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Unread 05-17-2010, 09:33 AM   #1
rookiedad
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Default the golden ratio sugar/salt

i've been trying different recipes for rubs, saucees and marinades. some go 1 to 1 sugar to salt wich i find way to salty. barring any other ingredients, what is your golden ratio when making these things? thanks.
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Unread 05-17-2010, 09:49 AM   #2
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on my basic rub I use no sugar. kosher salt at about 1/5 of the blend... garlic, black pepper, chili powder.... plus other spices depending on the meat being cooked.
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Unread 05-17-2010, 10:04 AM   #3
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Chris Lilly's book "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book" has a primer in it for creating your own rubs. It starts on page 42. Ooooh. "The Hitchhickers Guide to the Galaxy" was right!! Sorry.

Anyway, he suggests that you start by tasting the salts and sugar available to you and than coming up with a ratio that suits your tastes and the meat you are planning to use the rub on. Less sugar for longer cooks, to help prevent burning, is one suggestion he has but there is no golden rule for the ratio.

I'm working on one now that is for chicken and it has 3 parts salt to 6 parts sugar, among other spices. Probably would not work so well for a brisket. Anyway, get Lilly's book. There is a wealth of info in it, great pictures and some fine recipes too!

Last edited by Smokin' D; 05-17-2010 at 11:22 AM.. Reason: added a thought.
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Unread 05-17-2010, 10:25 AM   #4
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I lean more toward the tri level method (my own method) or briskets which has even been tweaked more since I wrote this. Its overall theory is by INCLUDING salt in your rub at high levels you are backed against the wall by the salt taste. This means you cannot add another flavor profile or your meat will be too salty. In addition, you at times cannot use it on other things. This is why you DO have all these different rubbs for different things.

In addition, salt is a carrier of flavor. If you have a good rub, like, lets say, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Then as time goes by, you add robust spices like, mustard, ceyenne, celery seed, garlic powder, chili powder... you actually find your briskets for instance all the sudden, even though you have ADDED lots of flavor... well the penetration is reduced BECAUSE you have lowered your salt to "other" ratio. For instance, in the prior three ingredient ratio you have a salt as a one to three ratio. In the rub is now a 1-7 ratio... you COULD do the dance and try ot balance it up again but MY method Manually applies the salt ration again.

Briskets and beef do better with little sugars in it. You have to adjust your technique though. If you adjust bit right, then your rub has less to do with Bark formation. A natural bark on beef tastes more incredible than any attempts to simulate it.

Original Thread on this:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...t+funk+brisket

I add this consideration because you are asking about where the balance is on sugar and salt.... some of us don't use it at all on beef and at the temp I cook at its not a good idea to have it on Pork much. So---- this must be considered and all the ratiosn between.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Popdaddy.../5/DMVK0-aR2sA Video Version of the tri level process with Dalmatian rub
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Unread 05-17-2010, 10:31 AM   #5
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Now that that is said, look at this picture of my Brisket prepped with a HIGH large grained app of salt pepper and lemon pepper..

Considering the ratio of salt is 3 to 21 in my Popdaddy's Butt Glitter (so is the sugar) AND I have a pre app of a little bit of Lawrey's, I wonder what my salt ratio is. LOL

This is meant for temp above 270 and definitely NO foiling!!!!!! Th large grained salts allow for maximum meat absorbency (which carries in the other spice flavors - while also allowing excess to drain off. The pepper milds out too.
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Unread 05-17-2010, 11:22 AM   #6
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I don't use sugar in my beef (modified tri-level rub mentioned above) or chicken rub. In my pork rub, it is equal amounts of sugar & salt.
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Unread 05-17-2010, 11:28 AM   #7
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i like 1 to 1. sometimes i like 1.5(sugar) to 1
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Unread 05-17-2010, 11:33 AM   #8
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Default the golden ratio sugar/salt

My Favorite rub is about 8 to 3 ratio. In ohter words 8 parts Sugar, and 3 parts salts, plus some ohter goodies like Chilli powder, oldbay garlic, etc.

One thing to keep in my, that I found out the hard way is that if you are making something that contains bacon, you should cut back on the salt.

THe first time I made the Bacon Explosion, I kept the salt in the rub, and that combined with the Bacon, made it extremly salty.
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Unread 05-17-2010, 02:50 PM   #9
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When tasting by itself, a 1 to 1 ratio seems salty, like a seasoned salt practically. However, once it has been cooking and absorbing into the meat I find the 1 to 1 ratio to be just right. Each person has their own tastes, so adjust to your level. You can't find a golden rule to please everyone!
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Unread 05-17-2010, 03:05 PM   #10
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Personally, in my limited experience, I really only use sugars on pork because it natually tastes sort of salty. So the sugars balance that out. My most popular rib rub so far uses 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar and only 1 tbs of coarse salt; what's that like a 40:1 ratio?

