Crazy that 90% of commercial rubs list salt as the # 1 ingredient. Sorry to hear about the loss of the ribs. And your grill too man. Sounds like just a shit day all around. Couple beers and a peanut butter sandwich ftw. We have all been there!

John
 

JCAP

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Yea, agreed on some of the rubs. I find this particularly true with the all-purpose rubs and a brisket rub from one big name. I've had some good luck though. I like the Hardcore Carnivore and Heath Riles rubs a lot.

But nothing beats a good homemade rub for sure.
 

tallbm

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I've seen so many compilation guy's absolutely loading heavy layers of their rub onto ribs, chicken and butts. I used 1/3 rd of what they use and I destroyed three racks of St Louis ribs last night. I tasted the rub before I used it and it didn't taste overly salty, I guess the moisture of the ribs activated the salt flavor, and yuck they turned out unedible. They were total salt licks, I was so pissed that I sh!t canned all three racks.
I don't really want to go into who's rub it was but I will say that he is a BIG youtube guy.
These ribs were one of my biggest failures in a LONG time, I was so embarrassed that I distroyed supper and wasted the money spent on the ribs, rub and pellets. What a bummer!!!

Have any of you noticed the same with commercial rubs?

I'll stick with making my own rubs from hear on out.

The ribs looked great and the texture was spot on, what a complete downer.

To top it all off my Camp Chef caught on fire when I was burning off the grates after the cook. I hav no idea how it happened as I burn it off after each use. It was not my day yesterday, but it taught me a valuable lesson, never use these grills without a high/low alarm.....NEVER!!!!!!!
I was lucky and caught it right away and unplugged it and doused the flames with the he hose before it became fully engulfed in flames.

Be careful and never use these grills without a high/low alarm set. Truth be told all pellet grills should come stock with a power shut off high temperature sensor, be warned they are like blow torches and things can go wrong in a hurry.

Unplug them and DO NOT LIFT THE LID UNTIL THEY ARE COOLED DOWN!!!!!! ACTUALLY CUT THE POWER AND HIT THEM WITH THE HOSE.
I have a nice burn on the palm of my hand from grabbing the door handle to pull the cooker away from the wooden deck railing, not too smart on my part.

What a sh!tty cook yesterday!!!!!!

Today the grill will get a good power washing and a new motherboard and temperature sensor installed in it just for safety reasons.

Please learn from my mistakes, this could've been really bad if I hadn't caught it before the hopper caught fire.

And trust me when I say that my grill wasn't that dirty inside.
From now on it will get cleaned much better after each use.

That was a close call!!!!

Dan.
Damn, sound like a rough day for sure. Wish it had been better.
If you didn't throw out the ribs there may be a way to save the meat but I understand if you tossed em, it's frustratting.

HUGE thing I read about and learned personally is that RIBS are possibly the easiest cut to over salt!!!
Because of this I have a POG+Paprika mix of spices which as u can see has no salt in it.
I shake the salt on my ribs separately because ribs are SOOOOO easy to over salt. Stupid easy to over salt.

Believe it or not you CAN over salt a whole packer brisket easier than you think. The flat muscle can also be long and thin like a rack of ribs. I ran into that before and now I just go lighter on the flat only area and I'm good to go. I also now stick to buying 15lb and heavier briskets so the flat is always thicker. This helps too.

As for commercial rubs and seasoning. Once I read labels and learned they were mostly SPOG and I had already learned the magic of seasoning with SPOG I just started going my own seasoning and never bought commercial again.
NOW, I will look at the ingredients of a commercial seasoning/rub I liked and look at what is in it and in what order and then I will try and mimic it at home and i usually get about 75% of the way there. It's not always the same but still damn good enough for me to stop trying.

For those that don't know, our US food laws state that the ingredients label must list ingredients from most used to least used.
This can help you try to reverse engineer a seasoning/rub you like. It's hard to nail but often you get close enough or find a combo u really like along the way and stick with that.

Screw buying commercial seasoning and rubs.
Commercial sausage, jerky, etc. mix I have no issues with but often don't like a lot of them and have to properly figure out how much to add by weight, but it is nice to get binder, seasoning, cure, etc. all in 1 package.
 

DougE

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Sounds like a really lousy day. I bought Jeff's recipes a long time ago because of the high salt content in about all commercial rubs. His original rub is light on salt, and that lets you really pack it on for a nice bark.
 

smokeymose

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Bad day for sure!!
As for the salt, a year ago the Mrs. had a COPD/Heart issue that sent her on an ambulance ride and a week in the hospital.
She was put on a 2,000mg a day sodium diet. That's when I really started reading labels. What an eye opener!
As for the salt content in rubs (and literally all processed foods), I think a lot of it is about people's inherent like of salt.
If you gave a taste test between a product with salt and one without the one with salt would always win.
Funny thing is that when I started making my rubs without salt and sausage with just the barest minimum (1%) we found we don't miss it at all.
I've never used a commercial rub so I can't answer to that, but the last time I made tacos using the packaged seasoning mix it seemed all I tasted was salt. Made my own today.
It's in every recipe for everything, but not really needed. I've done Sourdough, pizza crust and regular bread without salt and it comes out fine.
Sorry to hear about the smoker fire. Icing on the cake for your lousy day and just another reason for me not to want a pellet smoker....
 

