Dry rubs have been a mainstay in Texas for an awfully long time. The trail cooks on cattle drives used them for two primary reasons: first, as long as you kept them dry they would last indefinitely and, second, the rub would enhance the flavor of almost any cut of meat (and any kind of meat). I started using dry rub back in the early 1970’s when I was inducted into a BBQ cook crew in Arlington, Texas. Back then we’d rub down 500 to 1000 lbs of briskets with only salt & black pepper and throw them onto racks in the pit. Fifteen or so years later and mostly due to attrition I’d become the pit-boss (only we called it “chief cook & bottle washer”), and our crew started experimenting with some different dry rubs on both the beef briskets and the chickens. The results of using just salt & pepper had been fantastic … when we added additional ingredients such as paprika, onion powder & garlic powder, the outcome was phenomenal!
Today, I still rely heavily on salt, pepper, onion & garlic as my basics (only with a twist) as you will see in my recipe for MarTex Dry Rub. This dry rub can be used for savory pork, chicken or beef. If you prefer some sweet (with the savory) then you might add a 3/4 cup of Turbinado sugar to the recipe. Regardless of the rub recipe, always try to rub your meat down, seal it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 2 to 12 hours before cooking.
3 T Smoked Salt (regular or Kosher can be substituted)
1/2 T Black Pepper
1/2 T White Pepper (substitute Lemon Pepper if for Chicken)
1/2 T Chili Powder
1/2 T Oregano
1 T Smoked or Spanish Paprika (reg. Hungarian can be substituted)
1 T Onion Powder
1 T Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Dried Mustard Powder
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (more if you like really spicy)
1/4 tsp Ginger
Optional Ingredients if you desire slightly sweet:
3/4 C Turbinado Sugar (Lt. Brown Sugar can be substituted)
1/2 tsp Cinnamon, ground
Store the dry rub in a tightly sealed glass jar and it will last indefinitely on your spice shelf.