SIMPLE Spice Rubs

How to make basic spice rubs for any kind of meat

Rubbed onto the outside of foods, spice blends encourage the formation of a deeply browned crust with complex, concentrated flavors.  Spice rubs can be used on a variety of foods, however there are a few things to take into account:

  • The size of the food to be cooked.  For example, a whole chicken should have a stronger and heavier layer of spices than a thin chicken breast or thighs.
  • You need to match strength to strength.  For example, use earthier spices for meat and lighters ones for chicken and fish.
  • Spices like cumin and coriander are good bulk spices, while aromatic spices like cloves and cinnamon need to be used lightly and sparingly.
  • Most spice rubs usually don’t contain salt.  However, you should sprinkle the food with salt before apply a rub.

ALL PURPOSE BBQ RUB:

Makes 1 cup

This rub, adapted from Big Flavors of the Hot Sun, 1994, is a little sweet, a little hot with just a hint of clove.   It can be used on just about anything you plan to barbecue.

  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

SPICE RUB FOR STEAKS AND CHOPS:

  • 5 Tablespoons freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 5 Tablespoons white peppercorns
  • 2 Tablespoons coriander
  • 2 Tablespoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

SPICE RUB FOR CHICKEN:

  • 3 Tablespoons ground cardamom
  • 3 Tablespoons ground ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon ground allspice
  • 3 Tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons ground fenugreek (optional)

SPICE RUB FOR RIBS:

Makes  3 cups – use appox 2 tablespoons per slab of ribs, this is enough for 24 slabs.

  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup American paprika
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary powder

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