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lazy
10-16-2009, 06:26 PM
I've been involved in a running conversation about rubs/seasonings on another forum (that has nothing in the world to do with smoking--amazing how many people are discovering UDSs...) about the flavor aspect of different rubs and spices. We're all fairly new to the joys of TBS.

None of us are totally convinced that the best seasoning isn't just salt and pepper and the flavor created by the smoke. I just thought I would throw some questions out to you more experienced folks.

Does the bark formed by the rub actually inhibit the meat from absorbing the flavor from the smoke?

Wouldn't the same flavor effect be created by just sprinkling some rub on the meat when completed?

Most importantly, is meat smoked with just S&P less tasteful than that done with a flavorful rub?

Thanks. I'm interested to see what the consensus is...

Q-N-Brew
10-16-2009, 08:26 PM
This will be an excellent thread lazy. Thank you for starting it.

You should understand that the rubs should be applied to compliment the flavor of the meat and the palette. Some like strong, bold flavor. While others adhere to the natural flavors of the meat and smoke.

Personally I use a lot of different rubs, some in combination with others. I do this mostly due to the fact that I like a bold flavor that makes me want more.

This isn't to say that I don't appreciate the S&P with smoke. I have done many briskets and ribs with just plain salt and pepper with excellent outcome.

So I guess it's just a flavor of the day for me.

I can't wait to see what others have to say about this though.

lazy
10-16-2009, 08:59 PM
Q-- I done good? Yea, me!:wings: Can't wait to see how it goes..

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go vacuum pack some brisket and toss it in the freezer for a co-worker.

cowgirl
10-16-2009, 10:04 PM
I tend to use rubs on pork, and sometimes poultry but I like plain old kosher salt and cracked black pepper on my beef. I think everyone's preferences are different. :)

SmokyOkie
10-16-2009, 10:05 PM
It's all a matter of taste Lazy.

Different rubs have different flavors and thus you get different taste in the meat.

As to sprinkling some on after the cook, the general thought is to allow the flavors of the different ingredients in the rub to come together and then absorb into the meat. You will get a much different resultant flavor by doing this as opposed to sprinkling on after the cook.

Bottom line is, if salt and pepper does all you want to do, don't waste time and money on rubs. On the other hand, if you want to experience different, more complex flavors, then play with herbs, spices sugars, etc.

BluDawg
10-16-2009, 11:35 PM
I tend to use rubs on pork, and sometimes poultry but I like plain old kosher salt and cracked black pepper on my beef. I think everyone's preferences are different. :)

Me too.:cowboy:

smokinok
10-17-2009, 06:46 AM
:whathesaid: I am always experimenting as I have a weakness for rubs and am always trying different rubs. Normally add extra cracked pepper from the P mill and always add extra garlic salt before the rub :twocents::sign0092:. I also like to experiment with different marinades, salt & pepper plus wine, WSS, soy sauce, beer:eating::eating:, you get the idea, I like to play around with my meat.:msn-wink:. Don't think there is a right or wrong, JUST DO IT.:wings:

peculiarmike
10-17-2009, 08:39 AM
:whathesaid:
I buy rubs and sauces and make rubs and sauces. Like marinades, do some injecting too. Herbs and herb pastes rock for great flavor.
Or, S & P is fine too. Depends on what appeals at the time.

Life's too short to not experience all you can. You get one ride.

jerry516planes
10-17-2009, 09:59 AM
I tend to use rubs on pork, and sometimes poultry but I like plain old kosher salt and cracked black pepper on my beef. I think everyone's preferences are different. :)

I agree with Cowgirl. I have been adding raw sugar to my pork rub and it really tastes great. It does however have a tendency to geat very dark and will burn late in the cooking process. I have started omitting the raw sugar from the rub and add it later in the cooking process. The advantage is that it makes good bark, does not turn black as quickly, and does offset the acid taste of the smoke. As I get better at controling the whole process I have found that my palet has become more educated, so I am constantly changing the rubs striving for something better.

