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bigabyte 05-29-2009 10:43 PM

Mad Science Experiment - Ingredients in Rubs/Slathers
I did some more rub ingredient experiments today that continue an older experiment I started a few years ago. To see how this experiment started, and an additional set of testing after that, you can reference these other threads.

How this started:

Second round of tests:

I am going to compile all of the information from these older threads, plus todays info into this one thread to keep it simple.

Today I tested some more dry spices, powders etc. Now I must warn you, many of these ingredients I tested today may seem a little "weird", but I had pondered using them enough times that I finally decided today to go ahead and test them.

The new items I tested today are all in the second section, and are highlighted in red. At the bottom of this post are before and after pics of the pieces of meat I cooked to test these ingredients.

Two of the tiems I tested today, I later found out I had already tested. These are the Jalapeno and Habanero Powders. Oh well, no biggie.

For each ingredient, I mixed 1/2 tbsp of the sugar or syrup with 1/2 tsp salt and applied to the meat. I did not let the rub set in, I put in the cooker as soon as possible.

Agave Nectar - Not much sweet flavor, or any other flavor. No burnt taste.
Apple Juice Concentrate (Old Orchard 100%, frozen) - More sweet was transferred to the meat than the Grape juices, but was still a fairly mild sweet. Tasted good. No burnt flavor. No noticeable apple flavor.
Barley Malt Syrup - Did not have a burnt taste, but the taste it did have I did not find pleasurable. My least favorite so far.
Brown Rice Syrup - Very light sweet flavor, not bad. No burnt taste. Nothing special.
Cane Juice Sugar (Whole Foods, bulk) - Lightly sweet with a certain yummy aftertaste that I couldn't pinpoint. No burnt taste. Not bad at all. Fairly good actually.
Concorde Grape Juice Concentrate (Welch's 100%, frozen) - Minor sweet boost to meat. Tasty. No burnt flavor. Had a slight hint of grape flavor.
Cranberry Juice Concentrate (Old Orchard 100%, frozen) - Not much sweet boost at all, if any. Had a good flavor though. No burnt taste. Could not really distinguish any cranberry flavor but it may come through in a something like turkey or chicken perhaps.
Dark Brown Cane Sugar, granulated (C&H) - Had a sweet taste a bit different than the white sugar, with a touch of a burnt flavor. It was good and made what I would call a fine bark.
Dark Corn Syrup (Karo) - Not sure how to describe it. Definitely had a burnt taste, strongest burnt flavor so far. There was a sweetness there, but I didn't like this at all. Took a while to cleanse the palate.
Date Sugar - Sweet flavor, had a noticable burnt flavor. Least favorite so far.
Fructose - Complex sweet flavor making a hammy taste. No burnt flavor. Really good bark.
Honey - Very different, in a fairly good way. Lightly sweet and imparted a taste I don't think I can describe. It doesn't taste like honey. No burnt taste. Good, but only a little above average.
Light Brown Cane Sugar, granulated (C&H) - Had a sweet taste that was still different from the white sugars, but less so. No burnt flavor.
Light Corn Syrup (Karo) - Hammy flavor with a hint of a dark sweetness. No burnt flavor. Good, but not the best tonight.
Maple Flavored Syrup (Aunt Jemima) - Salt overpowered the sweet. No burnt taste. Difficult to taste anything in this one.
Maple Sugar - Lightly sweet, couldn't taste any maple. Barely a hint of a burnt taste, but it was there ever so slightly. Not bad.
Maple Syrup (Grade A Dark Amber) - Wow, this was good! Kind of a bacony flavor. No burnt flavor. I think this is my favorite so far.
Molasses - Lightly sweet, good BBQ flavor. No burnt taste. Pretty good.
Orange Juice Concentrate (Old Orchard 100%, frozen) - Very minor boost in sweetness. Could pick up on the orange flavor though. Not bad. No burnt flavor.
Pineapple Juice Concentrate (Old Orchard 100%, frozen) - This one made me go "Mmmmmm" when I tasted it. It added some sweet flavor, more than any other of the juice concentrates, but still not as much as the other sweeteners I have tested. Flavor was really good. I could not really distinguish the pineapple taste, it mingled with the pork. The meat seemed more tender than the other pieces, which was another thing I was curious about.
Sorghum - Sweet and different. No burnt taste. It was good.
Splenda - Had a complex sweet flavor, no burnt taste at all. Me likey! Ate the whole piece.
Turbinado Cane Sugar (C&H) - Lightly sweet. No burnt taste. Nothing too exciting flavorwise to be honest.
White Cane Sugar, granulated (C&H) - Tasted kinda hammy. Very good, not burnt at all.
White Cane Sugar, powdered (C&H) - Tasted exactly like the granulated white sugar one above.
White Grape Juice Concentrate (Welch's 100%, frozen) - Minor sweet boost to meat. Tasted good. No burnt flavor. No grape flavor either.

