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View Full Version : Why do people put Sugar in their Rub?


QDoc
01-02-2013, 09:52 AM
With the wonderful bark created with just salt and pepper and problems with burning, Why? Is it a comp thing because people like sweet candy?
One of my complaints about my Q is lack of seasoning deep within the meat without injecting which I don't like to do.

RW
01-02-2013, 10:01 AM
Too many people drinking too many soft drinks all of their lives. Sweet has become the normal taste of all foods and drinks.

Jaskew82
01-02-2013, 10:03 AM
It tastes yummy. Sugar offers another level of flavor. Just because someone uses sugar doesn't mean he/she is using so much that it tastes like candy.

PigBeter
01-02-2013, 10:10 AM
I personally love the sweet profile that it provides. Overall I have a very sweet tooth, and it just runs over into my BBQ!

JS-TX
01-02-2013, 10:13 AM
Nothing wrong with sugar, unless you use too much or let it burn. A lot people use turbinado aka raw cane sugar in their rubs. It burns less.

pike51
01-02-2013, 10:14 AM
I don't put sugar in a lot of my rubs because I prefer the taste without it. I do use brown sugar sometimes depending on the bark I'm trying to get as sugar caramalizes and creates a unique texture. I can also do the same thing with a late saucing but it's all in the finish I'm going for.

PatioDaddio
01-02-2013, 10:22 AM
With the wonderful bark created with just salt and pepper and problems with burning, Why? Is it a comp thing because people like sweet candy?
One of my complaints about my Q is lack of seasoning deep within the meat without injecting which I don't like to do.

Salt and sweet is about as classic a combination as there is. :wink:

John

Bludawg
01-02-2013, 10:28 AM
I reckon I'm strange I don't do sweet especially on beef. I do admit using a little Splenda in my pork rub but it is a balancing thing not a predominate flavor.I try to cover the tastebuds spectrum Sweet, Salty, Bitter,Sour.

PatioDaddio
01-02-2013, 10:31 AM
I try to cover the tastebuds spectrum Sweet, Salty, Bitter,Sour.

Yup. And, with Splenda you cover the chlorine part of the spectrum, too. :shock: :-P

John

Bludawg
01-02-2013, 10:40 AM
Yup. And, with Splenda you cover the chlorine part of the spectrum, too. :shock: :-P

JohnShut the Fark Up that is the secret ingredient:boxing:

farklf
01-02-2013, 10:56 AM
My family likes the sweet on pork ribs.

LMAJ
01-02-2013, 11:14 AM
I like a little sweet to balance out the heat. I don't compete so I'm cooking to our tastes/likes.

bigabyte
01-02-2013, 11:16 AM
Hell, you don't need salt to make a good bark. All that crap is for amateurs who just want to get bloated and have high blood pressure. If you don't like plain old bland meat, then you're just a farking sissy arse ninny!:mad:

stephan
01-02-2013, 11:22 AM
Hell why even bother smoking it just toss that hunk of cow flesh in the crook pot with some spring water for flavoring.:laugh:

code3rrt
01-02-2013, 11:31 AM
I like the sweet/savory profile for my pork and sometimes chicken, rarely on beef, prefer the beef without sweet, but sometimes in the name of experimentation or to try something new it will get in there, or in specific dishes, such as some of the asian stir frys and such.

Johnny_Crunch
01-02-2013, 11:33 AM
Because it tastes good.

ZBucket
01-02-2013, 11:35 AM
Because sweet, heat and savory combos rule.

deguerre
01-02-2013, 11:40 AM
Yup. And, with Splenda you cover the chlorine part of the spectrum, too. :shock: :-P

John

The set up...

Shut the Fark Up that is the secret ingredient:boxing:

BAM!

PatioDaddio
01-02-2013, 12:13 PM
the set up...



Bam!

lol!

JS-TX
01-02-2013, 12:24 PM
I usually glaze my ribs so I prefer not too much sugar in my rubs cause the sweet comes from my glaze.

krandy21784
01-02-2013, 12:45 PM
I have always used brown sugar in my rub to balnce the heaked of the Chipoltle powder and red peper....

Smoke House Moe
01-02-2013, 12:50 PM
A salty sweet combo is ideal. You don't have to do this with beef, but it usually works.
I used to do my steak with just s&p. I created steak rub that has turbinado sugar on it, and the depth of flavor is unbelievable.
It really comes down to your tastebuds, and you are not wrong if you don't like sugar as much as the next guy.

