Konky's Creative Kitchen
The Makings of a Spice Rub
Have you wondered how to go about making your own spice rubs? Sure, you could just drop a few bucks and get that foiled packet at the store. The problem is that you are paying for one-meal's worth in that one super-small packet. It isn't even all spices when you take a look at the ingredients list. All of the multiple types of salt, the multiple types of sugar, the anti-caking agents to make it shelf-stable is going into your foil packet for that one meal! It is a waste of money and it really is a pouch of chemicals.
If you are apprehensive over making your own spice rubs because of the unknown or you are one of those people who believe they have to have a recipe, stop right there. Don't be apprehensive - come out of your comfort zone. No, you do NOT have to have a recipe. What you do need is to have fun, experience what it's like to just be free and enjoy the creativity of what goes into making your own! You are the only person who knows what you like, right?
We are building up a "foundation" that starts with a traditional all-purpose blend and then we build from there. There is a video on my Youtube channel that also gives this information and a pork rib prep demo.
Main Foundation: Equal parts of kosher salt, black pepper and granulated garlic. If you use a tablespoon to measure or if you use a digital scale, you want to keep all three ingredients equal or adjust to your own liking. But, the basic principle is that it should be a balanced "foundation". Secondary Foundation:
Typically, whatever measuring/digital scale you used in your main foundation, you will want to continue for your next flavor-building. Be mindful of the differences with garlic powder/granulated garlic, onion powder/granulated onion, etc. This foundation can be your coriander powder, turmeric, thyme, oregano, etc... Tertiary Foundation:
This is where you reduce the amount of your next foundation of spices that might be spicy, smoky, strong on the palate, or overwhelming with intense flavors. Here is where you would consider using "half parts" or "quarter parts". So, if your Main/Secondary Foundations used a tablespoon (or if you digitally weighed everything), you would want to consider 1/2 tablespoons or 1/4 tablespoons. It is much easier to go the route of using a 1/4 tablespoons because it is safer to use little and add a little more each time. That allows so much better control when you are working on adding spicy, smoky or strong flavors.
Binders: When you have prepped your meats and they are ready for spice rubbing, you need a good binder to adhere that beautiful spice rub you made. But, what is a binder? It is a liquid condiment that is smeared on your protein and it acts as a "glue" to anchor your spices on the surfaces of the meat you are working with. The most commonly used are mustard, mayonnaise, and olive oil. The number one binder used is mustard. Let's face it, food is expensive now and at the rate that some products have gone through the roof on pricing, not everyone wants to spend money on olive oil as a binder. It's just not cost-effective! Mustard is cheap. There is absolutely no imparting of flavor here. I have been asked by many people if I can taste any mustard. And, to be truthful, my palate is hypersensitive and I definitely do not taste any residual mustard at all. PLUS, I can get a 16oz bottle of store-brand mustard for less than a dollar! I would rather break the bank on specialty items.
Coat your protein in mustard as evenly as possible. With your other clean hand, dust on your spice rub and make sure everything gets good and coated. This often creates a gorgeous bark of caramelized goodness and just makes BBQ sing! Spice Storage and Containers: Keep your spices in non-pourous, air-tight containers away from your cooking area. Always consider a spoon for taking out what you need or pour some into a bowl that you can use your hand for grabbing. These spices do not require refrigeration unless you have made a seasoned oil. Just make sure you use that quickly. Dried spices are at risk of mold development if they are stored in the fridge, so it is a good idea to have a spice nook or whatever you can use in your kitchen for storing the spices when not in use.