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View Full Version : homemade rub vs. commercial rub


Guranimo
09-14-2011, 11:07 AM
We are new to competition and have been making our own rubs for various meats. It seems like a lot of people are using commercial rubs though. What are some thoughts out there about this? Are we jusr wasting a lot of time and money or should we continue making our own. If you recommend using a commercially available rub then what do you recommend. Haven't really tried any since been making my own.

Sawdustguy
09-14-2011, 11:18 AM
We use commercial rubs. Why re-invent the wheel? There are companies out there that have spent years developing their rubs. Why would I think I could do any better? We use Yardbird, Smoking Guns, The Slabs etc. sometimes with a little doctoring.

Hub
09-14-2011, 11:36 AM
I agree with Sawdustguy --unless you have the time to thoroughly refine the flavors, textures and combinations, it is much easier to use a proven commercial rub. Many competitors do use their own rubs, but typically not new competitors.

Hint: find a rub that has character and adds interesting flavor to your meat without being too hot or distinctive. There's an old adage in competition, "Offend nobody" that really means "please as many people as you can". Judges look for entries that have great balance: Flavor from the meat, the method (smoke), and the spicing (rub, sauce, mop, injection, etc.) with no one thing overpowering. The two most common mistakes in competition are over-smoking and over-saucing.

Good luck!

Guranimo
09-14-2011, 11:38 AM
Thanks for the help. Now I just need to find a good one. Again recommedations are appreciated.

trzasa
09-14-2011, 11:52 AM
You might try Nuttin Butt Luv. Its out of Memphis and its pretty good for pork and ribs.

Trzasa

RangerJ
09-14-2011, 01:34 PM
Thanks for the help. Now I just need to find a good one. Again recommedations are appreciated.

Lots of good ones out there, many made by members of this forum.

I don't know that this is a "one size fits all" situation. When I'm cooking KCBS, I use 4 different rubs for 4 meats.

IBCA, I use 3 different for 3 meats. Though, I have forgotten some at home and used some for both meats.

This is what works for me after a whopping 16 cook offs of experience. They have become my flavor profile, along with whatever sauce or mop I'm using. Your going to have to experiment.

ZILLA
09-14-2011, 01:46 PM
I don't agree with the opinions above. I make most of my own rubs and win. If you make your own and are seeing success then why not save your money to spend on other stuff.

The reason to invent your own wheel is to save on shipping, keep the profit in your pocket, and yes contrary to what others may say of course you can do better than the commercial guys. That's not so hard!

DawgPhan
09-14-2011, 04:21 PM
be careful with the commerical stuff...it isnt as consistent as you might think it should be.

Guranimo
09-14-2011, 05:50 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. Much appreciated.

PimpSmoke
09-14-2011, 06:02 PM
I don't know about the cost. For me to buy quality fresh spices that are ground perfectly (buying a processor) for the amount of rub I use every comp season, I could easily double the price I pay for commercial rubs.

I have tried making my own. Order fresh trusted spices in enough bulk to make the shipping worthwhile (Penzey's), pay shipping, grind to exact consistency, vacu-suck portions and freeze or put in the dark. By the time you get done, it's a lot more money for me.

Other option is order a five pound bag of commercial, buy a SMALL amount of fresh for doctoring and mix on site. Five pounds of rub will last 2 comps at least for one meat for me.

Lake Dogs
09-14-2011, 06:03 PM
Hub said it, but that doesnt mean that you cant accomplish the same thing with your rub. Hub gave you the mark to hit. If it's not overly distinctive, has a nice balance, and enhances the flavor of the meat vs. overpowering it, then you have something.

I've always used my own rub(s), but I had years of experience with spices long before competing. You'll find that many of the over-the-counter have quite a bit of sodium, sugars, and some even have artificial smoke flavorings in them. As it ends up, my main rub that I have been making for years tastes quite a bit like Plowboy's Yardbird, only with much less sodium.

Originally I went through the thought process that you're going through. We ended up having a party where I cooked a couple of butts with my rub and another couple with another rub; had a tasting party. We've since done this a few times. I dont tell folks which is which, I just ask which they prefer and why. That's lead us to the rubs, injections, and sauces that we use.

boogiesnap
09-14-2011, 06:18 PM
IMHO, there is waaaaaaay too much salt in 95% of commercial rubs and ones you'll find to make at home, thus 95% of competitive BBQ'ers not consistently scoring.

this coming from a salt lover, while it does many many magical things to food, you're not really supposed to taste it.

there, my own personal big BBQ secret is out. :becky:

make and taste a bunch, buy and taste a bunch of commercial. pick what you like best. from a pricing standpoint, making at home gets very very expensive.