Dry Herbs, Spices and Powders
For each of these I mixed 1 tbsp Kosher Salt with 1 tsp of the ingredient and applied to the meat. I did not let the rub set in and put on the cooker as soon as possible.

5-Spice Powder (Tones) - Flavors came through fine, no burnt taste.
Allspice (Tones) - Allspice flavor came through loud and clear. No burnt taste, no flavor loss.
Anise Seed, fresh ground (Tones) - Flavor still strong, no burnt taste.
Au Jus Sauce Powder (Store brand) - Only added flavor I could detect was a heavier salt flavor.
Bacon Salt - I have always thought Bacon Salt tastes like Bac-O's. I was quite surprised with this result. The bark tasted kind of like a Pork Rind. This added some extra bacony flavor for sure, and not that Bac-O's taste either. I am very pleased I decided to mess around with this one.
Basil, flakes (store brand) - Flavor still strong, no burnt taste.
Bay Leaves, turkish (Penzeys) - Flavor still strong, no burnt taste.
Beef Bouillon (Herbrox) - This added some extra flavor but was hard to describe. It wasn't bad at all.
Caraway Seed, fresh ground (Tones) - Flavor definitely survived just fine, no burnt taste.
Cardamom, black (local ethnic market, fresh ground) - No flavor was left, no burnt flavor either.
Cayenne Pepper (Tones) - Still has that Cayenne heat! No burnt taste.
Celery Flakes (Tones) - Very, very little flavor left. I could detect something green and herby but it was too faint to really tell it was celery. No burnt flavor.
Celery Seed, fresh ground (Penzeys) - Celery flavor very pronounced. No burnt flavor.
Cheese Powder (Topsy's) - I had no idea what to expect here. It is definitely salty, but there is another flavor, and it actually tasted kind of like carmelized American cheese. The salt was the dominant flavor, the cheesy flavor was an added twist.
Chicken Bouillon (Herbrox) - It was subtle, but this one had some extra flavors. I wouldn't call it chicken-ey, but there was something. It was pretty good yet subtle.
Chile Powder, Ancho (ground my own) - Chile flavor pretty much totally gone, no heat that I could tell but I don't find Ancho's that warm. No burnt taste.
Chile Powder, Chipotle (ground my own) - Could just barely make out the chipotle flavor and it was hardly noticable, hardly any heat from it either until about 30 seconds later a very mild warmth was noticed. No burnt taste.
Chile Powder, Kashmir (ground my own) - Kept a little bit of its sweet chile flavor but it was heavily diminished. The heat was less than the cayenne, but it was quite noticable! No burnt taste.
Chile Powder, New Mexico (ground my own) - Chile flavor was retained very well, and rather good. Actually retained most of its warmth too. No burnt flavor.
Chili Powder (Tones) - Not much flavor remained at all, and what did remain did not taste like Chili Powder. Slight hint of a burnt flavor, but not much.
Chili Powder (Williams) - This one lost most of it's flavor, but some of a little bit of the cumin flavor remained.
Cinnamon, ground (Tones) - Cinnamon flavor reduced considerably but was still there. Very slight burnt taste.
Clove, fresh ground (local ethnic market) - Clove flavor diminished, but still distinctively clovelike in flavor. No burnt taste.
Cocoa Powder (Hersheys) - Couldn't really taste the cocoa anymore. I thought I got a hint of it but I was trying so hard to taste the cocoa in it I may have fooled myself. Very mild burnt taste.
Coffee grinds, ground to fine powder (Maxwell House) - It definitely imparted a flavor, but it didn't really taste too much like coffee. It had a bitterness you would expect from coffee, but the taste was more "meaty". It was decent but could have used some other flavors. No burnt taste.
Coffee, instant (Folgers) - Imparted a good taste into the meat but didn't taste like coffee. Was pretty similar to the ground coffee above, but the flavor was not as strong as the ground coffee. No burnt taste.
Coriander, fresh ground (Whole Foods) - Considering how strong a flavor coriander is, the flavor diminished a lot but was still obviously coriander. It was a rather mild coriander flavor though. No burnt taste.
Cumin Seed, fresh ground (Penzeys) - Cumin flavor still very pronounced. No burnt taste.
Curry Powder (Frontier) - Curry powder flavor remained quite strong.
Dill Seed, fresh ground (Tones) - Very subtle flavor, but was there. I'm not sure someone who doesn't know that it is dill in there could identify it. No burnt taste.
Dill Weed (Tones) - Hardly any flavor left. I think I tasted some dill, but may have been fooling myself. No burnt flavor.
Fennel Seed, fresh ground (Tones) - Flavor still there, though a bit diminished. No burnt taste.
