Friday, June 15, 2012

There's the Rub... Actually, here's the basic Rub Recipe

From the celebrated 'to be, or not to be' speech in Shakespeare's Hamlet, 1602:
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;

Some very clever smoker needs to rewrite these words to fit a smoker's life.  Not the Marlboro man type smoker, but the guy who sets up that backyard specialty cookware and glorying in the 22 hour cook sessions that convert the "worst" portions of a cow or pig into the best dishes.

So, in the Smoker's version of Hamlet's soliloquy,
"To crock pot or not to crock pot"
would never really be considered, as to most smokers, there is only a vague comparison.  Like I said, it would take someone more clever than myself to come up with a complete version of the speech.

BUT, considering that most smokers need to be refreshed with fresh coal every few hours, that last line... "To sleep, perchance to dream" would need to be changed to...
To sleep, perchance to lose your temp"
A fate worst than death when smoking.

But I digress...

ay, Here's the rub (recipe)

Making your own rub can be very rewarding.  Not only in bragging rights (no small thing when smoker's gather), but also in costs.  I make a HUGE amount.  A fresh rub stays fresh (when stored properly (cool dark place) for about 6 months.  Mine lasts a little less as I use very little salt in mine.  Salt acts as a preservative.  That's why most commercial rubs list salt as their main ingredient.  Buy one and it lasts for much longer than a year with the flavor the same.

Which, in addition to the bragging rights (no small thing), being able to adjust the tastes and ingredients (like salt) is the best reason to make your own.

Here's my basic rub... Make this up and you can use it as a base... Add more garlic, all spice or go crazy with dried Thai chili pepper if you like.  But start with this...

1 cup Sweet Paprika
1/2 cup Black and White Pepper
1/2 cup Garlic Powder
1/2 cup Onion Powder
1/2 cup Celery Seeds
1/4 cup Cayenne Pepper
1 cup "Sodom and Gomorrah" (this is my own low salt/salt substitute, something i use almost every day... Equal parts Course Grind Sea Salt, Garlic Flakes and Black and White Sesame Seeds)

If you do the math, that's a total of 4 1/4 cups, of which only 1/4 cup is actually salt.  If (as you must on an ingredient list on a pre-packaged food) you list the ingredients by quantity, salt would be at the bottom (tied with the cayenne Pepper).

Mix it well.  I always mix my spices by hand.  This helps you to break up the chunks.

Usually you add brown sugar to a spice mix to make a rub.  In the quantities I listed, I add 2 cups of brown sugar.

In this case, I am making Pork Shoulder (pork Butt or Boston Butt if you like).

But this works on any protein, pork, fish, beef... even eggs.  It also tastes great on grilled vegetables and is amazing on grilled pineapple.

So here's the rub!

And here's the leftovers, 6 cups worth, ready for my summer grilling and smoking!


  1. Nothing like good dry rub to keep at hand. I have "all-purpose" dry rub that used in my church/home kitchen and use it for just about everything! This looks like a good one to try. Thanks.

  2. Sounds like a winner rub recipe Dave

  3. One tip I picked up from Dead End BBQ classes was to keep brown sugar from clumping a rub, dehydrate it first on a cookie sheet over very low heat in the oven for an hour. Since then I have heard that from several people but it was new to me.

    Now that you've rubbed your butts.... ;)

    Great looking rub recipe.