Barbecue is a cornerstone of American tradition and an artform in and of itself. From TV shows dedicated to finding the best barbecue, to restaurant feuds all along the barbecue belt of the U.S.A, mastering the art of barbecue has become a lifelong pursuit and a coveted badge of honor for many.
While there are thousands of blogs dedicated to coaching grillmasters on the hottest barbecue techniques, we’ve chosen to stick to what we know – and that is flavor.
Flavor is a technical and complex subject so we take great care as we innovate, create, and produce our quality products. We believe that seasonings should always compliment the natural flavors and textures of meat, not detract from them, so we formulate our BBQ blends with that in mind. We believe that’s what makes our BBQ blends exceptional.
Formulating a BBQ Rub
The spices used in BBQ blends can vary greatly, and some of that has to do with differences in flavors specific to certain regions, such as Texas, Jamaica, Kansas, Memphis, and others. Each region has its own method for flavoring and cooking barbecue that competes in a friendly rivalry with the others.
No matter where you are, a good BBQ rub has a symphony of flavors that balance the 4 S’s:
- Sugar – A natural flavor enhancer that also aids in crust formation.
- Salt – The most basic flavor that enhances all the others. Moderation is key.
- Savory – A flavor that comes from garlic, amino acids, and some herbs and spices.
- Spicy – Black pepper, ginger, chili pepper, and horseradish are popular additions.
Our keystone ingredients for any BBQ blend include paprika, onion, and garlic. We add additional salt, sugar, and spices to our blends to strike that complex, craveworthy flavor. Some of our favorite additions are chili peppers, black pepper, cumin, mustard, hickory smoke, and oregano.
While creating our BBQ blends, we’ve learned to add our spicy ingredients with caution, because we know that formulating a delicious BBQ rub is only possible when you strike a perfect balance of sweet and spicy.
Dry Rubs vs. Wet Rubs
A dry rub is made up of dry ingredients only. This method accentuates the natural flavor of meat and encourages a crust to form. It’s the preferred method for meat that doesn’t tenderize easily.
The key to getting the most from any dry rub is to massage it evenly and thoroughly into the meat before barbecuing. The longer you let your seasoned meat sit, the more flavorful your barbecue.
A wet rub is made up of dry ingredients mixed with a liquid base. Wet rubs cover the meat to lock in moisture and create a flavorful crust on the outside. Common liquid base choices for wet rubs include vinegar, oil, or beer.
When preparing a wet rub, it’s best to mix it into a paste consistency before applying it to the meat. A common method for applying a wet rub is to set the meat in a plastic bag and smother it with the rub. Then, put the bag in the refrigerator for an hour or so to allow the meat to soak up all the flavors.
Note: Barbecue is defined as the method of cooking slowly and over a low or indirect flame. Although people often confuse them, this technique is technically not to be confused with grilling, which entails cooking quickly and over a high flame. Most BBQ rubs contain sugar, which will burn when cooked over high heat, so we recommend using rubs for barbecuing only. If you’re grilling your meat, we recommend a simple spice base of seasoning salt and black pepper, or a simpler seasoning blend such as our Steak & Chop Rub or Steak Seasoning.
Safety and Quality
As with any spice blend, it’s important to purchase BBQ rubs from trustworthy sources. Pacific Spice is dedicated to producing the highest quality spices. That’s why we source our products only from approved vendors that exceed quality standards and meet our strict vendor guidelines. This results in a product that is pure, free of contaminants and adulterants, making it a safe and flavorful addition to your favorite dishes.
PSC BBQ Rubs
At PSC, we pride ourselves in selecting quality ingredients to provide you with a consistent, fresh flavor every time.
We offer 3 in-house BBQ rubs:
- PSC-1002 BARBECUE SPICE BLEND – A perfect blend of sweet, savory, and spicy.
- PSC-1560 BARBECUE SPICE WITH SMOKED HICKORY FLAVOR – A classic BBQ base with added smoked hickory flavor
- PSC-1222 BARBECUE SPICE BLEND NO SALT – Our sodium-free BBQ rub product.
All of our BBQ rubs taste great on pork, chicken, beef, or seafood.
In addition to our in-house blends, we love to work on custom products. Our Research and Development department is fully equipped with flavor experts to help you lock in your signature blend, and state-of-the-art equipment to bring your product to life. There are many benefits to outsourcing spice production, so if you’re ready to invent the next popular BBQ blend or bring your own signature BBQ blend to market, contact us!