Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Outdoor Cooking 2014- Day 1, Rubs & Sauces

It's the first Saturday in MAY and that means we are back in class. Today, here at the pantry, we are having a Kentucky Derby Tailgate Party and since we are transitioning from grilling to Bar-B-Queuing, We decided it would be good to explain the differences between Dry rubs, wet rubs and sauces. Even though they are similar in nature, they very in styles and all three have distinctive purposes. So we are going to share some of our ideas with all of you.

Dry Rubs

  • We like dry rubs for grilling indoors and outdoors. They are made with dry spices and seasonings. They are all about flavor and don’t add any extra moisture to the meat. They will usually create a nice, crusty layer on the outside which locks in the juices. We like to make our dry rubs ahead of time, that way the spices have a chance to meld and we have them to use when we want them, we do lots of last minute grilling, based on our moods and weather. Dry rubs are great to store in bulk and if stored in an air-tight container they have a pretty good shelf live. We use dry rubs on both meats and vegetables prior to grilling.

Harris's Favorite Dry Rub

  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon beef or chicken seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon ground celery
Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container. Keep in a cool, dark place.


Wet Rubs

  • Typically, wet rubs are a blend of seasonings and or spices that have a bold rich flavor. Then liquid is added to make a paste, which is rubbed on the meat. This helps to add moisture and helps to seal in the flavor at the same time. We often use cooking oils, honey, vinegars, fruit juices, mustard or liquid smoke added to the dry seasonings to create the paste.  A wet rub is perfect for meats that you will be cooking or roasting on a lower heat for a longer period of time. Also remember that most oil and sugar-based wet rubs have a tendency to catch on fire if you try to cook over open hot flames. Be sure to watch your meat carefully and turn the meat over at regular intervals to avoid charring. Wet rubs can be used as marinades, but we usually do not you them for continual basting like you would a sauce or sop. 

Rosemary, Lemon and Garlic Marinade

  • 2 - 3 stalks fresh rosemary (washed)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Remove the rosemary leaves from the stalks and finely chop. Place them in a large resealable plastic bag.
Finely chop the garlic and add to the bag along with the juice from the lemons, olive oil, salt & pepper. Slosh around to mix. Add chicken and seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Place the bag in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook and marinade up to 6 hours. This does not make a good basting sauce.


  • Sauces have a liquid base with the seasonings and spices blended in. We use lots of sauces for different meats and we love to experiment with different flavors and textures. We use them mostly for BBQ's and continual basting on cuts of meat that tend to get dry during grilling. They make great marinades, but have a tendency to stay thick, so not much flavor is absorbed into the meats and once a sauce has been used as a marinade, it has come in contact with the rawness of the meat and it cannot be re-used because of contaminants. They are especially good used to sop, mop and baste while your meat in on the grill.
Soda Sauce 
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 6 green onions, chopped finely 
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • 6 oz can tomato paste 
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup 
  • 3/4 cup any soda pop (we like coke or ginger ale)
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar 
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 Tbsp "sweet baby rays" sauce 
Melt the butter in a small saucepan set over low heat. Add the green onions and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the green pieces of the green onion are well wilted. Stir in the tomato paste, followed by the corn syrup, soda pop, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and Sweet baby rays sauce. Blend well and simmer, stirring occasionally, reduce for 20-30 minutes or until pleasantly thick.

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