The Pig Ponders: The Beauty of Dry Rubs

Just how much do we at The Pondering Pig love dry rubs? Well… let’s put that in bold: We love dry rubs.

My husband and I use a dry rub probably 5 out of 7 nights a week. A) It’s just so easy at the end of a long day. B) We love a rich, herby meat rub that accentuates the natural robust flavor of, say, a steak. We’re not fans of dousing our proteins in marinades and drowning them in sauces.

Another bonus: the exterior. Nothing beats a dry rub that coats meat in a wonderful crust while helping to seal in the juices.

Is there an art to using dry rubs? Nope - not really. Anyone can do it. But we DO offer a few tidbits on how to apply a meat rub to get the best out of it.

The Beauty of Dry Rubs

The right balanced dry rub is a perfect blend of dry spices (no wet ingredients), that gets applied by hand (rubbed on/into) meat. Then you can cook it the way you like: pan fried, air fried, oven baked, BBQ, or the smoker. The beauty of a dry rub is that it requires FAR less effort than the prep work of a marinade or sauce – especially helpful when you work all day and come home tired.

Here's the other beauty: when you douse your protein in a sauce/marinade, you tend to lose some of the rich depth of that protein flavor. Also, the surface needs to cook down before you get a good sear (hard to get) and most likely if it’s coated in a sauce, it will never get a crust. A dry rub—which is and remains dry—is going to put you on track to that wonderful caramelized crust you're wanting.

But while a dry rub is our preferred treatment for meat, there's nothing wrong with incorporating a liquid element after you've gotten some sear. Don’t be shy! Brush a glaze over for the last few cooking minutes. That creates another layer of flavor that you might just love. It's not that we have a problem with liquids, it's just that we don't want to apply them to proteins until after it's gotten its sear on.

The Final Word

The beauty of using dry rubs is this:

If you are beat after work all day, a dry rub can save your sanity! Trust us… we know! Dinner is no longer a daunting task. You can literally have your protein prepped in under 2 minutes. Sip on a vodka martini while you let it cook. The result? A beautifully seasoned protein, with a crackly exterior and juices locked in. Amazing and EASY! You may just forget about marinades and sauces all together!

Order your artisan, fresh rub today from The Pondering Pig! Check out our great selection of dry rubs for your favorite proteins.

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