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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Old 09-14-2011, 10:07 AM   #1
Guranimo
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Default homemade rub vs. commercial rub

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.
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:18 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:36 AM   #3
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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!
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:38 AM   #4
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Thanks for the help. Now I just need to find a good one. Again recommedations are appreciated.
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:52 AM   #5
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You might try Nuttin Butt Luv. Its out of Memphis and its pretty good for pork and ribs.

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Old 09-14-2011, 12:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guranimo View Post
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.
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:46 PM   #7
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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!
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Old 09-14-2011, 03:21 PM   #8
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be careful with the commerical stuff...it isnt as consistent as you might think it should be.
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Old 09-14-2011, 04:50 PM   #9
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. Much appreciated.
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:02 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:03 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:18 PM   #12
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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.

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.
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
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.

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!
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So here we are in my paisley crib, what you want to eat?
"Ribs"...ah, Latoya, I don't serve ribs.
Better be happy that dress is still on,
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:30 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 09-14-2011, 06:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernMagicBBQ View Post
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
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So here we are in my paisley crib, what you want to eat?
"Ribs"...ah, Latoya, I don't serve ribs.
Better be happy that dress is still on,
I heard the rip when you sat down.
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