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Here’s the rub: four steps to creating your own

Updated: July 3, 2012 10:15AM

Commercial spice rubs for grilling are readily available, but it is so easy to make your own.

Homemade rubs tend to be less expensive. Free of fillers and chemicals, they’re more potent. They also can easily be made salt-free.

Here’s some steps to get you started:

† Use a smaller proportion of the highly aromatic spices, such as clove, nutmeg and cinnamon, and a larger proportion of the more earthy spices, such as coriander, cumin and paprika, which provide a base for the mixture. Go heavy or light on chile peppers, depending on your taste for heat.

† Aim to create an overall balance between the sweetness of spices such as cardamom, the heat of chiles and the aroma of spices such as cinnamon.

† The technique is simplicity itself. Just take small handfuls of the spice mix into your hands and rub it over the entire surface of the food, using a bit of pressure to make sure that a good layer adheres to the food.

† Apply a rub several hours before you begin to cook or five minutes before — the effect will be about the same.

Spices past their prime lose their flavor and aroma, so test for freshness before using. The best way to check is by look, smell and taste.

Scripps Howard

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