Dry Rub Recipes?
May 25, 2006 1:24 AM   Subscribe

What are your favorite homemade dry rubs for meats? I'm especially looking for a good homemade jerk chicken/pork dry rub (or marinade).

There was a past thread that's focused on marinades, but what are your favorite spice rubs for different meats? I'm trying to build one for jerk chicken or pork, but I can't get the spices right. Any and all outstanding dry rub (or marinade) recipes are welcome!
posted by skechada to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I got to hang around the jerk pits in Boston Bay, Jamaica, back in the 1980s. Jerk chicken heaven. Real Jerk spice is pretty simple: heavy on the Allspice/Pimento berries, black pepper, thyme and salt. And lots of chopped green onion. Maybe a shot of white rum to moisten.

Basically stuff that a Jamaican has growing in his backyard or can get at the local grocery. The big difference, however, is that in Jamaica they slow smoke the chicken over pimento tree logs.
posted by zaelic at 5:22 AM on May 25, 2006

this book has exceptional dry rub recipes in it.
posted by mcstayinskool at 6:48 AM on May 25, 2006

I have drunk the Alton Brown Kool-Aid, er, Kosher Salt and am a big fan of the 8:3:1:1 formula for dry rubs.

8 parts brown sugar (light or dark, pending your taste)
3 parts kosher salt
1 part chili powder
1 part Other Stuff (Other Stuff can be anything you want, mixed however you want, so long as it adds up to 1 part. I usually favor ancho powder, cayenne, black pepper, and onion salt. AB adds in Old Bay, which appeals to my Maryland upbringing, but I think it gets lost in the mix.)

The cool thing about having a set recipe is that you can then tailor your sauces to match by adding in similar spices. I can make a pretty good BBQ sauce that matches the flavor of the rub (Pirate Juice and Pirate Rub, respectively).

Of course, I do all this over an electric smoker, so get a lot of flavor assist from the smoke.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:52 AM on May 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

I can't help you with the "especially" because I'm not a big fan of jerk seasoning...but I like the "Cowboy" rub (decaf coffee, salt and coarsely ground pepper), and the Char Crust line of rubs, especially the Hickory and Molasses flavor
posted by vito90 at 8:49 AM on May 25, 2006

Best answer: mmmmm. jerk [insert meat here].

might i suggest a commercial product? As far as i'm concerned, every product this company makes is absolutely outstanding. They sell a dry jerk and a pre-made jerk paste marinade. when a few of my friends honeymooned in Jamaica many of the jerk huts (even a few roadside stands) were using the walkerswood products, at least as a base. if you order online direct from them, the prices are almost embarassingly cheap, and the product ships from their distributor in Florida. If you really must make your own, zaelic has it right, very heavy on the allspice (also disturbingly cheap from walkerswood) and don't forget the scotch bonnet (habenero) peppers!
as a matter of fact, it's one of the first 80 degree days here in Wisconsin, thanks for the dinner idea!
posted by skatz at 11:54 AM on May 25, 2006

Best answer: Here's a recipe I really like for Jerked Pork Tenderloin. It's about as close to what I remembered eating in Jamaica (on chicken). One Scotch Bonnet pepper is plenty warm for most folks, and I've never used more than two. I can't imagine the heat when using all four:

2 cups coarsely chopped green onions
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 to 4 Scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, seeded and chopped
1 (1-1/2-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
Cooking spray

Place first 15 ingredients in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Slice pork lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Open halves, laying each side flat. Slice each half lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side; open flat. Combine pork and green onion mixture in a dish or large zip-top plastic bag. Cover or seal; marinate in refrigerator 3 to 24 hours. Remove pork from dish or bag; discard remaining marinade. Prepare grill. Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 8 minutes on each side or until meat thermometer registers 160` (slightly pink). YIELD : 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces pork)
posted by sharksandwich at 12:06 PM on May 25, 2006 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks for your answers so far. I'm getting hungry just reading them. I'm definitely not above trying out a great commercial product either, given the $15 or so I've spent trying to balance out the spices so far. :) Can't wait to try out shark's recipe either. Thanks again and keep 'em coming!
posted by skechada at 12:35 PM on May 25, 2006

Do pastes count as dry marinades? If so, try this recipe for cochinita pibil. (I prefer Robert Rodriguez's recipe, but it's on the wet side.)

You might also like to try your hand at the Saarland tradition of schwenker. Pork neck steaks are marinated with sliced onions, garlic, juniper berries, thyme, oregano, curry powder, paprika, cayenne and black pepper and oil, then grilled on a swivelling rack suspended from a tripod over coals. The rack is pushed so that it swings and swivels at the same time. I highly recommend it.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:43 PM on May 25, 2006

Best answer: I've been using a hybrid of two jerk marinade recipes for a while on both chicken (wings, preferably) and pork tenderloin with, I believe, great success. At least, I like it better than the very good sauce available at a local Jamaican joint.

5-7 habaneros, seeded and stemmed (leave the seeds in one or two peppers if you like heat)
2 bunches green onions, chopped
1/2 cup roughly chopped onion
6 cloves garlic
1 3-inch chunk ginger
1/3 cup fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 cup whole pimento berries (allspice), toasted and ground
4 bay leaves, crumbled
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce

Throw all ingredients into a blender and blend until you have a smooth paste.

I let the meat marinate for at least 4 hours in a sealed plastic bag, and then grill over a slow fire, using as much wood as possible for smoky smoky goodness. I used to leave the paste on the meat during the grilling phase, which resulted in a very lovely crust, but lately I've taken to scraping off the paste and cooking down the leftover marinade into a sauce in a skillet. If you're feeling hinky about food poisoning, you could always reserve some of the marinade before marinating or make a fresh batch. I'm not dead; YMMV.

This recipe also worked like gangbusters poured over a pork shoulder and dumped into a slow cooker when I tried it this winter. I didn't bother marinating in that case and cooked down the resulting marinade leftovers/pork juices afterwards in a skillet.
posted by hoboynow at 6:49 PM on May 25, 2006

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