View Full Version : How to know how much rub to use

Pig Nutz
05-19-2013, 09:56 PM
I just wondered if anybody else does this because it has been one of the best things I've ever figured out about BBQ and I would like to pass it along. For me the the number one spice is salt, get that right and the meat is going to taste great and the other seasonings are just a bonus. Too little salt equals tasteless too much equals in-edible. I like to try different rub recipes all the time and I used to ruin some cooks because I used the wrong amount of rub.

My brother did it today and got me thinking about this thread. He calls me this morning wanting my rib rub recipe he's cooking for a couple friends and neighbors today. Tonight I ask him how it went really good but the ribs were pretty salty. I ask did you calculate the sodium levels like we talked about a couple weeks ago. Nope says my engineer brother who also does some BBQ catering on the side. I chuckled that the great caterer got to feed salty ribs to his friends today lol.

So here's what works for me and has for the last couple years. All you need to know is how much sodium is in something you cooked that you liked then duplicate it for ever after. For me it's 2800-3000 mg sodium per pound of meat which is 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Your mileage may vary, but every food item or ingredient lists sodium level.

A simple example the other night I cooked a 7 pound pork butt trimmed to 6 pounds and seasoned it with Tony Casheras Cajun seasoning. 6 pounds meat x 2800mg sodium per pond divided by 1400 mg sodium per teaspoon of Tony's came to 12 teaspoons of rub and it was perfect for me. Thanks for listening I hope this helps somebody.

05-19-2013, 10:25 PM

I just buy commercial rub and sprinkle it on until the protein product is covered. How ever much salt is in there is what is in there.

I can see where the idea of calculating it out could help though. I know a lot of fast food joints do that with their fry seasoning.

Pig Nutz
05-19-2013, 11:20 PM
Sorry about the math, it is a four letter word for sure :tape:and I almost didn't even add it to my post :tape:. There are a lot of variables in Q ing that I can't control salt isn't one of them. I don't always calculate everything usually I go by experience or kind of estimate it in my head but if it's a brand new recipe Or commercial rub it really helps to get me in the ballpark the very first time. :wink:

05-20-2013, 12:13 AM
I tend to put the rub on till it don't stick anymore then shake the meat once ( cause more than once and I'd be playing with it). But I don't often use just singular ingredients, always rubs.

05-20-2013, 01:00 AM
I tend to put the rub on till it don't stick anymore then shake the meat once ( cause more than once and I'd be playing with it). But I don't often use just singular ingredients, always rubs.

Yep. Buy a commercial rub and lay it on heavy.

05-20-2013, 04:10 AM
make or buy enough...ease the tension...

05-20-2013, 04:35 AM
I usually mix my own rub using a recipe from The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen when cooking ribs or butts - Memphis rub plus a little cumin. I do not deviate on the salt from the original recipe. I cover the meat and let it sit for about 1 hour before adding to the cooker. I think it is 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of celery salt and makes about 1/2 cup of rub.

05-24-2013, 01:56 AM
Bump for a really good idea. i don't love math but i love a formula that will get me consistent results.

05-24-2013, 05:48 AM
I would think though that if your rub has "too much" taste, then it takes away from the meat. I am not a BBQ judge, so I don't know when that happens. The memphis rub I use seems to do the trick for me. I use it on butts, ribs and chicken. It can over power chicken though, so I have to be careful then. Bottom line, as long as the pit master and the people eating and enjoying the results is all that matters.