Garam Masala (Frontier) - This one mellowed out but still kept a lot of flavor.
Garlic, granulated (Tones) - Very noticable roasted garlic flavor. Very, very subtle burnt flavor but was very good despite that.
Ginger, dried, fresh ground (local ethnic market) - Flavor was pretty much gone, a very, very slight aftertaste of ginger but hard to notice. No burnt flavor.
Habanero Powder ( - Heat was significantly reduced but there was still a bit of an afterburner on it. Habanero flavor was still there. It tasted pretty good actually. No burnt flavor at all.
Indian Curry Powder (Frontier) - This one kept it's flavor very well, still tasted like Curry.
Jalapeno Powder ( - Heat was greatly reduced and somewhat mild. Jalapeno flavor also reduced but still there. No burnt flavor.
Kool-Aid, Black Cherry (unsweetened powder) - Cherry Kool-Aid flavor was there, big time. Quite strong. Probably should be used in moderation. Tasted Kool-Aid-ish though, so not really the greatest fruit flavor.
Lemon Pepper (Tones) - Not much flavor of lemon survived. I could still taste some of the garlic and pepper, but not really picking up any lemon flavor. No burnt taste.
Lime Pepper (Tones) - Still tasted like Lime pepper, though a little bit more subdued. No burnt flavor.
Mace, ground (Tones) - Flavor mellowed out a lot but was still there. No burnt taste.
Marjoram, flakes (Penzeys) - Flavor came through but a bit diminished. No burnt flavor.
Mint (Spice Islands) - Mint flavor subdued but still there. Slight burnt taste.
Molly McButter - I did not think any flavor would remain, but it did. This tasted pretty good. It tastes salty, even more salty than a plain salted piece, but had an extra flavor I would describe as a little buttery.
Mrs. Dash (Original) - Flavors really mellowed down, but this was quite tasty!
Mustard, Oriental, powdered (Penzeys) - No flavor left. No burnt taste.
Mustard, powdered (Colmans) - No flavor left. No burnt taste.
Nutmeg (Tones) - Flavor mellowed considerably but the falvor of nutmeg did wind up coming through after a bit. No burnt taste.
Onion Powder (Tones) - Onion flavor diminished but still there. No burnt taste.
Oregano, italian (store brand) - Flavor came through with plenty of strength. No burnt flavor.
Oregano, turkish (Penzeys) - Flavor survived with plenty of strength. No burnt flavor.
Paprika, California Sweet (Penzeys) - Flavor diminished and turned more bitter. Bark had a lovely red tint. Some burnt taste, perhaps causing the bitter flavor.
Paprika, Hungarian Half-Sharp (Penzeys) - Paprika flavor pretty much entirely gone but a hint of it is still there. This one did not turn bitter. The heat of this paprika remained. It was not as red as the California Paprika, but did have a bit of a red tint, but overall was more brown in the end on the bark. No burnt taste.
Paprika, Spanish (Tones) - Flavor greatly diminished, not very bitter just mostly flavorless. Bark had a good red tint poking through. There was a little bit of a burnt taste.
Paprika, Sweet Hungarian (Penzeys) - Flavor greatly diminished. Good red tint showing through the bark. No burnt taste.
Parsley Flakes (Tones) - This tasted like it had a hint of herb in it, but did not have that fresh parsley taste really. Taste was faint but noticaeble.
Peppercorn Melange, fresh ground (Tones) - Flavor still strong. No burnt flavor.
Peppercorn, black, fresh ground (Tones) - Flavor survived just fine. No burnt taste.
Peppercorn, white, fresh ground (Penzeys) - Flavor came through with no problems. No burnt flavor.
Rosemary, flakes (store brand) - Flavor came through very strong. No burnt flavor. Took a while to wash the taste out.
Sage, rubbed (McCormick) - Flavor greatly subdued and nearly undetectable. No burnt flavor.
Summer Savory (Spice Islands) - Flavor partially diminished but still there. No burnt taste.
Taco Sesoning (Tones) - I couldn't seem to resist putting this one in the test, despite my reservations. This one lost a lot of flavor and tasted mostly like cumin, with maybe some onion, that was about it.
Tarragon (Tones) - Flavor was pretty much all gone. I could taste a little something, but then again I could have just been trying too hard to find a taste. No burnt flavor.
Thyme, flakes (store brand) - Flavor diminished somewhat but distinctive thyme flavor was still there. No burnt flavor.
Turmeric, ground (local ethnic market) - Flavor diminished considerably but was still there to a degree. It wasn't bad at all. No burnt taste.
Worcestershire Powder - Imparted a very subtle and good flavor. I could not identify worcestershire exactly, but there was a mild flavor there with some complexity.

