Create a Signature Dry Rub

Championship Pork Butt
Photo: Photo by Beth Dreiling Hontzas / Styling by Lisa Powell Bailey / Food Styling by Pam Lolley

Follow this simple, four-step method to create your own signature dry rub.

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Step 1: Salts and Sugars

Sugar and Salt

The first thing to consider is the ratio of salt to sugar. A higher ratio of salt works best in rubs for beef, fish, and wild game, while those with more sugar are better suited for pork.
Salt―Refined, fine grained (included in Big Bob’s secret pork shoulder seasoning)
Kosher salt―Additive-free, coarse grained
Sea salt―From evaporated seawater;
usually very fine grained
Seasoned salt―Regular salt combined with flavoring ingredients (e.g., garlic salt, onion salt, celery salt)
White sugar―Highly refined cane or beet sugar; will scorch at hotter temperatures
Brown sugar―White sugar combined with molasses; adds color and flavor to barbecue

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Step 2: Pepper

Pork Butt Dry Rub

Dry rubs need to be balanced not only in
flavor but also in heat. Add ground pepper to the salt-sugar mix in small increments until your ideal blend of heat and flavor is reached. Adding more pepper is always an option, but you can’t remove it, so go slow.
Cayenne pepper―Also called ground red pepper. This hot powder provides instant, or front-end, heat.
White pepper―With a lighter color and a milder flavor, it provides gentle heat and background warmth.
Black pepper―It has a stronger flavor than white or cayenne. Fine- or course-ground, both work great.
Chile pepper―Not to be confused with chili (with an “i”) powder. Flavors vary from very hot to mild. Smoked chile powders such as ground chipotle are also widely available.

pictured: Pork Butt Dry Rub

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Step 3: Transition Spices

Potato Salad Dry Rub

Transition spices unite the rub’s sugars, salts, and peppers. These spices are not as dominant as other spices, so they can be added with a heavier hand.
Chili powder―Has a pungent earthy flavor. Use with beef, lamb, pork, and wild game.
Cumin―Aromatic with a nutty, light peppery flavor. Use with beef, poultry, fish, pork, and seafood.
Paprika―Hungarian paprika has a deeper, heartier flavor, while Spanish paprika has a milder flavor. Use with beef, poultry, fish, pork, and seafood.

pictured Potato Salad Dry Rub

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Step 4: Signature Flavors

Rib Dry Rub

This is the time to stamp your name on your backyard offerings.
Coriander―Use with pork, lamb, poultry and beef.
Dill―Use with chicken and fish.
Garlic powder―Use with pork, beef, lamb, poultry, seafood, and wild game.
Ginger―Use with wild game, fish, seafood, pork, and poultry.
Onion powder―Use with pork, lamb, poultry and beef, seafood, and wild game.
Oregano―Use with lamb, beef, and fish.
Mustard powder―Use with beef, lamb, poultry, pork, and wild game.
Rosemary―Use with fish and poultry.
Thyme―Use with beef, fish, pork, and poultry.

pictured Rib Dry Rub

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Grilled Potato Salad

Grilled Potato Salad
Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Our Food staff unanimously agree that Grilled Potato Salad is hands down the tastiest interpretation of this classic side that we’ve ever tested.

Grilled Potato Salad

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