Applying dry rubs to your meat

Tip #12 – Tips for using rubs and sauces – 30 Days to Better BBQ

A dry rub is a seasoning made up of different blends of herbs and spices, which is applied to the outside of meat to give an extra kick of flavour. The most basic form of rub would be simply salt and pepper, the preferred rub for Texas style BBQ, but they can also be intricate mixtures of salt, pepper, sugar and various other herbs and spices.


Rubs are often made to suit a specific type of meat, or to give you a certain flavour profile, be it sweet, savoury or heat. Certain meats such as chicken or pork can handle stronger flavours as there isn’t a huge amount of flavour in the meat itself. Good quality red meat on the other hand has plenty of flavour and therefore you can choose a rub that will allow the true flavour of the meat to shine through.


We had some great tips from Jackie Weight yesterday about making and blending rubs to achieve different flavours. As a beginner, it can be a little difficult to understand what flavours work well together to compliment the meat. Luckily, there are some great British producers out there who have done all the hard work for you and come up with different blends to suit your needs.


Companies such as Angus & Oink have a range of rubs to suit a broad spectrum of flavour profiles. Using rubs like these will help you understand what flavours work well with certain types of meat and how the mix of herbs and spices add different flavours to the cook.


It can be easy to get carried away with rubs and fall under the illusion that more rub equals more flavour. Finding a balance will allow the rub and the meat to shine through equally and give you BBQ heaven.


With that in mind, here are a couple of quick tips on seasoning your meat with rubs.


Tips for applying dry rub


Use a shaker to apply the rub as evenly as possible.

Most shop bought rubs will come in shaker bottle to make them easier to apply to your meat but if you are making your own, try to use a shaker bottle to give you an even covering over the surface of the meat. Remember that a rub is simply a seasoning so try not to add too much. A fine dusting will still give you a great flavour whilst still allowing you to taste the meat.


If you are worried that a single rub won’t pack the flavour punch you are aiming for, remember Jackie’s tip from yesterday and blend two different rubs together ( in smaller amounts) to achieve your desired flavour.


Give your rub a few minutes to set on your meat.

After you have applied rub to one side of your meat, allow it to sit for a few minutes until the rub mixes with the moisture on the surface of the meat before turning it over to season the other side. This will help the rub stick to your meat and avoid it being left on the chopping board.


If you are seasoning meat that is quite dry on the surface, such as the skin on chicken thighs, you can use a small amount of something like oil, mustard or hot sauce as a binder to help the rub stick to the skin.


Using sauces with your BBQ

Sauces are another great way to add an extra level of flavour to your food and, similar to rubs, they are available in a variety of different flavours. Choosing the right sauce can complement the flavour of the meat and your chosen rub.


Applying a sauce to something like chicken wings 10-15 minutes before you lift them off your BBQ will allow the sauce to set on the outside of the meat giving you a beautiful coating that, when combined with succulent meat that has been seasoned with a rub, is BBQ heaven.


You can alternatively just choose a killer sauce that will compliment your BBQ goodies and serve it on the side. Just remember that a sauce is part of the overall flavour of your food so choose one that works well with the meat you are cooking. If you have used a sweet rub then a savoury or hot sauce will give you an extra dimension of flavour.


Giveaway Update!

Angus & Oink Giveaway BundleAs you may already know, I have already announced that I’m putting together a beginner’s bundle to give away towards the end of the 30 Days to Better BBQ series. To help you experiment with using rubs and sauces, the team at Angus & Oink have kindly donated a bottle of their sauce and rub to the giveaway. You will also receive one of their brand new T-Shirts so you will look the part as well.


To see the full selection of rubs and sauces available from Angus & Oink you can visit their website at or follow them on twitter (@AngusandOink) and Facebook (


All details for the 30 Days to Better BBQ giveaway and how you can win can be found at

Please share!