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Pork Butt Rub Test-Recipe's Wanted.

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    Pork Butt Rub Test-Recipe's Wanted.

    I'm in search of a new rub, and though most ingredients are the same across all rubs, i'm looking for a few flavors out of that will set it apart from the norm.
    I also know that a rub is a very personal thing, some like sweet and heat, some like savory, so this test may just be for my benefit.

    This test is driven by 2 things, I got a book with many tasty sounding rub recipes and I thought of a way to taste test them cooked on meat in a fairly efficient manner. Tasting rubs that aren't cooked with the meat is pretty pointless after all.

    I plan on slicing a pork shoulder in half, along the longer axis to make two 3" or so sections. Then I evenly cut each section 3" wide so the cooking should be even. In my head this will give me about 12 sections, I will slather them up and add a separate rub to each and have a taste test.

    Anyone see an issue with my plan? I am guessing they will be done in about 4 hours which should be plenty of time to form a crust and some bark.

    As I said, we are all sensitive to certain flavors but I plan on tasting them all first to rank them for overall flavor, what flavors came through. For this I am thinking 3 sections for savory, sweet, and spicy (feel free to suggest more). Next I want to get specific with the recipe, can I actually taste any of the flavors or do they all just meld together.

    I am very curious how this comes out because of how we perceive flavor; my wife thinks sweet peas taste sweet, they just taste bitter to me.

    I will try all of the recipes I can as long as they have ingredients I can find. I have MHMD, HRR, and DEWs rub (forgot the name), and well as the one DWCowles listed as his favorite and 3 from my book, so this leaves me looking for at least 5 more.

    John, this was the very first rub I ever tried. Its nothing fancy, but it works great. I still use it to this day. This one is just a all purpose rub. Its from Dinosaur BBQ, i guess you can say they got me into BBQ.

    All Purpose Red Rub.
    Last edited by Spinaker; December 30, 2014, 11:57 AM.


    • _John_
      _John_ commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm hoping the salt is half a cup and not 4 and a half?

    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      Sorry for the typo. 1/2 cup is correct.

    If you are using any OTS rubs I would suggest Tony Chacherie's and the PBC All Purpose.

    Without a doubt the HRR is the best on butts IMHO, but I am interested in your test!

    Here is a pretty decent Greek rub - not sure how well it would do on a butt though (leave out salt if you choose):

    Greek Rub

    2 tablespoons dried oregano
    5 teaspoons onion powder
    5 teaspoons garlic powder
    1 tablespoon salt
    1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules (crushed bouillon cubes)
    1 tablespoon dried parsley
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1 teaspoon lemon pepper
    Last edited by HC in SC; December 30, 2014, 11:24 AM.


      I have been meaning to try this OTS one out too - Bad Byron's Butt Rub.


      One of our local grocery stores puts this stuff on some of their pork they sell out of the butcher's case, been meaning to try, but......

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      • HC in SC
        HC in SC commented
        Editing a comment
        Wow. I guess any rub with the word "bad" in it means it is chock full of black pepper. LOL

      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        John, how did it cook? I saw some of this today as well.

      • gcdmd
        gcdmd commented
        Editing a comment
        I've never cooked with it, but I've had it on ribs a couple of times at church dinners, and it is very good.

      Here's my take on a pork rub, if you want to try it: http://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/for...ork-rub-recipe


      • _John_
        _John_ commented
        Editing a comment
        Added it, thanks.

      Let's see if we can get some pics to load.
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        LOL maybe using the other method...nope.
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          Anyway, I will upload pics when I can get them to work.

          I will include the data for the 11 rubs I chose. Since every recipe was for a different amount I converted each ingredient to teaspoons, then calculated the percent of the total so I could see everything on the same scale. I have to say, this is how I will be doing all of my recipes from now on, once you've done a couple you can double and triple or half recipes without looking anything up. The ingredients are mostly the same depending on whether it is a sweet, salty, or savory rub and then a few small things added to make it unique. I think you can pick one of these, leave out the little things and have a great base to add your own unique flavor to.

          I bought some bulk spices to try to be consistent, I used easily obtainable spices in the form I could find them, and all of the recipes use spices from the same container. Except one, there were 2 that used ginger and I thought I had enough, but I think Henrik gave me a ginger bread cookie recipe so I had to run to the store and buy another. I chose one recipe because it has cocoa, i'm interested to see what it does, it supposedly adds depth.

          I created 1 cup of each of the 11 rubs, and decided to do an average for the 12th; I will take 1 tablespoon from each of the 11.

          Here are the 11, the first 6 were found here, the rest were from books or the net:
          Meathead's Memphis Dust
          Huskee's Rib Rub
          Spinaker's Dino Rub
          Barrister DEW's Butt Rub
          DWCowles Favorite
          Henrik's Pork Rub
          Hog Rub
          Carolina Rub
          John Berwald's Dry Rub
          Weber NRG Pork Rub
          Not sure how much this all cost as I had some spices, but plan on $50 and a couple of hours. If anyone is interested, I don't need these after I try them, I am happy to ship em on to someone else.


          • Spinaker
            Spinaker commented
            Editing a comment
            Looking forward to the results. I hope this post gains traction, this is going to be interesting.

          • Dr ROK
            Dr ROK commented
            Editing a comment
            "Since every recipe was for a different amount I converted each ingredient to teaspoons, then calculated the percent of the total so I could see everything on the same scale. I have to say, this is how I will be doing all of my recipes from now on, once you've done a couple you can double and triple or half recipes without looking anything up."

            A spread sheet that would convert these measurements automatically would be awesome for the group. Anybody good with excel skills?

