A Very Versatile Spice Rub

This rub was adapted from the Food Network’s Down Home With The Neelys show and has now been adopted into our family. We like it a lot. The basic recipe is good for all kinds of meats, but I did have to change it a little. (They like things HOT!) Dried, crushed herbs are mostly used here so adjust the amounts (just a tad) when using ground herbs. Let’s get started:

Ingredients

1/3 cup coarse salt
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/4 cup paprika
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons oregano
2 tablespoons thyme

Blend everything well. Fits well into pint-sized jars. For most meats, you’ll want to oil it first then rub generous amounts of the spice rub into it. (Ease up on thin cuts and fish.)

This is good for grilling, broiling and roasting. You can even change it up a bit and turn it into a marinade. I also decided to try a variation for chicken-only and I think it’s really good. The recipe above changes a bit:

1/3 cup coarse salt
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/8 cup paprika
1/4 – 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons oregano
2 tablespoons thyme
1 tablespoon sage
1 tablespoon garlic powder

The color becomes lighter than the original; add more paprika if you want a darker rub. This can go under the skin of the chicken too (but the flavor is strong so beware).

I’ve made a steak-only version that needs more work in my opinion. Starting with the basic recipe above, I added more black pepper, halved the oregano and thyme, and added garlic and onion powder. Hmm, it was good but not great, you know? Still a work in progress…

Tip: The salt is the heaviest thing in there (we’re talking actual weight here) so the less you shake, the less it will fall to the bottom of the jar. Spoon it out if possible and you’re good to go!

Tip: If you don’t spice things up as much as we do, then cut this recipe in half. I am not sure how long the brown sugar will hold up. (The longest period of time it sat on my shelf was about two months. It seemed to be okay!)