Here is the Rub

Here is the Rub, spices and herbs coming together to delight the senses and enhance any dish.

dry rub herbs and spicesI have been experimenting and perfecting rubs for over 30 years.  I never really understood the dry rub thing for meats when I was young, because I always marinated my meats wet. Dry rubs seemed too dry and it implied that my meat would be the same way, too dry. I was so wrong. This could be entirely true if you over cook your meat or if the meat does not have enough fat. But I have found dry rubbing the skin of beef, lamb, chicken or turkey with spices gets flavor into the meat while it cooks as the skins fat breaks down during the cooking it gets juicy and tender. Of course I also still use wet marinades especially with lean cuts, but over time I have found that I can use either or both and get great results. It’s all about flavor. Rubs flavor meat and add a whole new level to cooking. I have rubs for just about everything. From meats, fish to vegetables and sauces, I add my rubs by sprinkling a bit over the food or by actually rubbing it into the surface of the food. I use them all the time and in different ways but all for the same purpose, to add flavor. I grow a great variety of herbs and spices and use the harvests freely in my concoctions. Spice blends are not necessarily complicated. The secret of delicious meat and poultry is the heavenly mixture of herbs and spices combined in rubs. You can make your own simple rub and be quite happy or you can try one of my concoctions which are quite a bit more complicated. Here’s a simple rub to get you started.


  • 8 tablespoons light brown sugar tightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (the no-salt type)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme (crushed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

A rub should be absorbed for the best results, and this does not mean you need to be rub it into the meat. Rubs are applied liberally to moist, thawed meat (preferably under the skin of fowl) for at least a couple of hours. You have maximum effect if you apply the rub 24 hours before hitting the fire. This allows the rub’s ingredients to mix with the meat’s natural juices, effectively marinading without the mess.


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