Sunday, May 19, 2019

What are the Best BBQ Rubs Money Can Buy?

Some say that BBQ Rubs are the actual heart of the barbecue.  For many years the most standard of seasoning formats was simply salt and pepper.  Salt a natural preservative added to this tree born complement pepper to heighten the taste and sensation of standard meats.  Most meats hundreds of years ago were heavily coated in salts to prevent spoilage.  And it wasn't until the upper classes of society moved away from laboriously produced meat products into alternative grain and vegetable products that peppers made their way into the pantheons of culinary faire.  True high end sauced foods and culinary preparations were borne in France under the watchful eyes of Elisabeth Brassart a master at converting simple cooking style in elegant fanciful creations worthy of Michelin stars.

But our topic and interest today is in the area of BBQ Rubs or as some more aptly put it Barbecue Seasoning Rubs.  The term "Rubs" is simply a short affectation for the slang use of Barbecue.  And as most of us know that real term Barbecue is derived from the Spanish word "Barbacoa" meaning to cook foods slowly over and open flame.  The cooking foods slowly part is the true adaption of barbecue however, with today's modern appliances in the collective area of barbecue the key focus is toward slow cooking with some sort of smoke application.  The BBQ Rub is seen more as a necessary evil that leads to the ultimate and final form of cooking which is grilling at a reasonable rate with the addition of some tenderizing agent.  Although mistakenly applied smoke is not a tenderizing agent but rather a flavor coating that can lend to a sense change in the ways meats or vegetables are consumed.

BBQ Rubs for their worth are concocted and applied in a multitude of formats. 

The differences of the Rubs being either "Wet" or "Dry" which will add to or detract from the taste of the meat.  For our discussion and subsequent products reviews we will focus on the Dry application of these Rubs.

As one famous author commented "Always begin with the end in mind".  Truer words could not be said when it comes to barbecue.  Too often the unskilled may set off to create a masterful effort cooking ribs, chicken and steaks without considering the time element required in the preparatory phases as well as the cooking time or the marinating time required to complete the task. So, let's set off on this road of discovery.  Consider first the requirement of time in marinating or preparation.  Let's also focus on some form of meat and for this discussion we'll use Pork Ribs.  Ribs come is varying cuts, Baby Back, St. Louis, Spareribs, Loin backs and more.  We'll us the general version Baby Backs or in many circles Loin Backs which are collected somewhat high up on the back of the pig.  These Baby Backs are most closely associated with the bone-in-pork chops but just don't have that continuing loin muscle attached.  Baby Back ribs are delineated by the fairly obvious curvature of the bones with meat spread between the bones and over the top surface.  The curved underside is primarily the lining containing fat that separates the bones from the stomach of the pig.

To marinate or not to marinate versus injection.  This three segment discussion has plagued the barbecue competition world for the last 30 years where marinades and dry rubs are concerned and the last 10 years where injections are concerned.  I've used all three methods in various settings with varying results.  The wet marinade I believe works best for meats like steaks and chops which will be seared or grilled at relatively high temperature for a somewhat short period of time.  Dry marinades are meant to be added to the cleaned and prepared meat with plenty of time on hand.  The marinades can take from 2 hours to 20 hours to properly deliver the desired flavor to the meat.  When we say desired flavor that's where the real concern lays considering how much sugar or salt is within the marinade will determine the end result and flavoring of the meat.  Also considering applications of such elements as Rosemary, Oregano, Tarragon or other root vegetable elements used to flavor the meat.

In the case of injection a device is used to directly drive a liquid marinade within the confines and pockets of the meat.  The hope is that the liquid when delivered within the confines of these pockets will actually balloon up capturing and containing the liquid while it softens the area in which it is held.  The injection process requires multiple injection sites sometimes upwards of 20 or 30 to ensure the meat is fully marinated.  The issue at this point is with so much injected marinade are you really barbecuing or simply flavoring meat much like the flavoring of candy.  Also, when injecting it's best to have a proven marinade that will deliver the flavor.  Experimentation of marinades is best left to the experts so consulting some documentation or online guide is a good way of safeguarding the end results for both you and your guests.

Let's discuss the types of dry marinades we use at Jake's Famous Foods to improve and enhance the flavor of our barbecue.  Let's start with the basics and when we say basics we're talking about application on one of the most common meat types, steak.  Depending on the type of steak either, filet mignon, chuck steak, porterhouse steak, round steak, rib eye steak, cube steak or other then desired end result is to actually taste the flavor of the meat without overpowering it.  We've found that some key combinations of sugars like brown or natural brown or turbinado work best in combination with elements of Kosher level salts.  The Koshered salts appear in almost flake like forms concentrating in particular segments of the meat with overpowering the steak with a too salty format.  In addition to sugars and salts we've found that a combination of plant and vegetable elements like Oregano, Turmeric, Tarragon along with Garlic, Mustard and Onion powders allow the marinade the ability to adhere to the capillary regions of the steak providing a pathway for the remaining ingredients to enter and thus tenderize while flavoring the meat.