PimpSmoke
09-14-2011, 06:24 PM
IMHO, there is waaaaaaay too much salt in 95% of commercial rubs and ones you'll find to make at home, thus 95% of competitive BBQ'ers not consistently scoring.

this coming from a salt lover, while it does many many magical things to food, you're not really supposed to taste it.

there, my own personal big BBQ secret is out. :becky:

make and taste a bunch, buy and taste a bunch of commercial. pick what you like best. from a pricing standpoint, making at home gets very very expensive.

That's why five pounds of commercial can be stretched so much. SHHHH!:doh:

SouthernMagicBBQ
09-14-2011, 06:30 PM
Bad Byron's Butt Rub is available in most grocery stores. The owner has won competitions with it. I would caution you to use it sparingly. It is loaded with red and cayenne pepper. I'm an old purist. I tend to like using just salt, black pepper, garlic powder and a little cayenne. I add some of the mixture with spring water and fresh lemon juice for my mopping sauce. Yes, I mop. Told you I was an old purist. I learned on old brick pits.

PimpSmoke
09-14-2011, 07:40 PM
Bad Byron's Butt Rub is available in most grocery stores. The owner has won competitions with it. I would caution you to use it sparingly. It is loaded with red and cayenne pepper. I'm an old purist. I tend to like using just salt, black pepper, garlic powder and a little cayenne. I add some of the mixture with spring water and fresh lemon juice for my mopping sauce. Yes, I mop. Told you I was an old purist. I learned on old brick pits.

Bad Byron's Butt Rub, is crap.



Sorry

NS Mike D
09-14-2011, 08:33 PM
Bad Byron's Butt Rub is available in most grocery stores. The owner has won competitions with it. I would caution you to use it sparingly. It is loaded with red and cayenne pepper. I'm an old purist. I tend to like using just salt, black pepper, garlic powder and a little cayenne. I add some of the mixture with spring water and fresh lemon juice for my mopping sauce. Yes, I mop. Told you I was an old purist. I learned on old brick pits.

Bad Byron's Butt Rub, is crap.



Sorry

lol I have two jars of it, a gift from a friend. It's too hot. I love chipotle, but not that much heat in my bbq.


I ordered yardbird and 3 eyz this summer to check them out along with another rub. They are all good. 3 eyz doesn't list sugar before salt as the main ingredient. Anyway, I don't compete but enjoy trying what I read here at home. It's fun notin the difference in rubs, and how that are when I add my own accents to them.

As for personal taste, I agree with the post about finding that balance to let the flavor of the meat not get lost.

rookiedad
09-14-2011, 10:37 PM
with commercial rubs, sauces and injects you have the ability to employ flavors that you would not have ready access to by making your own, such as burbon powder, honey powder, soy and worshtershire powders, fruit flavorings, yeast protines and other things such as these. what you might want to try is to use two or more commercial rubs in varying amounts to arrive at a complementary application for each catagory.

Guranimo
09-15-2011, 08:40 AM
Thanks everyone. Lotta really good stuff here. Has anyone tried Klose rubs? I know his pits are fantastic but haven't heard anything about the rubs.

Dan - 3eyzbbq
09-15-2011, 09:47 AM
3 eyz doesn't list sugar before salt as the main ingredient.

Thanks for trying the rub! Just a clarification, our rubs first ingredient is sugar, then salt. I too thought most rubs were salt heavy which is why ours is not.

Candy Sue
09-15-2011, 09:50 AM
After many years using and tweeking commercial rubs, I've been playing with my own rubs and sauce. I've been top 10 and DAL since starting with this, but heading to a comp this weekend with my own stuff. I love the smell of the super fresh ingredients (thanks to Penzey's), the smell of sauce simmering on the stove and just the feeling that if I do do well, there's more of ME in the entry. Kinda taken the entire competition thing to a new level of involvement.

King
09-15-2011, 10:41 AM
For me, there is some truth to inexperienced/intermediate cookers using commercial rubs more. I don't know enough about what flavors are best for which cuts of meat or how to construct a competition rub. I'm learning this from buying competition type rubs. However, the more I read the ingredients in the rubs, the more I talk to the pro's, search the internet, read cook books, hang out in the spice section at the market or spice shop...I'm thinking I can give my own rub a shot.

Scottie
09-15-2011, 11:35 AM
After many years using and tweeking commercial rubs, I've been playing with my own rubs and sauce. I've been top 10 and DAL since starting with this, but heading to a comp this weekend with my own stuff. I love the smell of the super fresh ingredients (thanks to Penzey's), the smell of sauce simmering on the stove and just the feeling that if I do do well, there's more of ME in the entry. Kinda taken the entire competition thing to a new level of involvement.

I like the R&D that go into the commercial product. I love having sponsors to show others that i proudly use their product. Like BBQr's Delight Pellets. :becky:

I need to get me one of them pellet fired Jambo's!!!!

