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Binders for rubs

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    Binders for rubs

    When I started following BBQ, mustard was often mentioned as a binder for rubs. People said the choice of mustard was arbitrary, and some mentioned using water.
    Lately, I've seen people use oil as a binder. Does the use of an oil/fat prevent the rub from reaching the meat? Does it matter if the rub can dissolve in the binder, maybe soak into the meat a little bit. Does the rub just need to sit there, holding the spices, waiting for a bite?

    #2
    What I use depends mostly on what I have in stock. Any kind of mustard, olive oil, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, and yes even water. You put it on so thin I really don’t think it really matters all that much.

    Comment


      #3
      I’ve been around these parts fer awhile which means nothing as to any qualifications I might have except to sorta reason on things. First, nuthin is goin to penetrate into the meat, much, cept salt. Two’d if’n the rub dissolves in the binder, who gives a rip, it’s not like it’s dissapearin! Tree, I use olive oil or mustard or I sometimes ferget & use nuthin, same difference in my book. Don’t make to much out of little or better put, a mountain out of a mole hill.

      Comment


      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        Word. Rest jus set on th surface, an tastes great..

        Also have many time rubbed a wet, naked (pork) butt, sans binder...

        Always has worked out jus fine, with patience, an persistance...
        Last edited by Mr. Bones; November 15, 2021, 12:16 PM.

      #4
      Definitely. My wife's health has resulted in me changing from engineer to 'house cook.' The first 6 months or so I threw out very old spices, and forced menus with the ingridients in the house. Followed by a buying spree of stuff I thought the kitchen should have. Now, I'm seeing some stuff I bought and thinking "Do I really need yellow mustard?"

      I'm trying to avoid the question of "Do I need a chest freezer?"😅

      Comment


      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        Silly Boy.

        Ya Definitely NEED both yellow mustard, an a chest freezer....

        Tell me, Please?: Jus zackly how long was th bus, what usedta truck ya to School, an on back home, again???

        I might have been settin right smack dab up alongside of ya, Brother!

      #5
      For what it’s worth, I’ve used olive oil on things in the past and noticed that the smoke flavor was less. I’ve stopped using it as the meat is usually sticky enough by itself. The more you put on the meat the more likely it acts as a barrier. I’ve been reading some of Arron Franklins book and he states exactly that too. He stays away from oil based, and he suggests if you use a binder go very light with it.

      Comment


        #6
        I don't think you need a binder. If you can, apply the rub as the cooker is getting ready and you'll usually find that it picks up moisture from the meat and sticks just fine. But a light coating of mustard etc isn't a problem.

        Comment


        • Mr. Bones
          Mr. Bones commented
          Editing a comment
          I almost never bother with a binder, but HAVE, a few times, doesn't seem to make any tangible difference to me, but mebbe I'm not usin 'Th Right Binders'...???
          Sumpin bout slappin it right on that there bare ol butt, I dunno, it makes it part of th experience...

          Learn Me Up, Y'all. 'Preciate it.
          Last edited by Mr. Bones; November 14, 2021, 11:10 PM.

        #7
        Not saying I’m doing things correct, but I’ve never used a binder.

        Comment


        • Mr. Bones
          Mr. Bones commented
          Editing a comment
          Not sayin yer doin it 'correct', either, Brother...wth am I to jedge?

          But yer doin it th way I been rollin fer ~55 years, with nano-deviations documented.

          Ain't Broke, now is it?

          Wail, then...Ya knows what to do, huh, Brother?

          Ya DO trust Me, some, Huh? Never steer ya wrong...

        #8
        I've used both mayo and mustard with varying degrees of success and look at them as another arrow in the quiver.
        Majority of times I go with no binder but have used both on beef and pork.
        Have to say I prefer mayo on pork and mustard on beef.
        No right or wrong answer here, give binders a go then do what suits you.
        Plus I'm a big fan of Malcom Reed, if he uses them they can't be all that bad.

