Sugars in rubs

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by fishmonger, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. I have been reading a lot the past couple weeks and watching many videos, in a lot of the videos the smoked meat looks very dark, if I smoke anything and it comes out really dark my wife won't try it. I have just borrowed a Bradley 4 rack from a friend who doesn't smoke and if I like I will buy from him, my question is about the sugars, does everyone use sugar in their rubs?

    Yesterday I bought 4 racks of baby backs for this coming Saturday and don't want them to dark.

    Is it the rub? Pretty much every rub recipe I have read has sugar in it.


    PS I will be taking pics and notes throughout the entire process to share here
  2. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    What is your definition of dark? The smoking process will darken the meat even if there is no rub on it. Are you just trying to eliminate any bark from forming?
  3. I know they get dark from smoking but some of the ribs I have seen look burnt
  4. The burnt look comes from sugar in a lot of commercial pork rubs. That is a part of what helps the cuts get that nice hard bark, but it's not 100% needed at all to get a good bark. You can get rid of it all together or just decrease it. You can also use other types of sugar that don't burn at the lower temps that say brown sugar does. I believe turbinado sugar is used by some here for that very reason.
  5. I have never heard of turbinado before until I started researching smoking meats, I will try to locate in our local supermarket and see if it is readily available around here, thanks
  6. I think it's become quite common so it should be available. You might update your profile also with a location. There might be others in your area that can help if you find it's tough to find. I'm sure some others will come along with more advise. Good luck!
  7. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    Turbinado sometimes is found in stores under the band name "Sugar in the Raw". The brand name actually is a misnomer i.e. RAW, since its the result of the first pressing of cane sugar.
  8. Thanks for the sugar info.

    Well I'm getting pretty pumped for my first smoke on Saturday, going to try the 2-2-1 method using Alder and I am thinking I will wrap 2 racks in foil and leave 2 racks unwrapped and let the family be the judges. I plan on making a great coleslaw and baked/smoked beans and of course plenty of beers for the smoker (hey that's me). I will be giving a full report after the judges are finished
  9. ristau5741

    ristau5741 Meat Mopper

    Yer rubs don't have to have sugar, don't have to have salt. don't have to have anything you don't want.  it's all to _your_ taste, if you want to rub with herbs alone that's fine.  if this is for you, experiment, find what you like rub and smoke to your taste.  ya also don't even have to have rubs, a good marinate or injection can make great BBQ too.

    ps. Personally I wouldn't use alder for ribs. it's a very sweet wood,  typically used with fish. but you can do whatever you want. if you do, follow up and let us know how it turned out.  I've got a bag of alder in the garage, been waiting on some salmon, and nice weather, never smoked salmon before. I was looking around the fish forum yesterday..maybe smoke some this weekend.  I'm getting off track, so i digress..
  10. donr

    donr Smoking Fanatic

    Could you use a rub with sugar in it overnight, then rinse/soak for 15-20 min. to remove the sugar from the surface layer of meat?  Maybe then do the layer of mustard with a sugar free version of the rub.

    This should still give you the taste of sugar in the meat, but remove it from the surface so it's not there to burn.

    Or just have her try them blindfolded.
  11. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I think you would just undo what you did if you tried that. Why not just search for a sugar free rub and use honey for the sweet at the end of the cook. I suggest you try apple wood for pork ribs. Or pecan and apple mix. Just my 2 cents. I don't find you get much flavor on pork with Alder. I have used sugar maple too and it is a good light wood to use.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
  12. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    When I foil ribs I use honey, and apple juice or beer and butter in with the ribs. Very good and just the right amount of sweet. I have used Maple syrup too, the real kind and it is awesome.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015

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