ZILLA
09-15-2011, 02:43 PM
with commercial rubs, sauces and injects you have the ability to employ flavors that you would not have ready access to by making your own, such as burbon powder, honey powder, soy and worshtershire powders, fruit flavorings, yeast protines and other things such as these. what you might want to try is to use two or more commercial rubs in varying amounts to arrive at a complementary application for each catagory.

Most if not all of these ingredients are available on line or in the case of fruit flavorings at your local grocer in the form of concentrated fruit juice or canned juices. It's totally doable and doable at a savings and one shouldn't feel like you're held hostage to commercial rubs. You can also use better quality ingredients with less filler. Commercial rubs no matter how good are still made with a finite amount of ingredients and be closely approximated with relative ease. I think that waaaay to much importance has been given to some of these obscure ingredients and I really doubt that they can shine through in real smoked BBQ anyway. Save your money and make your own.

comfrank
09-15-2011, 04:02 PM
I do both...

Rubs: Yardbird on chicken, the Slabs on ribs, and my own rubs on pork and brisket.

Sauces: A doctored up Blues Hog/Tennesse Red sauce for chicken and ribs, doctored up drippings for brisket and pork.

Injections: Butchers for brisket, a Chris Lilly type injection for pork, and an injection of my own devising for chicken (although Yardbird is one of the ingredients in the injection).

--frank in Wilson, NY

NS Mike D
09-15-2011, 09:49 PM
Thanks for trying the rub! Just a clarification, our rubs first ingredient is sugar, then salt. I too thought most rubs were salt heavy which is why ours is not.

ooops sorry, not sure why I typed it that way - yup, I wanted to note that you listed sugar before salt, which was different that the other rubs in my cubbard. Guess I screwed that message up.


I think chicken takes well to the higher salt, but I am looking to cut it down in my ribs.


Meanwhile, I am doing my first comp as captn this weekend, in a rib cook off (see Hicksville thread), and realized i didn't have enough of your rub, and not enough time to get more, so since this is the bretheren, I am mixing 2 eyz with yardbird. They are getting to know eachother in the canister tonight.

Dan - 3eyzbbq
09-15-2011, 10:15 PM
Haha, im sure they will get along just fine. Good luck!

CivilWarBBQ
09-16-2011, 12:30 AM
Bad Byron's Butt Rub, is crap.



Sorry

Butt Rub has been and continues to be a component in winning competition recipes for over 15 years. Given this fact, your statement looks pretty foolish.

PimpSmoke
09-16-2011, 08:02 AM
Butt Rub has been and continues to be a component in winning competition recipes for over 15 years. Given this fact, your statement looks pretty foolish.

OK, I guess.

tmcmaster
09-16-2011, 12:11 PM
I am not a fan of commercial rubs. If you win with someone else's product, have you really won anything? </personal rant>

ParkAvenue_2
09-16-2011, 12:44 PM
We do both. If we find a commercial rub that we like, we'll stick with it for a while. We've won categories using commercial rubs and we've won categories with homemade concoctions as well. Don't think there is a one size fits all answer on this question.

Fat Freddy
09-16-2011, 01:36 PM
I have used several different commercial rubs but always seem to go back to John Henry's rubs. My personal favorites are Texas Chicken Tickler and Caribbean Sun. I have also sprinkled in Wild cherry Chipotle in with my pulled pork and had good results with that.

Ryan Chester
09-16-2011, 05:04 PM
Most if not all of these ingredients are available on line or in the case of fruit flavorings at your local grocer in the form of concentrated fruit juice or canned juices. It's totally doable and doable at a savings and one shouldn't feel like you're held hostage to commercial rubs. You can also use better quality ingredients with less filler. Commercial rubs no matter how good are still made with a finite amount of ingredients and be closely approximated with relative ease. I think that waaaay to much importance has been given to some of these obscure ingredients and I really doubt that they can shine through in real smoked BBQ anyway. Save your money and make your own.

You are absolutely correct. You can buy any of the ingredients we (commercial companies) use in our blends. The questions is, how much are you going to spend concocting and perfecting a blend (if you ever perfect it)? Is it worth the money and or time? Some people may never get to the point where they have a top notch flavor profile. Itís not rocket science but some just may never achieve it or be willing to dedicate the time and money to achieve it.

I am not a fan of commercial rubs. If you win with someone else's product, have you really won anything? </personal rant>

Unless you are submitting someone elseís rub in a rub competition, your question/statement doesn't make any sense.

Vince RnQ
09-17-2011, 12:42 PM
I may have missed it here but the thing that speaks the loudest to me on using our own rubs and sauces is that we have complete control of our flavor profile. We know exactly what the ingredients are, where they came from, how fresh the blend is, etc.

MadAboutQue
09-17-2011, 02:33 PM
I've been playing with salt/sugar free rubs. I just season with s&p then the rub. There's an old restaurant saying about adding profit to a sauce by adding water. Same goes for rubs...salt/sugar are cheap....stretches the batch size. Plus it tastes good.

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