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