How2Q - BBQ Recipes, Tips & Tricks by GreatQ4U!
RUB IT Baby!!!
It's really pretty simple to create a BBQ Rub, but to make it 'your own' requires some trial and error not to mention some tasty R&D cooking! Once you've got the flavor that you like locked in...then you can experiment making different rubs for different meats and veggies. There are endless possibilities and all of them start with a simple combination of seasonings that you like.
There are as many Rubs out there as there are BBQ enthusiasts and they all have one thing in common...whomever made the Rub really likes it! We certainly don't profess to be the experts on what rub combination you'll like...we'll leave that to your taste buds and your sense of imagination. Here's how to get started:
Most importantly use fresh spices! You no doubt have some spice jars in your kitchen cabinets that have been there for months, or even years...toss 'em! Fresh spices make everything you put them on much better and they are an essential ingredient to Great BBQ Rubs! You can look for spices at your local Farmer's Market or in the summer time at any one of many farm stands that pop up in the more rural areas!
To build your rub, make a list of your favorite spices. Think about flavors that you like and then try mixing them in a mixing bowl. Sift them from one bowl into another allowing all of them to mix well together and then try them on your favorite dishes. Adjust according you your tastes and try again...eventually you'll come up with the Rub you like the best!
Some of the most common ingredients for Rubs include:
Paprika, Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, various Chili Powders, Dru Mustard, Celery Salt, Cumin, Adobo, Garam Marsala, Dried Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Sage, Parsley, Cilantro, Fennel and more!
You can add various sugars to your rub as well, brown sugar is a frequent choice...but remember...sugar burns! This means that if you're planning on using a rub with sugar in it, it will caramelize during the cooking process...meaning it will liquefy and get a bit 'burnt' for lack of a more culinarily pleasing term. That's OK...this adds its own unique flavor to the party...it's just something to keep in mind!
Go ahead...experiment and see how easy it is to create your own BBQ Rub!
Creating your OWN BBQ Sauce
Much like making your own Rub...creating your own 'Signature' BBQ Sauce depends on your personal taste. You should think about what flavors that you really like. If you've been to a great "Q" Shack, think about what flavors in their sauce appealed to you.
There are a few schools of thought when it comes to sauces. Just about all of 'em contain some vinegar...some contain A LOT of vinegar, others not-so-much. This variation can be defined by regions of the country...in the south, particularly the Carolinas...they like vinegar. Out west in places like Kansas City, their sauces tend to be a bit on the sweeter side, opting to tone down the vinegar with tomato products.
As for those 'tomato' products, some folks use ketchup, others insist on tomato sauce and/or paste. Each adds a different flavor to the mix with ketchup bringing along a bit more vinegar and a few other spices to the show. Tomato sauce and paste give you a nice robust tomato flavor and act as a clean palate on which to add your spices.
Spices for your sauce are similar to those used in a Rub. Some folks add more Dry or Wet mustard to give their sauce a bit more of an 'attitude' others add lots of sugar and molasses to make them sweet!
Remember, sugar's sweet...but it 'caramelizes' too..so if you use a lot of it in your sauce. don't apply it until you're about 2/3rds done cooking and then add it a couple of times to build up a nice crust with a final application after the meat's come off the smoker to let folks taste just how good your sauce is!
Most of all..HAVE FUN!
Try a few variations and see what you like...it's a great way to develop your own 'Signature' BBQ Sauce