Fueling Around

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Good luck on the hand. Blisters in the working meat of the hand need extra care to avoid getting more inflamed or infected.
Luckily you didn't burn more on your or dwelling.

Between salt and sugar I will use very little commercial rubs or seasoning blends.
Were the ribs by any chance "enhanced"? Enhanced is a fancy term for loading them with salt, water, and phosphates.
Once in awhile, I get really good deals on Hormel "Always Tender" ribs which has added: Water, Potassium Lactate, Sodium Phosphates, Salt, Sodium Diacetate.
I soak them in a lot of clear water to dilute the salts.

I truly think the answer is cost management. Salt is cheap. You have to wonder if the guys who pump them out actually use the same formula on their own food.
My guess is no, they don't sell the same rubs/spices especially for those on the comp circuit..
Read the attached thread on use of MSG and comments by thirdeye thirdeye
 

pineywoods

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Dan sorry about that hand and the ribs and the fire. I don't buy any commercial rubs anymore because of the salt. I use a lot of salt on my food I put it on once it's on my plate so other people don't have to eat it. That being said a good many of the commercial rubs I have bought and used were to salty for me.
 

mneeley490

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My guess is no, they don't sell the same rubs/spices especially for those on the comp circuit..
Read the attached thread on use of MSG and comments by thirdeye thirdeye
Not a perfect solution, but it seems you could replace salt with MSG to lower the sodium content by 2/3.
Replacing Salt with MSG
 

BaxtersBBQ

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The problem might actually be the meat itself. I ran into the EXACT same problem when I bought some ribs from Walmart. Some brands brine their meat in a salt solution to keep them fresh longer. Check the labels for sodium content. You’d be surprised home much salt is already pumped into some. I use zero salt on my ribs if they’ve already been brined.
CC62B437-ECCB-4B28-95FF-03DC5C825F2B.png

This is a pretty popular brand at my store. Already has 340mg sodium added per serving.
 

Nefarious

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I wonder why we need so much salt anyway. I have not considered using anyone else's rub but ones I make. My wife is extremely sensitive to salt and once you don't really use it for 33 years, you get used to it. We only slightly sprinkle salt on the meat I cook. For the brisket I just did I used 2 teaspoons of salt on the non fat side. I know she will notice it.
 

thirdeye

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Seeing 'salt' as the first ingredient is a good indicator, but when you are still looking at the label, look at the sodium in mg. The 1/4 teaspoon amount is somewhat universal and here are some examples of sodium amounts in competition rubs where salt is listed first:
Birds and Bones - 115mg
Yardbird - 170mg
Smokin' Guns Hot - 160mg
Another competition rub I use a lot of is Cimarron Docs, it lists 'sugar' first on the label and only has 65mg of sodium. So, you can see what my first choices are.

I have some favorite rubs for my backyard cooking (Dizzy Pig is a good example) because I could never duplicate some of their unique flavor profiles. Two of my favorites are Dizzy Dust and Raging River, they have 133mg and 138mg of sodium, BUT they both come in salt-free versions. I can buy those and just add a couple pinches of sea salt and roll....

I used 1/3 rd of what they use and I destroyed three racks of St Louis ribs last night. I tasted the rub before I used it and it didn't taste overly salty, I guess the moisture of the ribs activated the salt flavor, and yuck they turned out unedible.
Those TV BBQ guys really like to load up the seasonings don't they? I use less than the 1/3 you mentioned. But my rub method involves layering rubs, or seasonings. First, I have these two seasoning blends on hand and use them as my base rub. If I recall correctly there are ~60mg of sodium in 1/4 teaspoon of the Sweet version.

thirdeye's Sweet Garlic Pepper Seasoning for Pork
Ingredients:
3 teaspoons Garlic Powder
3 teaspoons Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Canning Salt
1/2 teaspoon Toasted Onion Powder
1/4 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Red Bell Pepper (ground)

thirdeye's All-Purpose Garlic Pepper Seasoning
Ingredients:
3 teaspoons Garlic Powder
3 teaspoons Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Canning Salt
1/2 teaspoon Toasted Onion Powder
1/4 teaspoon Paprika

Next, I pick out a second rub and add a layer of that.
 

JckDanls 07

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Only two times I use a salt shaker.. on a nice buttery ear of corn ... or french fries... My own rub with next to no salt ...
 

WaterinHoleBrew

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Sorry man for your bad day, I’ve had them as well! Other than Jeff’s or homemade rubs… I’d suggest two rubs that are tasty, lower sodium and Veteran owned or supported. Frag Out and Code 3.
 

daspyknows

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I am also in the group who makes their own rubs with very little salt. My brisket rub has a bit more than my rub I use for pork, chicken and other stuff. I have commercial rubs here but rarely use them any more. Same with my bacon. Just enough salt to get the job done which isn't that much.
 

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