Spice Rub 101: How to taste like Pro Barbecue

Plowboys BBQ Bovine Bold Spice Rub

Since our good friend and mentor Elizabeth Karmel first introduced me to Willinghams Wham Seasoning, my life has never been the same. I used to work at a butcher shop as a kid, and there was nothing that couldn’t be seasoned better then with salt, pepper and garlic powder. People used to rave about my hamburgers just because I throw Lawry’s season salt on them and they never tasted better.

So I feel like I owe it to the Backyard BBQ Community, to share with you the secret of the “Spice Rub“. Karmel’s new book Soaked Slathered and Seasoned highlights the art of making things taste good and if everyone could see how easy it is, the world could be a happier, spicier place! Here are a couple of my favorite spice rubs because they are so darn good.

Spice rub is any mixture of ground spices that is made for the purpose of being rubbed on raw food before the food is cooked. The spice rub forms a coat on the food. The food can be marinated in the spice rub for some time for the flavors to incorporate into the food or it can be cooked immediately after it is coated in the rub. The spices are usually coarsely ground. In addition to spices, salt and sugar may be added to the rub, the salt for flavor and the sugar for caramelization.

Wilingham’s Original Mild Spice Rub is one of the very best, all around spice rubs that I have found. We recently started to sell the Willingham’s Cajun Hot Seasoning and although it is supposed to be hotter, I find that both rubs have a nice kick to them. The original Wham is fantastic on pork chops, baby back ribs and pulled pork butts. It has a great taste to it that really compliments the pork. We have also used Willingham’s spice rub on chicken breasts, boneless and bone in and it really gives a great bbq base flavor to the food. Rub this on a few hours before cooking, put it in the fridge until cooking time and you will form a great marinade on the top.

We recently added Plowboys BBQ Bovine Bold Spice Rub and Plowboys BBQ Yardbird Spice Rub to our store to expand upon the world of spice rubs that we carry. So we put it to the test this past week and put some Plowboys BBQ Yardbird on the chicken and pork chops and we made some chicken with the Bovine Bold on it and both were fantastic. It is nice to see that these spice rubs work great on just about anything, but I must say that the Plowboys BBQ Yardbird on Pork Chops, rivaled the Willingham’s Wham! Use the same steps as above and make sure that you slow cook the meat, even on the grill so that it doesn’t dry out and the juice mixes with the spice rub.

Finally, if you only use one type of seasoning for your chicken for the rest of your life, make it Sarah’s Sea Salt Mediterranean Salt. It has the most delicious blend of spices, and on chicken it is tough to beat. We recommend a whole chicken, cooked on a Chicken Sitter Stand with some beer, wine or just plain old water poured inside the chicken sitter. Then wash the chicken in cold water, rub some olive oil on the skin and sprinkle the Sara’s Sea Mediterranean Salt all over the chicken. Place on your grill or smoker, with indirect heat for 45 minutes to an hour and you will end up with a crispy skinned, melt in your mouth meat chicken that is so tasty! Try the same with Nantucket Off Shore Renaissance Spice Rub and you will get the same result, just a little spicier version.

The fact is that with a few of these BBQ spice rubs in your kitchen, you can make any mean taste gourmet in just a few minutes. Life is too short not to season your meats, and grilling items, this is great on vegetables and even better on fish! So try a spice rub today and start to make your BBQ taste like the Pros.

What is your favorite rub?

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