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Rules About Rubs 

"Rules About Rubs" are loose and fancy-free... more like guidelines

There's a broad definition as to what rubs are, and within that it's a cook's playground of spices, herbs, and condiments.


What Is a Rub?

A rub is a mixture of herbs, spices, and seasonings liberally applied to coat the outside of meat, poultry, or fish.
Salt is always a great starting place for a rub. It helps the rub penetrate, and it rounds out and brings together the flavors of the ingredients.
Note: Most of my rubs are SALT FREE

Sugar is also a popular addition to rubs as it caramelizes when exposed to high heat.
If adding a sugar, do so sparingly as they burn easily.
If using seeds, nuts, dried herbs, or spices, be sure to crush them first to release all their flavor.

The only real rule is that there is no right or wrong mixture.
It's all a matter of personal preference!

Dry Rubs

These are mixtures containing any number of dried herbs and spices.

Dry rubs adhere using the natural moisture of the meat, poultry, or fish.


Wet Rubs

A wet rub has a moist ingredient added to the dry spices and herbs.

Common ingredients added to make a wet rub may include, but are not limited to: mustard, finely chopped garlic, oil, horseradish, and yogurt.

Wet rubs are also called pastes, denoting their consistency.

They adhere to food more easily than dry rubs.


Applying Rubs

A rub should have time to work its magic.

If applying a rub to chicken with skin on, place it under the skin.

Massage the rub into the meat

TIP: lightly scoring meat, poultry, and fish will help the rub flavors penetrate further.

How long a rub should rest on the food before cooking spans from 15 minutes to up to several hours.
It depends on the density of what you are applying it to and how strong the flavors of the rub are.

Keep the rubbed food in the fridge, for safety's sake.


Storing Rubs

Dry rubs will keep in tightly closed containers up to 6 months, many will start to lose their flavor after that.

Wet rubs will generally keep for a few weeks under refrigeration.