        Comment


        • Mr. Bones
          Mr. Bones commented
          Editing a comment
          Well put, an I share yer take.
          Note To Self: Re: Arrows, Quiver.
          Reckon sometimes, I has to set down th double barreled shotgun, huh, y'all?
          "Can take th boy outta th country..."

        #9
        I only use a binder when the protein has been uncovered in the refrigerator long enough to dry the surface to the point that the rub won't stick. Then I rub the protein with wet fingers to add just enough water to help the rub stick.

        But as I type this, I am wondering why I bother to let the protein dry out if I'm gonna rub it with water.

        Maybe I should add the rub while the protein is still wet, and then let it rest in the refrigerator...
        What say you??

        Comment


        • Mr. Bones
          Mr. Bones commented
          Editing a comment
          Valid Question, Indeed...
          Why Do We?

        • bardsleyque
          bardsleyque commented
          Editing a comment
          I rub the meat, then let it rest. I also have salt in my rub and hope that I'm dry brining at the same time.
          When I cook steak I dry brine, then add pepper just before grill time.Never have used a binder.
          Last edited by bardsleyque; November 15, 2021, 01:11 PM.

        • rmeugene
          rmeugene commented
          Editing a comment
          I am a complete rookie by all standards...but when I am letting the protein dry in the fridge I definitely salt prior to placing in the fridge for just this reason.

        #10
        I guess it depends on how moist the meat is to begin with. If i've dry brined it 36-48 hours correctly in the fridge it's gonna be pretty dry and needs some help getting the rub to stick. I've used mustard, mayo, different oils, water and even hot sauce...nothing seems to work much better than the other but the one thing i've noticed, and it may just be me but when i use plain ole H2O I seem to get a little better bark? I don't know why, I would think something with a little oil in it would give a better bark but with all things being equal the water seems to do the best for me?

        Comment


        • efincoop
          efincoop commented
          Editing a comment
          Same/similar here. I have only used a binder if the uncovered meat surface has dried to the point the rub won't adhere to the surface, but most often that is not the case so 95% of the time I don't use a binder. As to the water = darker bark question, Harry Soo claims spritzing with water (or 50/50 water & cider vinegar) helps to develop a deeper/darker bark. I only spritz if what I'm cooking start to look dry before I get the bark I'm after.

        #11
        I dry brine with salt + the rub overnight, with no binder. Never had any issues.

        Comment


          #12
          Interesting. I only put the rub on the night before and that’s it. Ive never dry brined with salt 🧂 and the put a rub on. Learn something new every day.

          FWIW The last time I used mustard as a binder on a pork shoulder I did on my Traeger the meat slipped out of my hands when I went to pick it up. While I was able to catch it before it hit the floor I ruined a nice t-shirt I was wearing. I was at the lake house so I didn’t have my apron. So that was pretty much the end of using a binder for me.

          Comment


          • Mr. Bones
            Mr. Bones commented
            Editing a comment
            An a Totally Valid MCS Cause to buy yerself another apron, Brother!

            Not a Bad Place to start, in yer Search : LINK

            Atta Boy!

          #13
          Good Old Wish-Bone Italian Dressing: oil, vinegar, and seasonings
          Works fine on all things Q'ed

          Comment


          • Mr. Bones
            Mr. Bones commented
            Editing a comment
            Always a Crowd Pleaser, yassuh!

          #14
          Most will say that yellow mustard does not add flavor. But in my opinion it adds more salt to the mix. I did a rack of ribs with a mustard binder once as a test. Though it could have been a thousand other factors, the ribs without the binder tasted less salty. I assumed it was the mustard that made the difference.

          Comment


          • Mr. Bones
            Mr. Bones commented
            Editing a comment
            Conceivably possible, faux chaux but hard to determine, given "a thousand other factors"
            Ass+ U+Me.
            Last edited by Mr. Bones; November 15, 2021, 12:41 PM.

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