As you might expect naturalists prefer that a truly good cut of meat receive little if no seasoning at all and should only be seared on a hot cast iron pan for less than a minute per side.  Steaks of this nature can cost well into the double digits approaching a triple digit cost level.  While we agree that higher choice and prime steaks are better cuts of meat we find it almost impossible for the average person to afford to enjoy this level of quality on a daily basis and thus the addition of BBQ Rubs to enhance the flavors of everyday average person steaks that range in the moderate to medium double digits at the checkout counter.  To achieve this everyday level of steak perfection we offer our Tri Tip, Steak and Rib BBQ Rub.  This BBQ Rub is complemented with all the well known table ingredients like rich brown sugar, Kosher smoked salt, turmeric, tarragon, mustard, coarse ground black pepper and hints of garlic and onion.  This is the poor man's bbq rub marinade that can easily be used as simply as the name implies on tri tip, steaks and ribs.  Easy application with little to no fuss in the marinade cycle at a minimum two hours and further good to excellent absorption into the capillaries of the meat to aid in tenderization.  This is sheer BBQ rub perfection that is meant to be used sparingly or generously depending on your level of taste preference.

In addition to our Tri Tip, Steak and Rib BBQ Rubs we've built a superior version Memphis BBQ Rub termed Memphis Blues Dry Rub "Sugar Free".  Memphis being known over the last hundred years for it's direct relation to music halls and performance stages featuring the "Blues" we created a BBQ Rub that captures the essence of that spirit.  Our Memphis BBQ Rub is a true complement to the authentic natural style recipes of Memphis.  Recipes that did not focus on high levels or in many case zero levels of sugar.  And when we spent time in Memphis understanding the culture and heritage of these historic avenues we set out to build a product that would honor and aptly frame the city for it's brotherhood, kindness to fellow man and their drive to deliver good times and quality results to all who visit their hallowed locations.  We believe our Memphis dry rub is a kissing cousin to some of the most famous BBQ Rubs to ever come out of Memphis.  Garnered with rich, smoky Paprika, smoked salt, essence of celery salt, chili power, black pepper and hints of garlic this Memphis style BBQ Rub will have you singing your praises as it performs it's magic on your ribs, chicken, steaks and more.

And finally for this discussion what would a good BBQ Rub be without a Tri Tip rub?  It's funny that in so many states we've found that many have never even heard of tri tip.  While so many others know it simply as a steak related roast cut.  We here on the Central Coast of California know that Tri Tip is King in these parts.  Tri Tip is a triangular cut taken from the lower front section of the sirloin of the cow and is most cases considered to be an almost muscle like segment. Which overall explains the fact that tri tip requires some peculiar treatments which result in an almost buttery like texture when properly cooked.  The tri tip when aptly seasoned and marinated is seared on all sides then set off away from the main flame and allowed to roast indirectly until the meat reaches an almost medium rare to medium cooked state.  The tri tip then is allowed to rest for a minimum half hour then is sliced perpendicular to the grain of the meat and when all these steps are followed correctly the end results is tri tip heaven.  The meat is reddish in color, uniform in appearance, juicy and slightly complex with no aftertaste just plain beefy goodness.  And that's why we made our Pure Santa Maria Tri Tip BBQ Rub.  This Tri Tip BBQ Rubs' only desire is to improve the flavor of your meat.  It does that job by delivering fresh levels of Kosher Smoked salt, Coarse ground black pepper, fresh sprigs of Parsley, hints of garlic and almost imperceptible amounts of mustard and onion.  This is the BEST BBQ Rub money can buy and delivers premium flavors at average prices without all the hype but with all the action of a true BBQ Rub.

There are a few more BBQ Rubs in our stable of dry rubs however, we wanted to focus only on those that we classify as true steak, rib, and tri tip BBQ Rubs for this go round.  In addition to our BBQ Rubs for Steaks, Ribs and Tri Tip we've got some killer BBQ Rubs that support your health while delivering enormous flavor.  Our San Ysidro BBQ Rub is a complex yet completely natural dry rub without the weight of sugar and yet it inspires the taste buds with right complements of Paprika, Cumin, Garlic and onions.  This is the perfect dry rub for your vegetables, for rice, eggs, soups and salads.  Along with the San Ysidro dry rub is our Santa Barbara Smoked Seafood BBQ Rub.  Our Santa Barbara Rub was actually our first dry rub designed to give our family and customers options when grilling and frying seafood.  We noticed an inadequate supply of products in the market that support fish focused diets so we set out to create stellar products that deliver the flavor without immense calorie loads that some products provide.  In addition to our Santa Barbara Rub is our California Chipotle Dry rubs a sweet heat centric dry rub that capitalizes on Southwestern level flavors with a combined spiciness that make your mouth water.  And last but not least is an all time favorite our California Chicken BBQ Rub.  This inspired dry rub focuses as you might expect on Chicken. This is a superior quality dry rub that delivers the most succulent chicken you've ever tasted.  The rub is perfect leaving a golden brown to medium yellow tint on the meat and has just the right amount of spiciness to make your chicken mouthwatering.  This is an all time favorite and a BBQ Rub you should get immediately.

We hope we've answered some questions regarding what are BBQ Rubs and what do BBQ Rubs do. 

For more information on our BBQ Rubs please consult our BBQ Rub page and also see our direct links to each BBQ Rub.

Thanks for your time and Happy Barbecuing.

Tri Tip, Steak and Rib BBQ Rub
Memphis Blues BBQ Rub
Pure Santa Maria Tri Tip BBQ Rub


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