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What is a BBQ Rub and how do I use it?

November 18, 2017

What is a BBQ Rub and how do I use it?

Getting your seasoning right is key to a flavour-packed BBQ.  Here we look at how to make your own and how to use them to produce stunning BBQ fare!

Rubs are simply a blend of herbs and spices ground together and rubbed all over the meat and vegetables prior to cooking.  BBQ rubs are often dry but can be wet by mixing with water of oil.  They infuse best in to the meat when applied the night before cooking and wrapping in clingfilm or a plastic freezer bag will help to keep the meat moist.  They are a great way to add flavour without smothering your food in sauce. 

Speak to any avid BBQ-er and they will likely have their own special blend of herbs and spices that they use to season their food.  You’ll often find that the exact recipe is a closely guarded secret!  You can easily create your own through experimenting with the flavour profiles you enjoy.  Typically rubs provide a good balance of sweet, savoury, herbs and spiciness.  If you like yours hot, simply change the balance to include more chilli.  Prefer sweet?  Shift the balance towards sugar or sweeter spices.  However, before you start experimenting, we recommend that you get to know the flavours you enjoy by using pre-mixed rubs.  Remember not to taste the rub on its own as it’ll often taste very different after cooking and together with the meat as it’ll mix with the fat and juices and undergo chemical changes due to the heat.

So how do you apply your favourite blend of herbs and spices? 

If you are just using a rub, sprinkle it over the meat and rub it in to help get an even coating and the infusion in to the meat.  How much you apply really depends on how much you like the flavour of the rub vs the flavour of the meat.  It’s all about balance!  If you are marinating the meat, do that first and then add the rub just before cooking.

Here at Feeling Outdoorsy, we love sweeter rubs with chicken, herby rubs with fish, peppery rubs with steak and sweet and spicy rubs with prawns and pork.

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