          • _John_
            _John_ commented
            Editing a comment
            If you mean converting say 2 cups to teaspoons that would be pretty hard because of all of the formats and misspellings. Once you know that a table spoon is 3 teaspoons and a cup is 48 you don't really have to even think in the conversion, half of 48 is pretty easy to come up with.

          So this is gonna have to be a bit different than I had planned, Murphy's Law. I was talking about slicing pork shoulder to use for testing, then I remembered Sam's usually has some fresh country style ribs which have just been sliced pork shoulder. Nice even cuts done for me! Except that the pieces were bone in for the first time which means I can't cut them up. No worries though, we will do it playoff style!

          Out of the 12 i'm doing, I've only ever had Memphis Dust, so I had to test them all right out of the bag. With plenty of water because some of these are hot. Like I said before, you never know until you get it on something but my initial favorites are the ones from the Pit, with Huskee and DWCowles leading so far. Spinaker and Henrik have some very strong flavors that should mix well with the meat, but right out of the bag taste...non-traditional

          I'm not sure how the format will look for some users, but here are the percentage breakouts by spice for each of the rubs. What I would like to do is further group this into sweet, spicy, salty and savory. My main issues are how to describe things like lemon zest and then qualifying spicy, 20% paprika won't be as spicy as 5% cayenne. Open to any thoughts there.
          W. Sugar B. Sugar Salt Paprika Chili Pwdr Garlic Onion Blk Pepper Wht Pepper Cayenne Cumin Thyme Lemon Zest Oregano Ginger Rosemary Sage Mustard Pwdr Celery Cocoa Cinnamon Nutmeg Ginger
          Meathead's Memphis Dust 28% 28% 0% 19% 0% 9% 5% 5% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 5% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
          Huskee's Rib Rub 24% 32% 24% 0% 8% 2% 2% 2% 0% 2% 4% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
          Spinaker's Dino Rub 0% 18% 18% 18% 9% 18% 14% 2% 0% 0% 1% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
          Barrister DEW's Butt Rub 0% 23% 0% 35% 6% 6% 6% 12% 0% 1% 6% 1% 2% 3% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
          DWCowles Favorite 0% 53% 7% 26% 2% 2% 2% 8% 0% 1% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
          Henrik's Pork Rub 0% 35% 6% 24% 0% 12% 0% 0% 0% 0% 12% 0% 0% 0% 12% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
          Hog Rub 0% 27% 13% 0% 27% 0% 0% 27% 0% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 3% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
          Carolina Rub 12% 12% 12% 24% 12% 0% 0% 12% 0% 6% 12% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
          Fantabulous 0% 32% 8% 16% 8% 8% 8% 4% 0% 3% 3% 3% 0% 0% 0% 3% 0% 0% 0% 4% 1% 1% 1%
          John Berwald's Dry Rub 0% 22% 22% 22% 0% 5% 5% 22% 0% 3% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
          Weber NRG Pork Rub 0% 11% 42% 0% 0% 0% 0% 11% 0% 0% 21% 0% 0% 11% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
          Also if you want to try any of these out, just multiply the total teaspoons of how much you want by each number. I wanted a cup of each, which is 48 tsp so I just multiplied the percentage by 48 to get that ingredients amount. An easy rule of thumb for the measurements you will likely use is 3 tsp= 1 Tbsp and 1/4 cup = 12 tsp
          Last edited by _John_; December 30, 2014, 11:14 PM.


          • smarkley
            smarkley commented
            Editing a comment
            Really good stuff, John! Thanks for posting it.

          • smarkley
            smarkley commented
            Editing a comment
            Spiciness is gonna be hard, obviously 6% cayenne will be spicer than 3%... but what about chili powder? That is all over the place as far as spiciness (it can have salt too btw) because of different formulation... also Paprika can be spicey or not - is paprika lister here hungarian or smoked or regular?

            Even at that, this chart is awesome and will be very helpful.

          • Moscuba
            Moscuba commented
            Editing a comment
            I love this, thanks!

          Top 3 and bottom 3 on my list will be the rubs I test today. This puts Huskee, Meathead, and Spinaker against the 3 I got from books/online. I think the 3 at the top represent pretty different rubs; no salt, a lot of salt, heavy garlic and onion. The bottom 3 are the odd ducks that I think I will either love or hate, but I hope to find at least a flavor sticking out. The Weber rub has the most salt by far while the Berwald's is like a dalmation rub but with equal amounts of sugar and paprika. Fantabulous on paper looks more like a holiday bread loaf recipe, but I have wanted to know how cinnamon and cocoa come through.
          I think I will pick my 3 favorite, then the next test I will do the remaining 6 and pick the top 3. For the final I am thinking of leaving pork butt and cutting a couple racks into 3 bone sections and testing how they do on ribs. If there is no clear winner of both meats then I will end up with a favorite for pork and a favorite for ribs, which isn't a problem at all since to me they taste completely different.


            John, this is very cool. It seems to be reading oddly. Any way to post it as media or is it?

            Click image for larger version

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            • _John_
              _John_ commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes they are still broke, thanks for rubbing it in

            • Jon Solberg
              Jon Solberg commented
              Editing a comment
              You want me to post it for you?

              Send it to my username with no space + [email protected]

              And for what its worth my pics were broke yesterday when I did the roadside smoker thing but they came back last night.

            • _John_
              _John_ commented
              Editing a comment
              You've got mail.

            Well I was going to upload the Excel file but that didn't work either, not sure if it is just me or the system.


              Post #9 is a crazy post, widescreen, lol.


              • Jon Solberg
                Jon Solberg commented
                Editing a comment
                I concur!

              Good contrast of flavors here. I like it. It also goes from complex to simple. I'm interested to see how that cocoa and cinnamon come through in the end. There must be a reason why they use them. This is shaping up to be quite the test.


                Pit is hot, Beer is cold, Football on TV. This is gonna be a good test!



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