This is a membership forum. As a guest, you can click around a bit. View 5 pages for free. If you would like to participate, please join.

[ Pitmaster Club Information | Join Now | Login | Contact Us ]

There are 4 page views remaining.


No announcement yet.

Searing and Burning Rubs

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Searing and Burning Rubs

    Hi all,

    If you're going to be searing some meat, whether it be a steak, a pork tenderloin, or what-have-you, how do you protect against any rub you have from burning?

    I've even stopped putting pepper on steaks as I tend to get a bitter flavor, which I assume is burned. The last time I did a pork tenderloin, I had it covered with oil and rosemary and while the pork was nicely seared with bits of char, which was good, the rosemary got all charred up, which was not good.

    I know that sugar and searing don't mix, so I take care to ensure there is so sugar on any meat I am planning to sear. Maybe I'm going too far beyond the crust stage and too far into the char stage. Maybe I need to flip or rotate more often.

    (I know salt is fine for any searing. As Alton Brown is famous for saying, "It's a rock.")

    Most of the time I usually put a bit of butter or oil on top of my steaks before searing the side, as it adds flavor, and protects the rub a bit. Admittedly, I don't have an issue with burning spices as I only typically use salt and pepper, but I would think the butter/oil would serve as a protective layer for the spices.


      I go through phases where I add the pepper and other spices after the sear, but to be honest I don't worry too much about it and 99% of the time I sear with the seasoning in place. I don't sear everything, for instance pork loin chops, chicken pieces, burgers- no sear, I just don't need it, so any large herb pieces in those rubs don't get burnt. Steaks and beef roasts, yes. Just a week or 2 ago I did a prime rib w/ Mrs O'leary's Cow Crust and seared the thing and didn't notice any off flavors or burnt taste, and most times I do the same with steaks. You're definitely right with the salt though, it should be de-crystalized and inside the meat anyway.


        What prompted this is that I am going to try searing a pork tenderloin this evening. I think I am going to try to do something radically different, at least for me.

        I'll salt and oil the tenderloin, sear it, then apply the pepper and herbs after I transfer it to the indirect side of the grill (drizzling it with additional oil if needed). If pepper and herbs can't penetrate the meat, why does it matter when I apply them? (I am thinking of the concept of a board sauce here.)


        • Huskee
          Huskee commented
          Editing a comment
          You're adding it after a *front* sear and before the indirect cook, why that changes things! You are right though. It doesn't matter from a logical standpoint. It is typically just a convenience thing, applying it all before tossing on the grill. I do think however that the meat juices mixing with the seasonings add a certain something that peppering after the fact (on your plate for instance) doesn't add. Do it!

        Not sure what you mean by burning.... I dry brine first and then add a rub with no salt. I want my steaks with a bit of char. Which might mean "burnt" to you. Again, I sear or form a bark, fond or char to my liking (I keep an eye on it and don't walk away from the grill) and then move it over to indirect, baste with a little butter (or mop sauce or marinade) and finish to the desired temp.


          After my experiment tonight, I think I see where I have been going wrong. It's beginner's mistakes, really. I cook over too hot of a heat for too long.

          So I said earlier that I was going to sear this pork tenderloin and then apply the spices. Well, that didn't happen....what ended up happening was a traditional cook: pepper, olive oil, and some herbs de provence. (The tenderloin, I thankfully noticed, was pre-brined, so I didn't salt it.)

          All these internet recipes say to sear two-to-three minutes per side. I had a full chimney (I really should have used half) of lit coals in my SnS, so I seared a minute per top and bottom of the tenderloin and then 20 seconds or so on the other sides.

          What I ended up with is this beautiful roast-brown crust! No charring, no burning. I guess most people on the internet cook on gas and not charcoal.

          I mean, look at this:

          Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG-4390.JPG Views:	0 Size:	2.32 MB ID:	964999


            Burnt flavor after searing at high temps is why the cold grate technique was created. It uses the radiant heat to sear.

            I use the “no grate” technique with a charcoal chimney and never get any off flavors. And I go Warp 10 HOT 🔥



            • Michael_in_TX
              Michael_in_TX commented
              Editing a comment
              I like the multi-pronged skewer you're using....that steak is not going to slip off!

            • scottranda
              scottranda commented
              Editing a comment
              You can also use two strong metal skewers. It doubles purposes for shish kabobs.

            I don't put pepper or garlic on anything I will sear as both can impart a slight bitter flavor. I sear on a GrillGrates griddle and the griddle temp is about 450 degrees, not white hot which I think helps not burn the seasoning.



            No announcement yet.
            Rubs Promo


            These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

            These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

            Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

            A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs

            Groundbreaking Hybrid Thermometer!

            Thermapen One Instant Read Thermometer

            The FireBoard Spark is a hybrid combining instant-read capability, a cabled temperature probe, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. We gave Spark a Platinum Medal for pushing the envelope of product capability while maintaining high standards of design and workmanship.

            Click here to read our comprehensive Platinum Medal review

            The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One

            The Good-One Open Range is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

            Click here to read ourcomplete review


            Comprehensive Temperature Magnet With 80+ Important Temps

            Amazingribs.com temperature magnet
            Winner of the National BBQ Association’s product of the year award. This 8.5″ x 11″ magnet contains more that 80 benchmark temperatures for meats (both USDA recommended temps as well as the temps chefs recommend), fats and oils, sugars, sous vide, eggs, collagens, wood combustion, breads, and more. Although it is not certified as all-weather, we have tested it outdoors in Chicago weather and it has not delaminated in three years, but there is minor fading.

            Click here to order.

            Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

            The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
            Click here for our review of this superb smoker

            Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater

            Char-Broil’s Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you’re off to the party! Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

            Click here to read our detailed review and to order

            Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

            This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. Set ThermoTemp’s dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin’.

            Click here to read our detailed review

            Grilla Pellet Smoker proves good things come in small packages

            We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5″ x 29.5″ footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.
            Click here for our review on this unique smoker