Commercial Spice Rubs
I've always made my own rubs from scratch, but ran out of spices the other day and had a bunch of racks of pork ribs to rub down and let sit overnight before going in the smoker. So I picked up some jars of McCormick rubs from the supermarket. They were actually pretty good. The "Pork" and "Sweet & Smoky" were more than acceptable. The "Cowboy" was actually very good. All were good enough that no one wanted the ribs finished with sauce and four people ate three whole 7-8 lb. racks between them over the course of the NYE festivities.
Yesterday, while the ribs were in the smoker, I took a drive to Penzey's for spices, thinking to make up a batch or three of rub for another few racks of ribs in a few days. (Sale this week on racks of ribs.) I ran across their rub mixes and they sounded and smelled interesting. So for the heck of it I bought 4 oz. packages each of their original "BBQ 3000", their new "BBQ 3001", "Barbecue of the Americas", "Bangkok Blend", and "Arizona Dreaming."
I'll report back when I try them. You can read what's in the mixes on their site.
re: c oliver
I asked a friend who was on the competitive BBQ circuit, and he said that a lot of folks use the commercial rub blends.
I never came up with my own consistent blend since I am incapable of following a recipe exactly, even my own. The only recipes I can follow exactly are for cocktails. Once I tweak a recipe to perfection that is...
NASA Barbecue Rub
This is the BBQ rub recipe that NASA used for meals prepared for the last Space Shuttle mission, STS-135 in July 2011.
I've used this rub on pulled pork and in jambalaya. It's a really good bbq rub.
The original NASA recipe was a formula expressed in percentage of each ingredient used (by weight, similar to a baker's formula). It has been converted to volume
for home use.
By Volume Measurement
1/2 cup Table Salt (3/4 cup Kosher Salt)
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 cup Brown sugar, lightly packed
3 Tbsp Chili powder
3 Tbsp Paprika
2 Tbsp Celery salt
1/2 cup Ground oregano
4 tsp Ground white pepper
1 Tbsp Garlic powder
1 Tbsp Ground black pepper
1 Tbsp Cumin
3/4 tsp Dry mustard
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
Mix well. Store in an airtight container.
Use at least 1 Tbsp of rub per 1 lb of meat.
Wrap rub coated meat in plastic wrap and allow to marinate in the fridge overnight.
Makes 1 pound = about 2 1/2 cups of BBQ rub.
Original NASA BBQ Rub Formula (given in % of ingredients by total weight)
23.61 Sugar granulated
17.71 Brown sugar, lightly packed
5.90 Chili powder
4.43 Celery salt
3.54 Ground oregano
2.95 Ground white pepper
2.21 Garlic powder
1.48 Ground black pepper
0.79 Dry mustard
0.49 Cayenne pepper
NASA BBQ Rub formula/recipe converted to Grams
100.00 % = 453.592 gm = 1 pound
133.855 gm Salt
107.093 gm Sugar granulated
80.331 gm Brown sugar, lightly packed
26.762 gm Chili powder
26.762 gm Paprika
20.094 gm Celery salt
16.057 gm Ground oregano
13.381 gm Ground white pepper
10.024 gm Garlic powder
6.71 gm Ground black pepper
6.71 gm Cumin
3.583 gm Dry mustard
2.222 gm Cayenne pepper
Original NASA press release with BBQ Rub formula:
"Beef Brisket, Barbecued, Sliced
Ingredients Percent by weight
Sugar granulated 23.61
Brown sugar, lightly packed 17.71
Chili powder 5.90
Celery salt 4.43
Ground oregano 3.54
Ground white pepper 2.95
Garlic powder 2.21
Ground black pepper 1.48
Dry mustard 0.79
Cayenne pepper 0.49
Trim beef brisket of fat and rub dry rub mixture into the meat surface (Dry Rub shall be at least 8 grams per pound of raw brisket). Wrap the brisket in plastic wrap or suitable material and hold at 40°F (4°C) overnight.
Cook briskets in a regular oven set at 235°F (113°C), baste after 3 hours with barbecue sauce. Cook another two hours until internal temperature is 175-180°F (79-82°C) baste with barbecue sauce and let sit in the oven for one more hour.
The brisket shall be sliced on a meat slicer set at 1/8 inch (3.0 mm). Serve 2.8 to 3.5 oz (80-100 g) of sliced brisket with add one ounce (30 g) of hickory smoke flavored barbecue sauce. "
Links to original recipe at NASA:
NASA - Special American Meal Planned for Final Space Shuttle Crew
That's a lot of oregano, but that's good by me, I'll have to give it a try. It's only a smidge different than what I put together for the smoking class I took at the Midwest BBQ Institute.
I think just about any good rub has mostly the same ingredients at about the same ratios. Just the way it works out.
For the Penzey's rubs, about 2 oz. works well to cover a large, full, 6-8 lb. rack of pork ribs. The Penzeys BBQ 3000 is very good. Their Arizona Dreaming is excellent and may become my rub of choice. The Bangkok blend work good with baked chicken, and in a Thai style chicken soup. I still have to see how it works as a bbq rub.
re: c oliver
I think the cost is comparable if your were to buy the raw spices from Penzy's or The Spice House and replicate the mix - you could buy less expensive spices and that would make it cheaper -
I do apply a liberal amount of rub when I smoke - you shoudl be able to see the rub on the meat -
re: c oliver
I agree with Veggo and others who like the Rendezvous "Famous Seasoning" Memphis dry rub.
However, if I'm being cheapie, I like to do a 50/50 mix of Badia Sazon Tropical and the Badia BBQ seasoning. I've never been disappointed with the flavor of their spices, and I use their little section of the "Latin" aisle of the grocery store for cinnamon sticks, sesame seeds, star anise, etc, on the cheap (cheaper and better selection than Goya) It's worth a try since their products are so affordable (and easy to find). And unlike a lot of spice blends by Goya (and one by Badia, the Complete Seasoning), there is no MSG for those who'd rather not use it
Must share this, even though it's a regional brand with limited availablility, because I love the name.
Dinosaur Barbecue is a regional restaurant chain, started in Syracuse, now also Rochester, Buffalo, Troy, Harlem, and a couple more in Metro NYC. I've seen their sauces and a few other products in Wegmans stores even in VA/MD/DC.
Their spice rub is on the spicy side, but well-rounded - it's called Cajun Foreplay.
I have had pretty good success with Penzey's overall, and some with Paul Prudhomme (except his BBQ rub).
A very good rub for beef is Stubbs' coffee/molasses.
From Texas, I like The Ironworks rub (despite its having liquid smoke as an ingredient).
Peace, love, and BBQ has a few good recipes.