Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by jjrolex, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. jjrolex

    jjrolex Newbie

    I have had a #1 smokin-it for 3 years now. Do you guys think that adding a rub adds that much flavor to the meat. I have tried numerous rubs, that are basically the same, and I don't taste any difference than just smoking the meat without a rub. Just curious if I am missing something, or a rub doesn't add that much. 
  2. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I use a simple rub of garlic powder, cracked black pepper, Kosher salt, and brown sugar on ribs and butts. What I typically taste after a cook is the sweetness of the brown sugar.  I can detect some flavor from the garlic. Having smoked with wood/charcoal and electric, I will say that rubs do help in producing a decent bark.  I have smoked without rubs and the bark is different, very dry but tasty in its own right. With that said, maybe a rub helps retain moisture. I have truly never paid that much attention. Since I make my own, it is inexpensive and just part of the ritual. I will say that the brown sugar sort of liquifies and during smoking runs off the meat and probably takes most of the other stuff with it.

    You might try letting your rub rest on the meat for several hours/overnight in the refrigerator prior to smoking.  Another method of introducing flavor is by injecting liquid flavoring/marinade  deep into the meat. Just experiment. 

    Use the search bar at the top of the page for rubs.  Also, the Smokin-it site will be of help.
  3. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Interesting question.  I think the kind of wood you use while smoking makes a huge difference in flavor.  I do taste a difference when I use rub, but it really depends on the type of meat.

    Unbrined poultry: I can taste the rub. 

    Brined poultry:  Rub doesn't add as much flavor as the brine so I often don't bother to rub a brined chicken, or I go lightly on the rub. 

    Pork ribs: I can definitely taste the rub and because of that use it sparingly. 

    Pork butt/shoulder: I actually use more rub at the end of the smoke for seasoning than at the beginning.  A butt is a thick hunk of meat.  The rub adds to the flavor of the bark and the gelatin drippings but not much to the inside of the meat until after you pull it.  You can inject but I just add it at the end of the smoke.  I also add the gelatin drippings back to the pulled meat which flavors it further.   

    Beef brisket: I'm a SPOG only guy on brisket.  Picked up a beautiful Choice grade 5 lb brisket point today that I'll smoke later in the week with mesquite or hickory. I don't use "rubs" on beef.  Never sugar. 

    Chuckies: SPOG or a variety of seasonings depending on what I'm making, but nothing I would call a rub.  The trick with chuckies is to NOT go light on the seasoning.     

    Fish: you can definitely taste any rub or seasonings. 

    I've tried a bunch of rubs on chicken and pork.  I found more I don't like than those I do.  Consequently I have my go-to homemade and commercial rub that I use. 
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I make a bunch of different rubs depending on the meat. My kids even put my go to rub for pork on Popcorn.

    Cajun Rib Tickler

    1C Tubinado or Dried Brown Sugar*

    1/4C Paprika**

    2T Kosher Salt

    2T Garlic Powder

    2T Onion Powder

    2T Mustard Powder

    2T Chili Powder

    2tsp Black Pepper

    1-2tsp Cayenne

    2tsp Dry Oregano

    2tsp Dry Thyme

    2tsp Cry Celery Flakes

    1tsp Celery Seed

    Grind the Oregano, Thyme, Celery Flake and Seed. Mix all and store in air tight container, up to 3 months..

    For milder Rub leave out Cayenne..

    Notes...* Leave out the Sugar for a Cajun Blackening Spice.  Spinkle a lot or a little, on whatever meat, dip in melted Butter or Olive oil and saute in a very hot pan until cooked to your desired IT.

                 ** If you wish you can use Smoked Paprika in the recipe. This will give a seasoning that will add some "Smokey flavor" to Grilled, Sauteed, Fried or Roasted meat, not just stuff you smoke.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
  5. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Depends on the rub and how much you apply. Commercial rubs are OK but the ones I make from recipes really do make a difference. Rubs contribute big time to the flavor profile as can foil juice (if the meat's foiled) and mop or finish sauce that you choose to brush on. Dry rubs also assist in creating bark--if that's what you're looking for. I've experimented with wet rubs but I'm sticking with dry because I prefer the results.
  6. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    I have a rib rub that i have just feel in love with the flavor. it has a depth and compliments (not over powers) the ribs.  I have tried many different rubs and when you find your rub you like then you go with that for what you like it on. When i make roast beef i use Montreal seasoning i buy at the store ( or use it for a lot of beef applications) because its what i think tastes good on beef. Just try different ones and if you get something you like adjust till you get it the way YOU like it. or in my case what the Boss likes. Rub, wood type and sauce are all ( or should be ) compliments to the wonderful flavor of God's creations. If all you taste is sauce or rub or whatever you might as well smoke some cardboard and eat that!

    Just my $.02

    Happy Smoking,

    phatbac (Aaron)
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Aaron, Is that " fell in love with " rub, commercial or your own creation? I make a variety of rubs but am always looking for new ideas. Care to share?...JJ
  8. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    its a modification of one my wife found in a magazine

    here it is with my mods

    1/2 cup turbinado sugar
    2 tbsp kosher salt
    2 tbsp coriander
    1 tbsp cumin
    2 tbsp garlic powder
    1 tbsp ground ginger
    2 tbsp paprika
    1 tbsp black pepper
    1 tsp of cinnamon

    its not overly sweet with a nice balance and the cinnamon adds a twist on the back you could add some cayenne or something to make it have a little heat but i dont do much in the way of heat on our ribs because my wife an family like it without

    Hope that ya like it!

    phatbac (Aaron)
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Nice! Looks like a great combination...Thanks for sharing...JJ

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