This is just NUTS!!! Or is it? Blueberry Dry Rub: Recipe, Q-View, Method for Prep

Discussion in 'Beef' started by forluvofsmoke, May 14, 2013.

  1. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey all! I had this odd feeling yesterday afternoon that I found a use for the package of dried blueberries I picked-up a couple months back...I grabbed 'em not really knowing exactly why (other than for dry rub), but I knew I would figure it out, of those really great impulse purchases that kept me thinking off and on for several weeks. The wife and kids were gone at the time this one was concieved (when the cat's away the mouse will play), but wifey was bringing me some bone-in and boneless rib eyes and boneless chuckies home to play with for dinner, and the following is the results.

    If this rub looks a bit on the pale/grey/blue side of the color shades, it me, it looks much better on beef:


    2 Tbsp ground dried blueberries
    1 Tbsp fresh ground black peppercorn
    1 Tbsp fresh ground garlic
    2 Tbsp fresh ground onion
    1 tsp medium-fine ground thyme
    1/2Tbsp medium-fine ground rosemary
    1 Tbsp kosher salt

    To process the dried blueberries, add 1 Tbls or less at a time to your grinder. It will paste-up very quickly. Add peppercorns to this to help break-down and disperse the berries. Grind some of the other spices and add berries to grind a second and third time for reducing particle size and achieving a good blend. Add the kosher salt when you are sure you are finished grinding to tumble for the final blend.

    Apply this rub with a shaker only. It will pack quickly when handling, so it is best as a no-contact dry rub, including once applied to the meat. Just sprinkle it on, rest a couple minutes, turn with tongs and repeat.

    When you taste this dry rub after blending, it may seem very spicy, and slightly hot...this will mellow when applied to meat and cooked, so don't become discouraged if you think it didn't come out right.

    If you want a spicy-hot version, add your favorite hot dried chili powders, cayenne pepper, extra ground black peppercorn, etc.
    Note: when using cayenne, I recommend adding cinnamon at a ratio of about 10:1 cayenne/cinnamon to smooth the bitter after-taste of cayenne.

    Note: I do not recommend this rub for high-temp cooking, such as pan-seared or grilled, as the natural sugars in the blueberries will likely scorch very quickly.

    A few bone-in rib eyes to get things started:

    6 bone-in rib eyes covered with a couple of bone-less chuckies...Amazing Taste Steakhouse Seasoning on 5 bone-less rib eyes on the right, just in case someone wasn't adventurous enough to be my guinea-pig for the new rub:

    Blue berry:

    Amazing Taste::

    Into the Smoke Vault 24 @ 225* after a nearly cold start-up with a dry smoke chamber, and smoke provided by hickory and cherry chips. I picked the temps up to 250* the last 30 minutes:

    I gave 'em a heavier dose of smoke for about 15 minutes, then let it thin-out for another hour before removing the smoke wood, so, 1.25 hours smoke, with a total of 2 hours cooking time...came out rare to med-rare:

    Chuckies on the left, rib eyes on the right (upper grate):

    Rib eyes (middle grate):

    Boneless rib eyes (lower grate), with Amazing Taste seasoning:

    String-beans and Idaho tater on the side, topped with sauteed button mushrooms:

    A little bit of the rain-bow effect in the cross-cut, but not much...I think the smoke reaction offset the color a bit, though.

    Smoke was a bit on the light side for me (due to deliberately using a dry smoke chamber and killing the smoke early), but I didn't want to get carried away with our guests in the house. The rub was really not what I expected at all. I went fairly sparingly, because the taste straight out of the blending container had quite a peppery bite, with a nice background from the blueberry. Man, did it ever fool me! I could have went with a lot more rub, but it was still very good with a lighter application. Not very spicy at all, and I expected a strong peppery hit up front, which was pretty mellow, and a slight hit of garlic. The onion seemed to smooth it over and pull it all together. The blueberry came in somewhere in the middle and carried through towards the end of the chew lending a light touch to the rib eye. This stuff is almost addictive. If you've ever had a burgundy beef rub, this takes it a few steps further, I think. Not so much of a sweetness as it is just that hint of something fruity and different.

