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How to Make a Rub

How to Make a Rub

How to Make a Rub

What is a Spice Rub?

Spice rubs are a quick and easy way to add big flavor to all kinds of dishes — it's actually a fairly loose term used to describe any number of different styles and flavors of spice blends

In fact, a rub is defined more by the way it is used than by the ingredients in it. The typical definition of a rub is a blend of spices that is applied to a food item before cooking. Rubs are commonly used on meat, but they can also be applied to vegetables, mushrooms, and tofu. 

Most spice blends labeled as a rub will share these common ingredients:

  • Salt - Enhances the flavors of spices; tenderizes meat; increases moisture retention
  • Sugar - Helps with browning and crust formation; balances bitterness and acidity
  • Garlic & Onion - Adds a boost of umami flavor

Other frequently used rub ingredients include paprika, black pepper, cumin, coriander, mustard, thyme, and oregano.


How to Use a Spice Rub

Rubs are always applied before cooking. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Dry your meat or veggies as well as possible with paper towels.
  2. Add a light drizzle of cooking oil, fruit juice, or beer.
  3. Liberally sprinkle your spice blend on all sides of your food, then use your hands to firmly pat or rub them into place, making sure they evenly coat all surfaces.
  4. You can now either jump right into cooking, or let the rub soak in for up to 24 hours.
How to Make a Rub

A spice rub can be any combination of flavors you enjoy. A basic formula is:

  • 4 tablespoons spice blend
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt (kosher if available)

What spices should you use?

These are basic recommendations, but if you’re feeling creative, branch out! Your own flavor preferences and your nose are the best tools you have to make a great blend.

What if I don't want to make my own?

We've got you covered! We have a full range of spice rubs for any occasion, ready to go.


A Note on Salt and Sugar

Although these are very often used in spice blends, they are by no means a non-negotiable. You can reduce or even eliminate them from your blend and still use it the same way. We don’t recommend using sugar substitutes (like sucralose) in your blends, so if you are avoiding sugar it is best to go without.



How to Make a Rub