Rub a dub, dub. I’m done with rubs, I have a new love, yay!

I’m no different from many people who grill or smoke their food, often. I’ve got a pantry filled with chile powders, herbs and spices that all go in to any rub I care to make at any given meal. I’ve got versions I like better than others and sometimes just like to strip it down to the basics and enjoy the meat & smoke.
Yeah well, when I was at the Fatted Calf Picnic this year Taylor used 1 ingredient for his dry rub and I’ve been experimenting ever since. Even took some slabs of babybacks to a food blogger picnic a few weekends ago. So far, I’m at 100% approval rating for this ingredient.
Care to come see?

What 1 ingredient could win over so many people? Salt, kosher salt to be specific.
For this rack I used my wood fired pit fueled with mesquite and hickory for flavors. I got a late start on Sunday, but it didn’t matter. Babybacks take so little time, 2.5 hours or so. Last week’s load I rubbed the salt in maybe 1.5 hours before going in the smoker. For Sunday’s run, it was between 3 and 4 hours. This can be done overnight as well, it just doesn’t matter. The results are so fantastic I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in using any other ingredient on my meat. It’s juicier, the meat “skin” has a snap to it and all you taste is the smoke and the meat. When put up against 2 other rubs, the salt still came in 14 lengths ahead with ease. Oh sure, my rubs could suck, that isn’t a probability I’d like to ponder. It’s that good.

It’s just this simple.


19 thoughts on “Rub a dub, dub. I’m done with rubs, I have a new love, yay!

  1. Sirs,
    Old age brings patience and wisdom. Your just growing up dude……
    You will miss the sugar one day, the way it calms the salt. You will miss the peppers, Black to add savor, Reds for zing.
    But for now, you are enjoying that place where you want things simple, clean and honest. Wild meat, washed in seawater, roasted over a driftwood fire. Existential.
    Youll be back, but no hurry.

  2. Having been fortunate enough to experience those ribs, I am in total agreement about the beauty of the salt. Anyone who wants variations can add sauces after the smoke, but the result of your simple treatment is nothing short of — holy, Reverend.

  3. Looks mighty fine. Just curious tho… I’m a heavy smoker (not cigs, silly), and I usually like a dark smoky skin on my ribs. Of course, that’s the rub charring, but I’m curious how the smoky taste compares. I see a pretty nice smoke ring on your baby backs, and I’m just curious if the smoky essence is the same or better, rub notwithstanding.
    Your continued admirer and humble student.

  4. Dearest Salvage,
    No no no! I’M DONE! I don’t want no fancy rub screwin’ with muh flavors. I don’t like sugar in rubs, nor do I like garlic powder, blech! I’m not trying anything new!

  5. Hey Jeff,
    Hmm, well the rub shouldn’t be charring if your temperature is low enough or no spikes (rub with sugar of course). But I know what you mean, it does get a lot darker but that’s mostly for pork spares. The babybacks are only in there for a few hours and the chance to get a darker smoke gets a little tougher. I find that if I smoke food in a less efficient rig I can use whole logs of whatever and that way I can get a pretty darned dark smoke on just about anything, even burgers. Which is why I have very little use for a weber kettle, can’t burn muh logs!
    The smoky essence on the ribs is far tastier on the salt marinated rub because it’s not having to battle with chile peppers an junk. It’s so pure, meat & smoke. That’s it. The smoke flavor dances around your mouth, between the salt & fat delivery system, it’s the best. LOVE.

  6. Sir,
    Its a phase. You are there, I know.
    Remember GIRLS!!! BLECH!!!
    You got over that too……

  7. Hay,
    Yeah I dunno man, girls is different. Been a lifelong ambition since I was about 10, never faltered. Girls is a phase that lasts a lifetime. I should do a brisket with my new fad.
    ps – Hmmm, yeah, fad. This is my new fad.

  8. GAH !!! I have the inspiration to smoke some meat, right now! I have no fresh meat! GAH !!!
    I believe I’ll cook up some bacon that Chilebrown dropped off and make some pancakes using fresh scratch.
    xo, Biggles

  9. Yeah…. char wasn’t the right word. I rarely ever get above about 215 when I smoke. Just the nice smoky brown color that the smoke puts on the rub. I generally leave mine in about 3-4 hours then wrap em in foil for another couple of hours to finish up and turn all that collagen into smooshy lusciousness.
    When I wrote that I’d just about polished off a whole bottle of blackberry merlot, so it’s amazing it was even legible… much less spelled correctly. Was grilling some chicken for supper, and sitting on the patio enjoying the cool autumn air, and just went and polished off the whole dang bottle… oops.
    If’n you’re interested, there’s a pic or two on my blog that I took a couple weeks ago.

  10. Hey Fan of Gravel,
    Ya know, I was thinking about that this morning as I was rubbing salt in to yet another slab of spares.
    Remove the membrane on the back, wash and pat dry with paper towels. Run your hand over the meat, smooth and meaty. Add enough kosher salt so you can feel it. It isn’t a little smattering, nor is it a deep rub of tons. You want to feel the coarse.
    oh man, I can hardly wait!

  11. I tried these yesterday. I was sure that nothing was going to work. I got sidetracked and didn’t get them in the smoker until almost 5pm. Then it starts to rain. Thats a good way to lose all your heat. I have to say that these were the best ribs that I have ever made. I am going to make some more today.

  12. Hey Gravel,
    HOOYAH !!! You go. See?
    Was perusing the grocery store on Saturday and bought another slab of pork spares, 1.88 a pound. Did them up for Sunday’s dinner and once again, perfection.
    It’s just so perfect.

  13. Um, the former “Snowbuggie” here… just wanted to say that these are the most delicious looking things I’ve ever seen. I am demanding that Husband try this version ASAP.