Dry rub definition | Dry rubs | Spice rubs | How To Make A Basic Dry Rub

Dry Rub Definition

What are dry rubs? A dry rub is a mixture of herbs, spices and similar dry ingredients that are rubbed onto the surface of food, most often meat, to add flavour.
The dry rub also creates a crust or bark on the surface of food.
If the rub contains spices only and no herbs, it is a dry spice rub.

A dry rub recipe can be complex ethnic blends of spices and dried herbs or as simple as garlic, salt and pepper.
These are rubbed into the meat before cooking. The spice rub forms a coat on the food.

The food can be left in the spice rub for some time for the flavours to incorporate into the food or it can be cooked immediately after it is coated in the rub.

When Are Dry Rubs Used?

Generally, a rub is used with dry heat or smoke and not used with the presence of liquids like in broths, casseroles, soups or stews.
Meats most frequently used with rubs are chicken and pork, but they can also be used on lamb, beef and seafood.

While rubs can be applied to some steaks, they can be a bit over powering with this type of meat.

The most common type of cooking methods used with rubs are to barbecue, shallow Fry, smoking, slow cooking and roasting.

When used properly, dry rubs can function like a combination of Brine Curing and Salt and Sugar curing.

Generally rubs are applied on the outside of the meat the day before and allowed to refrigerate overnight.

Dry Rub Basics

Dry rubs impart a delicious flavour no matter what, but where a rub really stands out is in it’s ability to form a good bark or crust.

Dry rubs are generally comprised of a mixture of dry herbs and spices combined with salt and sugar.

An ideal formula for a good dry rub is a base, such as paprika, and then add on from there.

Just about any variety of spices and herbs can be added.

Spice Rubs

A spice rub contains only spices and no herbs at all.

They can be as simple as a large amount of pepper, like in pepper steak, or as complex as 100 spices.
Yes, that many spices do exist.

Wet Rubs

Wet rubs are essentially dry rubs combined with a wetting agent, such as olive oil, beer, wine or fruit juice. See Marinate.

How To Make A Basic Dry Rub

Basic Dry Rub Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp cumin powderdry rubs
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder

Basic Dry Rub Procedure

  1. Rub the meat with a clove of garlic.
  2. Rub with the rub mixture.
  3. Leave in a plastic bag in the fridge overnight.
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