Rubs...the science behind it?

Discussion in 'Sauces, Rubs & Marinades' started by tank, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. tank

    tank Smoke Blower

    Alright I have been looking around for an explanation on the rub.  What I mean is I am trying to get a better understanding what a component brings to the rub.  I have several rubs that I enjoy but I am trying to expand on it.  Lets say for starters if I am going to add cumin to my rub what element is this going to bring to my rub.  Should I add something else to balance this out?  Lets say I want to add coffee or cocoa what elements do they bring to the table.  Can I just add them to my recipe or again do they need something else to "help" them out.  Any sort of explanations, websites, books etc that could help out with the science would be great.  Thanks in advance.
  2. Here are a few resources that may help.

    An easy method for testing herb and spice combinations is to mix them with small amounts of a mild cheese, like cream cheese. Allow them to sit for at least an hour, then sample your blends, noting which flavors you most enjoy. Be sure to label the samples so you’ll know how to duplicate or modify each to suit your taste.
  3. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

  4. raymo76

    raymo76 Smoking Fanatic

    I just picked up a copy of Paul Kirks book on sauces and rubs, it seems pretty informative to me, but I'm a complete newbie at it so maybe you're beyond it.
  5. tank

    tank Smoke Blower

    Thanks guys.  That is some good reads.  Now lets say you have a basic KC rub

    1/2 cup brown sugar

    1/4 cup sweet paprika

    1 teaspoon black pepper

    1 tablespoon kosher salt

    2 tablespoon chili powder

    1 tablespoon garlic powder

    1 tablespoon onion powder

    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    and you were going to add some cocoa powder to it.  Would you need to add an ingredient to offset some of the bitterness of the cocoa?  I guess I am thinking if you add X ingredient you should add Y ingredient to take Z taste away.  Is this true or am I just over thinking this?  I am just trying to think of ways to tweek this recipe and make it more my own.  I know trial and error will work but if I had some sort of "formula" to start with that would be helpful.
  6. I think if you add a 1/4 cup of cocoa to that it would be OK.
  7. I know the bitterness of coffee can really enhance the flavor of chocolate but i'm not quite sure how it would translate into a rub.  
  8. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Tank, nothing is out,some of us use Ginger,Cloves,Cinnamon,etc. It is a personal taste. You do a test as Alelover suggested and then have Family and Friends try it;then adjust as needed for your crowd.[​IMG]  Be careful with some flavors, as they get strong quick, and record your efforts; I have one I have 23 different recipes for until I got what I wanted right.[​IMG]

    Make it fun, and customize it to you[​IMG]

    Have fun and..........

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