For Thomas C:
Rubs are the ideal way to give tremendous flavor to the southern BBQ grill – be it ribs, chicken, fish, steak, or even slow smoking roast like beef briskets and pork butts. In fact, I personally think they are the best way. Southern BBQ purist would argue that there is a magical, if not cosmic and other-worldly, moment that happens when properly rubbed meat lingers over ashen, fiery hot charcoal that have been scattered with a few mesquite or hickory wood chips. Done right, the outside of the meat will develop a sweet, savory, sticky, spicy crust that encases the juicy, lusciously tender meat. This is the stuff of summer legends… indeed!
I don’t know if I would classify myself as a purist, but I am unfailingly partial to southern BBQ done over charcoal. NO GAS GRILL NEED APPLY. If I wanted food grilled over gas, I would do that inside; certainly not outside, risking sunstroke in the heat while standing over heat, all whist being a one-woman blood bank for all of those thirsty summer mosquitoes. Nevertheless, I digress – let’s save the gas grill vs. REAL charcoal BBQ for another time.
Where was I? Yeah… okay. If you hit the spice aisle of your local market, every spice company now has spice rub that is perfect for your grilling “needs.” However, I am a bit of a purist when it comes to spices and I contend that most all of the things you need to make a great spice rub is probably already in your kitchen and pantry. So why bother forking over upwards of $5 for less than an ounce of blended spices when you can make your own.
My Recipe: SWEET-SPICY BBQ RUB makes 2 scant cups
½ c light brown sugar
½ c kosher salt
¼ c paprika or chili powder
2 T cumin
2 T red pepper flakes
2 T dried oregano flakes or dried thyme leaves
2 T fresh cracked black pepper
1 T granulated garlic powder (optional)
1 T dry mustard powder (optional)
Combine all and store in an air tight container until ready to use
Our most recent use of this Sweet-Spicy BBQ Rub was on a smoked pork shoulder which we used to make Pulled Pork Sliders for our annual July 4th Independence Day Celebration.
My Recipe: SMOKED PORK SHOULDER
1 pork shoulder, tied
1 med onion, peeled and cut in half
4 bay leaves (optional)
mustard, as needed
Sweet-Spicy BBQ Rub, as needed
water, as needed
wood smoking chips, mesquite or hickory
bring the pork shoulder to room temperature; cover with mustard; and liberally season with the spice rub
prepare smoker, as per manufacturer’s instruction, or set up the charcoal kettle grill with a cover for smoking
add the onion and bay leaves, if using, to the water that the smoker or grill will need to keep the meet moist during the smoking process
The biggest factor in smoking a pork shoulder is time…. it will take anywhere from four to nine hours, or more, depending on the size of the pork shoulder to achieve smoked pulled pork nirvana.
For the Sliders, we served the Smoked Pulled Pork on Black Pepper Mini Rolls (email me if you want this recipe) with Coleslaw and Peach-Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce (email me if you want this recipe).
always in good T.A.S.T.E – cause you gottatastethis!