Sauces and Pastes
I smeared on a coating of each ingredient onto the meat and then sprinkled with salt. I put on the cooker as soon as possible.

Yellow Mustard (French's) - Outside of a mildly burnt flavor, I couldn't taste anything other than salt and smoked pork.
Brown Mustard (French's) - Tasted the same as the Yellow Mustard above.
Honey Mustard (Hickory Farms) - There was a touch of sweet in this one, and I swear I could faintly taste the mustard. No burnt taste.
Sweet-Hot Mustard (Hickory Farms) - No flavor survived in this one. Very slight burnt taste.
Hot Sauce (Louisiana brand) - Flavor did not make it through the cooking. The heat was almost completely gone but there was a very slight afterglow. Light burnt taste.
Worcestershire Sauce (Lea & Perrins) - Not much flavor but there was a little zing in there that I think was from the sauce. No burnt taste.
Soy Sauce - Soy flavor was there but was not very strong. No burnt taste.
Teriyaki Sauce - It was not very obvious, but the Teriyaki taste was there. No burnt taste.
Horseradish (Inglehoffer) - OK, this one was a little weird. I could taste the horseradish, but I'm not sure I enjoy the smoke flavor with horseradish. I didn't like it, but the flavor did survive. No burnt taste.
Sriracha Chilli Garlic Sauce - I initially couldn't find the flavor of garlic or chili in there until the aftertaste hit. I could detect a little warmth and perhaps some chili, but there was also a decent amount of burnt flavor.
Ketchup - Ugh! Nasty! Burnt!
BBQ Sauce (KC Masterpiece Spicy Original) - Quite a number of flavors were coming through, none of them burnt. I could not compare the taste to the sauce, it had changed. It wasn't bad.
Mayonnaise (Hellman's) - Bark was more firm than the others. I was wondering what it would do the the bark consistency. No burnt flavor or any other flavors were detectable outside of the salt and meat.
Salad Dressing (Miracle Whip) - Bark consistency was a bit different from the others, but not as firm as the mayo. No distinguishable flavor came through. No burnt taste.
Garlic Paste (Amore) - Garlic flavor survived and was still somewhat strong, but not as strong as I was expecting. No burnt flavor.
Anchovy Paste (Giovanni) - At first I could not taste anchovy, but noticed that it had blended with the pork to make an interesting new flavor. It as pretty good. No burnt taste. The anchovy flavor came in loud an clear in the aftertaste however.
Almond Butter (Whole Foods fresh ground) - I could not detect any almond flavor. The bark did not firm up and was kind of pasty. No burnt taste.
Peanut Butter (Jif) - No noticeable peanut flavor. Bark was pasty on this one as well. No burnt taste.
Fish Sauce (Thai Kitchen) - Very subtle at first with a more noticeable aftertaste. No burnt flavor.
Miso (South River, White) - There was no miso flavor, but the meat had taken on a new flavor. It tasted good. No burnt flavors.