IamMadMan
01-02-2013, 12:56 PM
Salt and sweet is about as classic a combination as there is. :wink:

John



In most rubs I make and use there is not a great amount of sugar to "sweeten" the cooked meat.

But Just as salt can enhance or bring forward some of the savory flavors of some spices, sugar can also help enhance some of the other flavors that could be lost in a rub without it.


My favorite rub has anchovy powder in it, you can not taste it or even suspect it is there. But it does help brighten and intensify the flavor of the other spices in the rub.

Ryan Chester
01-02-2013, 01:27 PM
Helps with bark and can give a nice balance. Half my rubs contain sugar, the other half don't because some people like it and some don't.

Boshizzle
01-02-2013, 01:41 PM
On beef, I use molasses to help with bark production. I cook HnF so it helps. you can't taste any sweetness from it though. I use just a very light coat.

And, speaking of BBQing meat without any seasoning, the BBQ place I used to work for when in high school used no seasoning on whole pork shoulders. We just cooked them for about 12 to 14 hours at low temperature. The bark on those shoulders was spectacular!

There was one small piece of meat on those shoulders we used to call the pig cookie. It was only about the diameter of a half dollar but it would get the most delectable bark on the outside and be tender and juicy on the inside. Whenever I got near the shoulders and no one was looking, I would always claim a couple of those for myself!

farklf
01-02-2013, 01:44 PM
on beef, i use molasses to help with bark production. I cook hnf so it helps. You can't taste any sweetness from it though. I use just a very light coat.

And, speaking of bbqing meat without any seasoning, the bbq place i used to work for when in high school used no seasoning on whole pork shoulders. We just cooked them for about 12 to 14 hours at low temperature. The bark on those shoulders was spectacular!

There was one small piece of meat on those shoulders we used to call the pig cookie. It was only about the diameter of a half dollar but it would get the most delectable bark on the outside and be tender and juicy on the inside. Whenever i got near the shoulders and no one was looking, i would always claim a couple of those for myself!

lol!

mawil1013
01-02-2013, 01:45 PM
IMHO, comp is so far removed from q that it ain't q. Real comp should be, here is your stack of logs, your whole hog, let's see what you can do. comp is commercialized, seems the only purpose of comp is to sell a restaurant or a sauce. But, that's just my personal opinion.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2

JohnHB
01-02-2013, 01:48 PM
Salt helps retain moisture. So it is obvious one needs salt. Most of us like a slightly salty taste but salt at that level doesn't provide enough moisture. So we add more salt then add sugar to balance the saltiness.
As an experiment when you buy a city ham that is too salty try a simple sweet glaze and taste again. Usually the over saltiness is reduced.

El Ropo
01-02-2013, 02:14 PM
If you google for popular rib rubs, many of the recipes contain more than 70% sugar. Alton Brown's recipe is closer to 80% sugars. I lost all respect for him after seeing one of his BBQ episodes.

He actually stated in the show that cooking ribs above 230 F would result in rib jerky. Where did he get that BS from?

Lake Dogs
01-02-2013, 02:17 PM
On beef, I use molasses to help with bark production. I cook HnF so it helps. you can't taste any sweetness from it though. I use just a very light coat.

And, speaking of BBQing meat without any seasoning, the BBQ place I used to work for when in high school used no seasoning on whole pork shoulders. We just cooked them for about 12 to 14 hours at low temperature. The bark on those shoulders was spectacular!

There was one small piece of meat on those shoulders we used to call the pig cookie. It was only about the diameter of a half dollar but it would get the most delectable bark on the outside and be tender and juicy on the inside. Whenever I got near the shoulders and no one was looking, I would always claim a couple of those for myself!

Every day presents an opportunity to learn something new. Today, for example, I learned that Bo went to high school....

Lake Dogs
01-02-2013, 02:24 PM
IMHO, comp is so far removed from q that it ain't q. Real comp should be, here is your stack of logs, your whole hog, let's see what you can do. comp is commercialized, seems the only purpose of comp is to sell a restaurant or a sauce. But, that's just my personal opinion.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2

You've been to the wrong comps, IMHO. Yes, plenty like you mention, but plenty aren't like this at all. My favorites have you cook whole pork shoulders (usually in the 20# range each) and whole hog in addition to ribs. Not everyone uses a "stack of logs", but most of us do. Most of us dont sell sauces nor are we promoting anyones restaurant.

