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Make Your Own Rub


Tonight's Dinner: Pork Chops
Photo Credit: Christopher Aloi

To make your own rub, or buy pre-blended? That is the question.

Having your own signature rub can be a lot of fun. It makes a great gift for a friend and gives you something to brag about at your next cookout… but is it for you?  There are a few things you may want to consider before trying to make your own seasoning blend: the cost, the time, and your knowledge of spices.

The cost

Will it save you money?  It can in the long run, but it will cost you more up front. One small container of your favorite rub can cost around $8 and gets cheaper when you buy it in bulk. To make your own rub you may need ten to twenty different ingredients. When you buy rubs from a company they are buying their spices in very large quantities and are getting them at a lower price. The larger quantity you buy the better price per ounce you will get but that again will cost you more up front and leave you with a lot of seasoning to go thru.

The time

How much time are you willing to spend to get it right? Figuring out how much of each spice to use is kind of a science, too much of one ingredient can throw off the whole batch. Then you have to try it out, so you cook a couple burgers and then decide there is too much garlic and not enough hickory. Then you make a second batch and cook some chicken. It still seems to be missing something so you add some nutmeg to give it a different taste. Well that didn’t work maybe some paprika? Another batch or two later and you have a pretty good rib rub. The point being that you have to be willing to do a lot of experimenting and cooking and will probably end up tossing out a few blends before you get it right. It is a good idea to start off with small batches to avoid wasting too much. On the other hand sometimes you just get lucky. One time an employee here accidentally combined an entire batch of Big Girl Rub with an entire batch of Grandpa’s BBQ Rib Rub. This combination turned out to be a rather delicious accident so we endearingly named it after him, and now our Knuckle Head Rub is one of our best sellers.

Your knowledge

How much do you know about flavor combinations? Coming up with the perfect seasoning is an acquired art. Many great chefs spent years perfecting different recipes. I am sure it was no easy discovery that mustard, clove, and thyme can all be used in the same seasoning. Many times you couldn’t begin to guess all of the ingredients in your favorite sauce or rub but a little experimentation can be very rewarding. One of our favorite BBQ Chefs is John Henry who has over 30 different rubs and has even cooked for former presidents of the United States. If you’re looking for flavor inspiration you should look to this man because he knows how to blend ’em!

All in all making your own rub can be a fun adventure if you are willing to commit to it. Just make sure you are prepared to put in some work because it is not an easy job. If this sounds like too much work for you then leave it to the professionals and you won’t be disappointed. We have put some time into finding the best rubs so check out our selection to find that one of a kind rub you are looking for.

Aye, there’s the rub.


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