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Grilling with a rub

kwilkinson

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Here's a place to post all your little secrets of grilling with a rub.

I found an amazing rub recipe from a friend that I plan on making tonight (been rubbed and sitting in the fridge since before work) but I don't know many of the insider tips of grilling with a rub.

Mainly, I know to throw it on the grill and grill it til it's done. I assume this would be good enough, but I know some of you'z guys are grillin studs, so hit me with your expertise.
 

Thomas

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Well, since you've rubbed it and are cooking it tonight there's not a lot I can tell you about this evening's grilling escapades.

However...

I did up a few briskets last weekend and they turned out really well. Smoky and juicy. Here's the skinny.

Trim the fat to 1/4 inch.
Slather a good dose of mustard on both sides.
The rub: Brown sugar, papricka, salt, black pepper, sage, maybe allspice or coriander or something else in there.
(for pork, add some ground clove...Pork + clove =
)

brisket: smoke maybe 8-10 hours with some charcoal, plus hickory and mesquite, alternating logs so one burns at a time. For ribs you can make do with 3-4 hours.

While you're smoking... prepare a spray bottle with a 'mop'. I use a bottle of beer (good stuff, like Sam Adams), Apple Cider vinegar (roughly 10-12 oz), and Lemon juice (a cup or so). Any time you see the rub forming a dry crust, mist with the mop until moist. You can use this for shorter duration cooking, but for smoking it's pretty well essential.
 

Thomas

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Oh, for pork or poulty - brine it first. Even a turkey, should you choose to grill one.
 

kwilkinson

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Thanks for the tips Thomas. 8-10 hours... That stuff is probably best reserved for a Saturday with multiple drinks in hand!


Originally Posted by merkur
Please share the recipe.

Mine was really basic, but it tasted incredible.
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp chipotle powder
1 clove garlic (minced)
2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup paprika
1 tbsp cayenne pepper.

Just get those all mixed up. I used a mortar and pestle, but mainly b/c I love using one, not b/c I thought it would be a better way to mix them up than any other method. Rub it on and let it sit 2-12 hours. Leave it in the fridge uncovered.

I added garlic clove instead of garlic powder like the recipe called for b/c I really like just that little bit of texture that the minced garlic added.

My oh my was it a good dinner though. It was so flavorful! It was spicy, but the spicy came as an aftertaste to the flavor, which is important to me. I love hot food but hate it when people give you a ton of heat and sacrifice flavor. So on the first bite it tastes great and then you swallow and you can feel the heat rising, oh it was good.

Also, this was my first time ever grilling with a rub, and when I had my chicken in the fridge all day, the rub got watery by the time I got home. I assume this is from the chicken thawing out more, condensating a little, whatever. I don't know if it affected the rub or not, but does anyone know how to keep it from happening?
 

Thomas

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Kwilk,

With chicken it's unavoidable. You've got moist meat inside and dry spice outside, but... You might try brining the chicken for a few hours, then drying it and then applying the rub as the grill warms up. Or, accept that the rub gets wet, and let the grill dry it out.

...8-10 hours...great for dinner, sucks for lunch, although, you can smoke a brisket a day or so prior and re-heat in the oven.
 

Thomas

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I'll use the oven for turkey but that's about it. The rest goes on a charcoal grill. First one was a cut-open 55-gallon drum (which still worked great), and the current one is a double-walled smoker/grill. Eventually I may just do up a brick pit if I ever wear the current one out.
 

life_interrupts

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+1 on brining chicken or other poultry. It's the only to infuse any real flavor grilling.

Here's a rub I learned about this weekend at the cooking class Be Better Guys hosted at PS 7's restaurant in DC. Carroway seed, black peppercorns, salt and thyme for steak. Mix 1 part carroway seed to 1/2 part peppercorns. Grind coarsely in coffee grinder or with mortar and pestle. Add 1/4 part salt (or to taste), and a few sprigs of thyme, and mix. Drizzle a bit of oil on the steak, and apply the rub on both sides. Really tasty.
 

SantosLHalper

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+1 for brining. I'd brine any meat if you have the chance. It adds moisture and flavor in a way that marinade cannot, and is especially helpful if you are smoking meat. Almost all poultry benefits from a brine, as they are prone to drying out in the oven, grill or smoker.

As far as the rub goes, it's helpful to know what and how you are cooking. Putting sugar in a rub is risky, since the sugar is likely to burn on the grill well before the meat is done. If you are making real BBQ, sugar in the rub is acceptable.

One of my favorite rubs for pork, chicken, or fish is:
- 2 parts each coriander and fennel seeds (toasted and coarsely ground)
- 1 part each black pepper and kosher salt.
It's great on pork, but works well on nearly anything except beef.

For grilled steak, I am partial to a lot of sea salt and crushed black pepper, but another rub I have used with success is:
- 4 parts toasted and ground ancho chile
- 2 parts kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 part each of cumin, ground espresso and garlic powder.
You won't taste the coffee directly, but it adds some depth.
 

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