To the original poster, it all comes down to personal taste and preference.

I dont "mix sugar in my rub", but that's because I use my rub on most everything from pork, to ribs, to beef, etc. and I find sugar in my beef rub fairly disgusting. I do, however, add in a small amount of turbinado sugar when cooking ribs, and even a smaller amount on pork (butts, shoulders, picnics, hams). The reason, for me, is that I like to eat BBQ without any sauce, and without any sauce could use a slight hint of sweet. Like I said, I dont use much. I dont care for "candied" bbq. This aside, both in competitions and at home, I offer BBQ sauce on the side, and for ribs I'll have at least 2 sauces that are fairly sweet, one being liquid pig candy...

Personal preference...

Note to mawil1013: Some competitions (some sanctioned ones) allow the competitor to present sauce on the side, and others allow multiple sauces to be presented on the side. F Y I.

RevZiLLa
01-02-2013, 02:27 PM
Use sugar or don't use it. The Q will be fantastic either way. If no sugar makes you happy, be happy. Some folks may add sauce at the table and they will be happy too.

NRA4Life
01-02-2013, 04:27 PM
Why?

Because I like it.

landarc
01-02-2013, 04:28 PM
I use sugar for two different and rather specific uses. One is for the obvious taste it can give meat. This is most important when I am doing a butt or chicken, where the sweetness can really complement the meat. I find the sugar can perk up the natural sweetness of the pork

I also add a little, and I mean, less than 5% of the total weight of sugar to beef rub. I do not want to taste the sugar at all, it is there for the chemical property is brings in assisting in creating a pellicle on the meat, which I believe aids if moisture, texture and bark. But, it is meant to have no flavor impact at all.

Cayman1
01-02-2013, 05:21 PM
Too many people drinking too many soft drinks all of their lives. Sweet has become the normal taste of all foods and drinks.
Exactly right. The judges like it because they are a cross section of the general population.

Boshizzle
01-02-2013, 05:24 PM
Every day presents an opportunity to learn something new. Today, for example, I learned that Bo went to high school....

I didn't say I finished! :laugh:

Enkidu
01-02-2013, 05:32 PM
Why? Because salt+sugar+fat is the (un)holy trinity of cooking.

I believe a study was done on lab rats a few years ago and found that sugar+salt+fat was only slightly less addictive than heroin.

JD McGee
01-02-2013, 07:00 PM
Bark & Balance...:cool:

BobM
01-03-2013, 10:54 PM
I use Splenda in my rubs because it tastes good.

Sent from my Android phone.

Q Junkie
01-03-2013, 11:16 PM
Saltwater taffy, pulled pork, pulled taffy.
Face it, they go together.

Happy Hapgood
01-03-2013, 11:17 PM
Bark.

Q Junkie
01-03-2013, 11:19 PM
Bite!

Gasket
01-04-2013, 04:15 AM
I like to smoke my sugar first hot and fast. Gives a whole new flavor profile. I call it delicious others call it burnt.

NS Mike D
01-04-2013, 08:01 AM
I had to look this up again, as I recalled something from my HS Chemistry days.

The Mallard Reaction: amino acids and reducing sugars combine with heat to produce hundreds of smell and flavors.


Without additional sugars, the naturally occurring sugars will combine with the amino acids (I recall these might be part of what makes up fat) forming the bark.

I don't think the addition of sugar in the rub adds as much "candy sweet" taste as it does the more complex salty/acidic/sweet flavors of the mallard reaction (think bacon!!!!)

thoraudio
01-04-2013, 08:08 AM
If you google for popular rib rubs, many of the recipes contain more than 70% sugar. Alton Brown's recipe is closer to 80% sugars. I lost all respect for him after seeing one of his BBQ episodes.

He actually stated in the show that cooking ribs above 230 F would result in rib jerky. Where did he get that BS from?

Hey hey hey..... that recipe is what got me started on the path to que.

aawa
01-04-2013, 08:26 AM
The combination of sweet, salty, and spicy really make meats like pork and chicken sing. I dont like any of those 3 to overpower but rather balance the 3.

For beef I use very little sugar as I don't like sweet beef. I lean more towards the umami flavor profiles.

As for burning, sugar doesn't burn till 350 degrees. That is why even with copious amounts of sugar in a rub, if you smoke anywhere under that, you do not get a burnt taste.The sugar will combine with the liquid fat and help produce a bark however and also the hotter the sugar gets the more color you will get in your bark.