According to Smoky
Welcome to According to Smoky. Here you will find the latest and greatest from C. Clark "Smoky" Hale notable 'baster', author, publisher, television star in both the barbecue and 'the real' world. And yes, he is a real person and not the webmaster.
Smoky will be offering his talents, techniques and secrets discovered over the last 150 years, or so. He will be to the point, pull no punches and if you suffer through the process, you will become a much better outdoor cook, turning out masterpiece meals for friends and family alike.
In this column, Smoky discussing some of the questions you must ask yourself the essence of ‘Smokin’ . . . . . take notes!
So, with no further adieu, we turn the mike to Smoky. You're on Smoky . . . . .
Part 4C. Clark “Smoky” Hale
Let's Get Started...
Making Your Own Rub
With all that information, firmly established and well organized in your head, it’s time to put it to use. The simplest, most straight-forward mixture is a rub. You get immediate feed back from your efforts and have good opportunities to correct or alter the outcome.
The first step in creating any recipe is to conceive of the result that you want. You may take a different turn along the way, but it’s best to start with a plan. This provides an idea of what ingredients that will be essential and give hints as to relative proportions of the ingredients.
In the case of a rub, the main ingredient will most often salt. Salt is a flavor enhancer and, I believe, a carrier of flavors. For a starter rub, try:
Salt - 1 portion
Sugar is optional. Rub Master and Baron of Barbecue, Paul Kirk, believes that it is essential in a rub. I, personally, rarely use sugar in rubs. But let’s experiment.
Sugar - 1/2 portion
The next two ingredients are next in popularity, because the begin to create a taste that we expect. You may increase one over the other for a particular effect, but initially, I recommend equal amounts.
Onion Powder - 2/3 portion
Garlic Powder - 2/3 portion
We now have the beginnings of a base, which can also stand alone for some purposes. But, if we continue to refine the direction we have the next tier of flavorings to choose from. In my basic rub, I use the following:
Ground Bay - 1/3 portion
Ground Thyme - 1/3 portion
Black Pepper - 1/3 portion
At this point, we have a balanced, serviceable rub. I recommend that at this point, you mix these real well, bottle tightly and let it sit over night. The next day, or the day after, sprinkle a little on cooked meat or on bread or hot pop corn. Use it sparingly, as you would salt. Savor the flavor, cogitate on it. Memorize it. If it is not balanced to your palate, you may carefully add more of one ingredient in a minute and measured amount. Be careful not to overpower your palate. Take time between tastings. Once you are reasonably happy with the result, consider this your Basic Rub.
Your Basic Rub may be further tweaked for different meats. If for pork or poultry, one might add a traditional seasoning:
Rubbed or Ground Sage - 1/3 portion
If the rub is being designed for beef or lamb, one might use instead:
Ground Mustard - 1/3 portion
Now we have a complete rub, but you may want to make it particularly yours. I recommend that you store this for a couple of days and use it as a season for cooking. Then experiment with measured amounts of one of the higher flavors - mace, cloves, all spice, cumin, etc., to the Basic Rub; but again, add only one at a time and carefully record what you did. Save each specimen, accurately labeled, preferably in refrigeration.
From time to time, compare two but not more than two of the mixtures. Try them out on your friends — the ones with good palates — for new opinions. You may also want to compare you favorite with a commercial rub or two. Your sauce will become yours when all the ingredients marry into a product where no one flavor stands out.
Once you have a dry seasoning, it is a matter of adding liquids to build your own sauce. Use the same techniques and be careful of additives such as soy, teriyaki and Worcestershire sauces. Different brands produce different results.
“Make haste, slowly" and
C. Clark Hale
8168 Hwy 98 E.
McComb, MS 39648
Smoky's 5th basic position for really great barbecue'n.
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