Hickory Smoked BBQ Rub

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hickory smoked bbq rubHere at Great American Spice Company, we carry a lot of different kinds of spice rubs and blends, so it’s not like we would tell you that you have to make your own rubs. Far from it – if you have favorites that you like to order, then by all means, keep using those. But, if, like me, you’re always ready to mix things up a little, maybe try something new, you might want to think about trying your hand at some unique blends that reflect your own tastes.

I always have a lot of rub ingredients on hand, because I use these same ingredients for so many other things, so when it comes to combining flavors my only limit is my imagination. To start with, I want to mention that I don’t add salt to my rub mixes. It tends to end up at the bottom on the shaker anyway, and I prefer to just sprinkle it on separately. Not everything needs the same amount of salt, really – I think pork needs more than chicken, for instance, and thicker cuts need more than thinner ones. I do the same with black pepper, grinding that straight on the meat, at the same time as I add salt. There are exceptions – if we were going camping, and I wanted to save myself a little trouble when cooking over a campfire, I might add the salt ahead of time. And if I am mixing up a rub for a large cut that we are going to smoke or grill a long time, mixing in the salt saves an extra step. Do what works best for you.

My choices for this batch are pretty basic, and balanced. I like to use the Brownulated sugar because it doesn’t cake up. I use a couple of different chili powders too. Different ones have different flavor profiles, and each one has it’s own unique characteristics, so using more than just one adds a depth of flavor that I really like. Make sure you use granulated onion and garlic – most things labeled “onion powder” or “garlic powder” will be too finely ground for this kind of rub. Of course, this would not be Hickory Smoked rub, without using that specific seasoning which imparts a fantastic smokey flavor, even if you use a gas grill, instead of wood or charcoal.

I always measure my ingredients into a shaker jar, because then I end up with just the right amount. The list of what I used, along with links to each product are down below in the recipe. Looks kind of like an arts and crafts project from summer camp, doesn’t it? Trust me, no sand art ever tasted this good!board_ingred

Hickory Smoked BBQ Rub
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
2 tablespoons Chimayo chili powder
1 tablespoon California chili powder
1 tablespoon Chipotle chili powder
1 & 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 & 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons brownulated brown sugar
1 tablespoon Greek oregano
2 teaspoons hickory smoke powder

That is my basic blend, and you can adjust it however you like. For something spicier, I like to double up on the Chipotle, and add a little more cumin. Or you might prefer yours sweeter, and less spicy, in which case you might like to use more brown sugar, and cut back on the chili powders. Maybe you like more garlic, or want a smokier flavor – you can adjust things so that this tastes exactly how you want it to.grinderYou can just mix everything together by putting the lid on the jar and shaking it, or dump it all in a small bowl and stir it up, but I like to use my little grinder or mini food processor. That really helps everything get totally blended, and it makes sure all the little bits are about the same size, so that they come out of the shaker evenly. It just takes a few zaps to get it all mixed up. After it is all well blended, I put it back in the jar and store it tightly covered until I need to use it.jar_rubTo use, I rub a tablespoon or so of olive oil on pork chops, over burgers, or as I did here, chicken breasts. Then sprinkle your custom made rub generously on both sides. Grill as you normally would and you will probably end up with something that looks a bit like this:chicken breasts with hickory smoked bbq rubI also use this rub on grilled veggies, in baked beans, in grilled cheese sandwiches, scrambled eggs – you will find tons of different ways to use it, I am sure. Have Fun!


Donalyn is a long time food blogger - this is what she has to say about blogging for us: "My husband and I are blissful empty-nesters, enjoying the good life in rural Upstate NY. We grow a huge garden and are always looking for new challenges, the latest of which is brewing beer from our own home grown hops. My take on food is to use the freshest, most local food you can find and give it plenty of flavor. That is where The Great American Spice Company comes in. I've used their products for years, and I'm thrilled to be sharing some of our favorite recipes on their blog."
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