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Aug 2, 2007 11:44 PM

Help, please - how to cook with dry rubs

Searched the home cooking board and couldn't find a topic that addressed this to my satisfaction. Can you give me some guidance?

Happened to be at costco and couldn't resist buying the round tin of sweet mesquite rub. Opened it and it smells incredible. Kind of like a bag of your favorite bbq potato chips. However... I have no idea how to cook with this rub. If I lightly oil some chicken or beef, and and sprinkle on the dry rub, will it burn? Do you put it on at the start? 1/2 way thru? Only on 1 side? Your collective wisdom will spare me from some failed experiments! Thanks.

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  1. I'm actually only used to making my own dry rubs for ribs which is brown sugar based. First, taste your dry rub: is it salty? To use a dry rub, you would actually just rub the meat entirely with the rub at the start but if you're dry rub is too salty you may want to dillute (is that the right word?) it with some brown sugar or whatever. The entire piece of meat is usually covered with the rub. I'm not sure about burning though; I'm only used to using it on my slow cooked ribs so maybe someone else knows. Good luck.

    1. I guess it might depend on hw you're planning to cook it, but for baking I've just literally rubbed it into the meat with my hands on all sides before cooking, which has worked well for me.

      1. I use a dry rub every time with Baby Back Ribs. Tried different cooking methods (dozens) over the years, until I discovered the "Braising" technique.
        Start by coating the rub on the meat (both sides). Make sure you have removed the connective tissue from the underside. Place ribs on an elevated rack roasting pan. Pour about 2 cups of liguid ( I use ginger-ale) in bottom of roaster. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. and bake or BBQ on a low heat setting 300-325 degrees for at least 2 hrs. Try not to peek. After the 2 hrs you can finish themoff on the grill for a few minutes or about 15 minutes in the oven wih the foil removed , just to brown them. You can apply your favorite BBQ sauce if you like at this point or just eat enjoy them without. They are fall off the bone tender.

        1. When I use my homemade dry rub (usually for BBQ) I try to get it on the meat well before I cook it (for pork butts, this means a full 24 hours, for chickens at least 6 hours). Although my main BBQ rub has brown sugar in it, I've never had a problem with burning, probably because it is a relatively small amount, just enough to give the meat a nice carmalization.

          1 Reply
          1. re: martin1026

            I have used dry rub on salmon, chicken and beef, cooked in a skillet, in the oven and on the grill and never had a problem with burning unless I have too much sugar in the rub. I'm sure would be a great source of ideas.

          2. I lightly oil and then rub the mixture with my hands,

            I try to let it sit for a couple of hours... for ribs, usually overnight.
            spare ribs, rubbed before cooking here: