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BBQ - And There's the Rub

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A rub is simply a mixture of herbs and spices that can be rubbed into the meat before grilling or smoking. The longer the rub is on, the more the flavors will permeate the meat. But it can also be put on at the very last minute. If you are cooking a large cut of meat for a long time, you may also want to baste the meat every hour or so. For a baste, you can use something as simple as apple juice, or a mixture of 3 parts citrus juice, 2 parts oil and 1 part vinegar.

These spice mixes can just be measured into a bowl and stirred, or poured into a jar and shaken to mix. If you prefer to use whole spices for the freshest taste, or if you are making a rub in bulk, it is a good idea to have a coffee grinder, spice grinder, or mini food processor set aside exclusively for this purpose. If you are going to use your regular coffee grinder, clean it out by grinding raw rice in it to try to avoid jalapeno-flavored coffee. Spice rubs should be stored in an airtight container and used within six months for optimal flavor.

It is much cheaper to buy spices in envelopes and store them in cute little jars yourself. Schilling is a rip-off. Cost Plus and ethnic markets sell spices for next-to-nothing in envelopes. Even the Latino foods aisle in the grocery store sells spices cheaper. When buying in bulk, "It's Delish!" brand is a good deal.

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Recipes after the jump!