    Oh, and the wife? She gave me that (you put what in the dry rub???, when asked which she wanted, when finding out that the only bone-in rib eyes had blueberry rub (she likes bone-in), she was apprehensive, but accepted one...and LIKED it!! Everyone who tried it raved about it...I really like it, too. Enough to be looking for more dried blueberries the next chance I get. Anyway, that was just a quick, down and dirty basic rub for beef...I'll go into this a bit more in the future and add a few more savories to the blend, just for giggles, but in reality, you don't need a lot of added flavors to make a good beef-steak, now, do you? I think what I have here is just about as far as I want to take it...simple and gentle enhancement of the already great flavors of the rib eye and chuck. I'll definitely be using rub this again...I just can't help me crazy if you want, but if you're looking for something different (like I usually am), this will do it for you.

    Thanks for peekin'!!!

    Great smokes to ALL!!!

    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  2. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    That looks, and sounds great, Eric!  Thanks for sharing it!  Very detailed.  Now I gotta go out and try to find some dried blueberries...

    Thanks, Eric!

  3. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Oh yummmm.....and love to see that Smoke Vault!  [​IMG]

    They look wonderful!

  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds good! That was quite a pile of steaks! [​IMG]
  5. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    First, your wife sure knows how to pick out some fine steaks. congrats to her!!  Congrats to you for this excelent presentation of pure love of grilling and smoking!! Never would of thought of the blueberry rub, but you put it together with other spices to compliment those awesome looking steaks. thanks for the step by step and ingredients. Reinhard
  6. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds very good!
  7. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    They were, my smokin' brother!
    You're welcome, Red. If you can't find them in a grocery store, the big box outlets may be your next avenue to check.
    Thanks, Kat! Yeah, the Vault has been one of my main go to rigs, unless I feel like playin' with charcoal...smoked-up a ton of goodies with the Vault in the past 3 years or so.
    Ha-ha-ha! Yeah, we did a little dinner for the 2 college grads this year (daughter and her fiance')...couldn't have a party the day of, so we had a nice dinner the evening after....I just couldn't resist the temptation to try a new dry rub, and it was a hit!
    She does pretty well at the meat counter. Blueberries for a dry rub, yeah, what am I thinking, right? Nice flavor profile, though. You're welcome for the how-to...figured some may want to know, 'cuz the only thing I had to fall back on was my experience with grinding dried cherries for rubs, but blueberries pasted-up in the grinder so fast, I almost couldn't think fast enough on how to handle it.

    Great smokes, all!

  8. dj mishima

    dj mishima Meat Mopper

    This reminded me of the dried cherry rub that I now see you also did.

    Very interesting stuff! I'm going to add these to the try list.

    I am curious about one thing though. What do you use to grind your spices? I have a Turkish coffee grinder that I use for peppercorns. Would something like that work? If I went that route, I would probably pick up another one, as I use the pepper grinder too much to swap out for other stuff.
  9. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I use a manually switched blade-type electric coffee grinder for almost everything (I usually make fairly large batches of spice blends, as I cook quite a bit at one time). A pepper-mill is best for larger particle size of ground peppercorns. When using the peppercorns as a buffer to finish the blueberries/cherries and such, the peppercorns will have a fairly large particle size after the first grind, and will break-down farther with each consecutive grind while adding other pre-ground spices. I'm not sure if you can get small enough particle size for a lot of spices with a mill, but a mortar & pestle should do the job nicely for smaller quantities of powders up to larger particles, with most spices.

  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Awesome Ribeyes, and Great looking Plate!!!

    Nice Job Eric!!!

  11. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Bear, that was a nice treat, and great subjects to toss a new dry rub recipe onto...crazy good stuff!


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