Before pic of today's meats...
Top row, left to right: Molly McButter, Parsley Flakes, Cheese Powder, Bacon Salt.
Second row, left to right: Kool-Aid, Mrs. Dash, Chicken Bouillon, Au Jus.
Third row, left to right: Beef Bouillon, Chili Powder, Taco Seasoning, Curry Powder.
Bottom row, left to right: Indian Curry, Garam Masala, Jalapeno Powder, Habanero Powder.

After pic of today's meats...
Top row, left to right: Molly McButter, Parsley Flakes, Cheese Powder, Bacon Salt.
Second row, left to right: Chicken Bouillon, Mrs. Dash, Kool-Aid, Au Jus.
Third row, left to right: Beef Bouillon, Garam Masala, Indian Curry, Taco Seasoning.
Bottom row, left to right: Jalapeno Powder, Curry Powder, Chili Powder, Habanero Powder.

zydecopaws 05-29-2009 10:50 PM

Chris, you ARE a Mad Scientist! I can foresee the BBQ test plates on the menu in the near future at our house. What kind of meat is that?

bigabyte 05-29-2009 11:09 PM

It is an 8 pound boston butt deboned and cut into relatively even 1/2 pound chunks.

CB 05-30-2009 12:10 AM

I have printed this out and it hangs in my study now - as a reference point. Thank you for investing your time and energy into this...what a great tool you've shared with us!

Saiko 05-30-2009 06:49 AM

Holy moly, that is a gold mine of information! Thanks for putting that all together, that was a lot of work.

chambersuac 05-30-2009 07:31 AM

Wow, thanks! I just have one question for you: WHERE in the world do you keep all of those ingredients. My whole kitchen and dining room combined wouldn't hold them :) I wonder if the moderators can make this a sticky for easy finding????

durfdaddy 05-30-2009 07:54 AM

You are amazing! Thanks for all that info.. Are you able to have beer and be this precise?! =)

bigabyte 05-30-2009 08:29 AM


Originally Posted by chambersuac (Post 937752)
WHERE in the world do you keep all of those ingredients. My whole kitchen and dining room combined wouldn't hold them :)

Storage space has been a problem. I don't have all of these ingredients on hand at all times, but I do have a lot more than the average bear. I have one pantry shelf stuffed with big containers, a cupboard shelf with tiny containers, and outside of those, I have spices, ingredients on 6 other shelves between the pantry door and shelves on the outside of the cupboards. Then there's the fridge...

I don't drink to excess when doing these tests, no time for it really. I'll have two or 3 maybe while it cooks, but for relaxation really.

McClung 05-30-2009 08:38 AM

That's great, thanks! Even between bbq and chili I have just a fraction of the spices you do and I don't have room for them!

Que-Dawg 05-30-2009 08:42 AM

very nice post... thanks for the info

Arlin_MacRae 05-30-2009 10:31 AM

Chris, you are an amazing asset. Thanks for what you do for the Brethren!


Dcnlarry 05-30-2009 11:08 AM

Chris, thank you for a very fine presentation and a whole lot of work and labor. You have condensed almost all of the cook books I presently use in a way that is understandable and enjoyable. Your gift to the Brethren is worth it's weight in Herbs and Spices. Thank you very much.

reptileis 05-30-2009 11:22 AM

Outstanding job!!! Your my kinda BBQ guy for sure.

infernooo 05-30-2009 02:43 PM

Nice write-up as always!

Skiumah Smokers 05-31-2009 06:45 PM

That is an outstanding list.....thanks for posting...this list is now pinned to the inside of the door of my spice cabinet

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