Dry rubs sit on the surface of the meat. If you put the rub on the meat, let it sit for an hour or more in the refrigerator, the meat will have a delectable flavorful crust on the meat when you barbecue it.
I have made my own barbecue sauce and marinades for a long time after I finally gave up on finding a store bought barbecue sauce that was not real sweet. After discovering dry rubs, I have found different ways to use it for other recipes that are cooked in the slow cooker and oven. The dry rubs give you a great flavor and nice texture that you can adjust to the tastes you and your family enjoy–from mild to spicy.
When I start putting away the meat from the grocery store, I decide what I want to do with it. I take some of the chicken, pork, and beef and rub in the dry rub, seal the package with my Food Saver, write on the package what dry rub I used, date the package, and freeze it.
If you do not have a vacuum sealer, you can double wrap the meat in freezer paper and tape it closed with freezer tape or masking tape. Wrap the package tightly removing as much air as possible before you seal it. Write on the package what is in it, the dry rub you used, and the date.
I have narrowed my list down to a few dry rubs that I use the most often. I make them up ahead of time and store the mixtures in airtight containers. The herb and spice dry rubs that will last for a very long time in the pantry. This makes it easy to grab the container and rub it into the meat when I need it.
Do not put leftover rub that has been in contact with the meat back into the storage container. It will contaminate the rest of the rub and spoil.
Basic Dry Rub
3 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
3 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon celery seed (bruise the seeds with a rolling pin for more flavor)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container.
This is very versatile. If you want to add more of one ingredient or reduce the amount of one of them feel free to do so. If you want to include an ingredient add it in small amounts, try it, and then add more if you think it needs more. I usually start with 1/4 teaspoon when I add a new ingredient, then I adjust it the next time I make it up or the next time I use it.
Have fun trying your basic dry rub recipe.