How Do I Choose the Best Beef Rib Rub?

Lakshmi Sandhana
Lakshmi Sandhana
Paprika is often used in beef rib rubs.
Paprika is often used in beef rib rubs.

Choosing the best beef rib rub depends entirely upon the type of flavor that you would like the beef ribs to have. It's a good idea to use distinctive rubs for beef ribs because they are tricky to prepare. Cooked well, beef ribs are tender and delicious, otherwise they are chewy and lack taste. A beef rib rub can be spicy or sour, mild or hot, savory or sweet. You can either start with the ingredients you have and build up a flavorful rub or go through different types of rubs like country style, Asian, Italian, or Memphis style to select one that suits your taste.

Garlic powder is an ingredient in the Kansas City rib rub.
Garlic powder is an ingredient in the Kansas City rib rub.

Rubs can be wet or dry and consist of a number of different herbs, spices, and seasonings that impart a strong flavor to the meat. The Kansas City rib rub is a very sweet one that contains brown sugar, paprika, cayenne, and garlic powder as its major ingredients. The Memphis-style rib rub has no sugar, and its heat can be adjusted by varying the amount of cayenne in the recipe. The Carolina barbecue rib rub is a sweet rub that contains a lot of cumin.

Black pepper is usually included in beef rubs.
Black pepper is usually included in beef rubs.

A country-style beef rib rub contains black pepper and a great deal of dried parsley. Ingredients like miso and Asian chili paste give a rib rub a very Asian flavor. To impart an Italian flavor to the beef, add ingredients like dried oregano, basil, and dried rosemary. While finding the right rub might seem a little challenging, in reality, it's quite easy to arrive at a great rub recipe just by varying the ingredients a little.

Some dry rubs can be used for other meats and poultry as well as beef.
Some dry rubs can be used for other meats and poultry as well as beef.

You don't need many ingredients to make a very basic beef rib rub. All it takes is a little chili powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and garlic powder. Varying chili powder levels makes the rub spicier; you can also use paprika. Adding brown sugar or coarsely ground yellow mustard seeds makes the dish sweeter or hotter, respectively. You can even prepare a slightly wet beef rib rub with a Korean twist by adding ingredients like soy sauce, rice vinegar, and grated ginger.

In just 10 minutes, you can prepare a dry beef rib rub, and once it's done, it can be stored in an airtight container for a long time. To prepare the beef, rub the dry rub into the ribs the night before and cook and smoke it for a couple of hours the next day. Cooking on a low flame for a long time ensures that the meat will be tender as well as flavorful.

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Discussion Comments

Krunchyman

The article gives some great tips on how to prepare spices for meat. Not only will I try it out in the future, but it would also be very beneficial to those who lack the experience, since they might not know what spices to use, and how to use them.

RoyalSpyder

Whether it's cooking ribs or baking chicken, one of my favorite things about meats are the spices that you can choose. There is plenty to choose from, and if you want, you can even mix them up and use them that way, for a better taste. One problem I have had in the past is that I would wait until the meat is cooked before using the spices. Overall, it's best to put the spices on while the meat is still raw. That way, the flavors marinate into the meat. On a final note, in relation to the first paragraph, I like how it's mentioned that the spices are all about what flavor you want your meat to have. It really shows how there's not "right" or "wrong" choice, especially when it comes to art like cooking.

Hazali

While it's definitely important to cook the meat, one thing some of us tend to forget is that in some ways, spices are just as important, if not even more so. After all, along with any vegetables, they're what gives the meat a nice hearty flavor. I learned this the hard way a long time ago. When I first started cooking ribs, I tried not to overdo it with the spices, so not many were used. Sad to say, my family was quite disappointed. Though the ribs were well done and the quality was excellent, there was a rather bland taste as well, due to a lack of spices. Overall, while it's essential to make sure the meat is cooked all the way, spices are the cream of the crop.

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    • Paprika is often used in beef rib rubs.
      By: Ekaterina Lin
      Paprika is often used in beef rib rubs.
    • Garlic powder is an ingredient in the Kansas City rib rub.
      By: Comugnero Silvana
      Garlic powder is an ingredient in the Kansas City rib rub.
    • Black pepper is usually included in beef rubs.
      By: kellyschulz
      Black pepper is usually included in beef rubs.
    • Some dry rubs can be used for other meats and poultry as well as beef.
      By: Monkey Business
      Some dry rubs can be used for other meats and poultry as well as beef.