I know we all discuss rub recipes and discuss which is best from time to time. But the question of making and using home made rubs versus buying and using commercial rubs always seems to resurface time after time.
The best rub in the world is the rub you like best. More often than not the rub you like best will not be the one you make yourself. This is because we get locked into a closed mind of what spices we should put into the rub we make. Personal changes in taste are difficult to make and we tend to lock in on a specific set of ingredients and exclude others that don't appeal to our personal tastes.
This is the reason many people chose other rubs in taste tests. They break your barriers of normal taste and expand your flavor horizons. Remember that a rub is not only a mixture of spices and herbs, it is a mixture of flavors. A good rub will have a balanced flavor that adds layers of flavor of the meat, without overpowering it. While a rub will add flavor, it is also a flavor enhancer that brings out and compliments the overall flavor of the meat with subtle additions of salty, sweet, savory, and spicy flavors in perfect balance to our taste buds.
I will probably have some opposition here, but in the end I think it is best to leave the rubs to the professional suppliers. They have spent year developing their flavor profiles and they are commercially mixed in bulk. They have professional mixing, measuring, and packaging equipment.
In the end they have the quality control labs to provide you with a consistent product that will not change from cook to cook. It will save you a lot of work, effort, and yes even money in the interim, and there are so many choices out there.
It doesn't mean it's right for everyone to buy commercially rubs. Some of you will, some of you won't. We all use what has worked best for us.
Humphrey's DownEast Beast W/BBQ Guru