I use about half as much sugar on a pork loin, and most of the brisket, etc, recipes I've tried use only like a 1:1.

As most commenters have already said; it depends on your taste... and your guests' tastes. I hound anyone who tries my Q for feedback, because i'm still a little green and eager to find a rub that the people i'm cooking for will enjoy!
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Unread 05-17-2010, 03:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingsnob View Post
My Favorite rub is about 8 to 3 ratio. In ohter words 8 parts Sugar, and 3 parts salts, plus some ohter goodies like Chilli powder, oldbay garlic, etc.

One thing to keep in my, that I found out the hard way is that if you are making something that contains bacon, you should cut back on the salt.

THe first time I made the Bacon Explosion, I kept the salt in the rub, and that combined with the Bacon, made it extremly salty.

Your ratio is no longer 8 to 3 anymore when you add other things. It was this that was the point of my thesis on salt and your rub.

the sugar ratio changes or drops and so does the salt, so.... in essense if you were to take that ratio and then like it then add other things, its no longer a reliable ratio... one guy could add onion powder and its close, then another guy could add 8 parts paprika, 4 parts pepper, 4 parts onion powder and the ratio of salt to sugar is completely changed
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Unread 05-17-2010, 03:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbefunkoramaque View Post
Your ratio is no longer 8 to 3 anymore when you add other things. It was this that was the point of my thesis on salt and your rub.

the sugar ratio changes or drops and so does the salt, so.... in essense if you were to take that ratio and then like it then add other things, its no longer a reliable ratio... one guy could add onion powder and its close, then another guy could add 8 parts paprika, 4 parts pepper, 4 parts onion powder and the ratio of salt to sugar is completely changed

Actually, the ratio of sugar to salt remains 8 to 3 but the overall ratio in the rub drops. I understand where you are going and agree, just want to note that the sugar to salt ratio doesn't change.
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Unread 05-17-2010, 03:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wager View Post
Actually, the ratio of sugar to salt remains 8 to 3 but the overall ratio in the rub drops. I understand where you are going and agree, just want to note that the sugar to salt ratio doesn't change.
If we go back to elementary chemistry, the only way your salt and sugar ratio would stay the same is to make a rub of these two things ONLY... in fact, he mentions this specifically. In bbq I KNOW he is not planning this.... When you ADD to any compound anything at all... the compound is not longer the same compound. He speaks of his RUB and sure the ration of the salt to sugar is such and such but in order to convey this relevantly we must consider the ENTIRE compound for it to mean anything.

I am glad you know what I am talking about... because I do. I know where you are going... you are considering simply the ration of salt to sugar, but in correct science, such as creating compound or a RUB you are speaking about the ratio of salt and sugar compared to whatever you put in there... otherwise, well, why don't you throw in 8 parts Cayenne and take a spoonful and tell me what time it is. Does it taste the same? LOL

When the man mentioned TASTE he has to consider overall whats in there. Thus, it no longer is a problem of the ratio of salt and sugar in isolation, but its ratio on the overall compound.
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Unread 05-17-2010, 04:01 PM   #14
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also, as in my thread i mentioned..... in the real world... this rub is going to be spread on something... and only so much can be spread onto so much surface area... and not only the salt and pepper sticks. Here is where true (everything is in there) ratios go beyond mathematics. In ratios also its important to consider the the actual surface area of the grains of the ingredients themselves... for instance, compare a cup of Large grained Kosher salt to table salt, or mesh 60 or mesh 100 pepper - Each has its own affect on the rub taste.

The empirical method has a great deal of relevancy build into it.. otherwise a large scaled paperclip would float on water if due to its surface tension. When you start with a ration of salt and sugar only, and you want to consider the TASTE of something in its entirely, the ratio of EVERYTHING to one another in the compound you are tasting must be considered.

Remember, he said: "My Favorite rub is about 8 to 3 ratio" This is incorrect in that he mentioned his rub.... the overall consideration, which had more than just salt and sugar in it admittedly. The relevance of the salt and sugar would only be applicable in considering his favorite "balance" of that's all there was.

Notice also he said "salts" now that's interesting, Lawreys has what, 8 other things in it of an unknown ration but its a very FINE ground salt (which makes it seem saltier than table salt - then there is Paul Kirk;s rub... onion salt, garlic salt, celery salt... LOL
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Unread 05-18-2010, 11:41 AM   #15
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Buy Lawerys seasoning salt , the ratio is already figure out
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