A spice rub is a mixture of salt, herbs, and spices. A spice rub can be as simple as a large amount of pepper, like in Steak au' Poirve, or as complex as 100 spices. (and yes, that many spices do exist) My formula for a good spice rub is a base, such as paprika, and then add on from there. However, beware commercial spice mixtures. Many of them are salt-based because: 1. Salt fills volume. 2. Salt is cheap. 3. Salt fills in for spices they can't get.
In order to make a successful rub, you need to balance flavors. I like to build my rubs in bulk because spices last close to forever and also I won't have to make another batch every 2 days because trust me, when you find a good rub, you will use it often. Also, if you're making a rub for one certain item, you'll want to pick flavors that work well with what you're making it for. Pork likes brown sugar, rosemary, and chipotles. Chicken pretty much likes the same things as pork and things like lemon, lime, orange, cayenne pepper, and dry mustard powder. Beef likes all of these. Also, paprika seems to work with just about everything.
Here is a recipe for an all-purpose rub.
- 1 cup paprika
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1/4 cup black pepper
- 1/2 cup chipotle powder
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup dehydrated lemon peel
- 1/4 cup dried rosemary
- 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
- Combine all ingredients in an airtight container. Stored in a cool, dark place this will last until your family tree ends. And everybody else's.