What is a grill rub / BBQ rub and how do I use it?
Grill rubs are a blend of spices and herbs used to infuse flavor into meat before you grill. BBQ
rubs are usually dry, although they can be wet, or paste-like. Grill rubs can be used on chicken, steak,
pork, fish, shrimp, or turkey. BBQ rubs can be an alternative to meat-smothered in barbeque sauce but
can also be used to compliment some sauces. Grill rubs are fun to
experiment with since they can pack a lot of flavor into every bite. They can be sweet, salty, mild, or
spicy. Rubs are easy to make, simply mix together the right amounts of several different spices.
Now that you know what a grill rub, let’s explore how to use them. On chicken or turkey you should
first rinse the chicken and then pat it almost dry. With an herb-flavored rub, pat it into the chicken
covering the entire bird before grilling. If your rub contains sugar, it’s best to keep adding small portions
of rub throughout the grilling process so that it thoroughly melts into the bird.
When using grill rubs on steak, simply pat the rub into the steak prior to grilling. My preferred
method is to marinate the steak first and then use the grill rub right before placing the steak on the grill.
How much grill rub to use depends on how much you enjoy the flavor of the grill rub vs. the steak. If you
are a purist steak lover who wants your steak to taste like steak, you should use less rub. If you enjoy a
good steak with extra flavor use the recommended amount of rub which is usually listed somewhere on
Since, pork is rather lean meat you should use the grill rub before and during grilling. First, pat the grill
rub into the meat as much as possible. Once the meat is at a good temperature but not yet cooked
through, try adding a little more rub. Again balance is key. Grill rubs should enhance the meat’s flavor
not overpower it.
Seafood cooks quickly on the grill, so make sure to rub down seafood before grilling. A savory herb rub
is very nice on fish. Shrimp & scallops have a milder flavor, so a variety of different rubs work well on
them. You may require a drizzle of melted butter to get grill rubs to stick to shrimp.
For all the different meats mentioned above make sure there is some moisture present to help the rub
sink in, you could wrap the meat loosely or toss into a plastic bag and keep it in the fridge for a few
hours or overnight. Time is your friend when it comes to rubs. The more time you allow rubs to soak
into meat, the more robust the flavor will be. Happy Grilling! Remember if you are unsure about how to
grill any meat there are many books and many websites that can help.
Grill Rubs Article
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