I guess I got off subject, but is what came to mind.

Good Luck with your Q

ShooterRick
10-17-2009, 02:31 PM
I usually get amused when someone debates what seasoning is best or better than another. Flavor is subjective and as such the debate can never be concluded. Most of us know what we don't like and most of the time others will agree with a unpleasant experience. On the other hand regional and ethical issues play a huge roll. If we grow up with something we tend to prefer it. Overseas there are flavors loved by locals that would make our palate crawl in disgust say steakfruit for example. Just my 2Cents on the subject.

SmokyOkie
10-17-2009, 02:38 PM
Steakfruit?????

ShooterRick
10-17-2009, 08:53 PM
Steakfruit?????


May not have the name exactly right but SE Asian fruit that smells like rotten meat and considered wonderful by them folk. YUK:ack2:

BluDawg
10-17-2009, 09:20 PM
Dourion is what it is called.

ShooterRick
10-17-2009, 09:30 PM
Dourion is what it is called.

I am sure you are correct. I heard it called something like steakfruit or meatfruit by that dude that runs all over the world eating gross stuff on TV. Anyway thanks for the info.

SmokyOkie
10-17-2009, 09:34 PM
Ah yes, the much maligned Durian fruit.

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p190/dickeydoobbq/durian.jpg

Personally, I don't think they are bad at all, and in fact I like durian smoothies. they taste like a cross between banana and pineapple to me, with the texture of an avocado. the trick is not to take large bites. There is just too much flavor and richness.

funny, its about the only thing that Andrew Zimmern couldn't handle, and I kinda like it. I suppose that really illustrates your point.:msn-wink:

SmokyOkie
10-17-2009, 09:38 PM
I am sure you are correct. I heard it called something like steakfruit or meatfruit by that dude that runs all over the world eating gross stuff on TV. Anyway thanks for the info.

I think that's stink fruit.

http://www.inmagine.com/searchterms/stinkfruit.html

tomshoots
10-17-2009, 10:41 PM
I used to use S&P, garlic and onion powder on just about everything. Over the years, I have experimented with rubs and marinades; store bought and home made. I like just about all of them. Friends and family ask how I acheived certain flavors and I tell them about whatever I used. But honestly I believe that it's more important how you cook than how you season.

I have a friend that uses nothing but lemon pepper. Another that uses one and only one brisket rub. If he's out of rub he won't even buy a brisket, much less consider using something else. I pointed out the Tony's Creole seas. in his spice cabinet and said "Just use that!" He said no, that's for shrimp. IMHO, you can use anything on brisket.

My wife likes nothing but sea salt on her steak, on one side only.

One of the most memorable cooks I ever attended was when I helped a friend clear some land he had just bought. He brought an Old Smokey grill and a pork butt and charcoal. The butt cooked in the OS while we worked on charcoal only, no smoke wood. And BTW, no seasoning whatsoever, not even salt! I thought it was gonna suck. Was I ever wrong! It was delicious!

Bottom line, play with it and use what YOU like.

ShooterRick
10-18-2009, 08:41 AM
I agree with all generally. One mans trash is anothers treasure so to speak. I play with new combos all the time. In my small catering buisnesss I only use 2 rubs. One for poultry and another for everything else. Cooking for pay is different though. You must be consistant with the product appealing to the broadest section possible and once you find that stick to it! At home I play with things alot. Hey I love spinach but you may hate it! As I said before taste is subjective.

lazy
10-18-2009, 01:28 PM
:sign0092: for all the replies. Interesting to see the commonalities and the differences. I'm well aware of "diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks" in seasoning. I'm more interested in "why do it at all" as opposed to "why I do it the way I do it"...

I haven't seen much thought on whether the bark inhibits the meat from taking on flavoring from the smoke.

:stir:I pulled this from another thread here...[QUOTE=BigAL;53885]I've used all kinds of rubs and find that I can hardly taste the rub after it's all pulled and mixed together so go w/what ya got, it'll work fine. QUOTE] (italics mine) This sorta addresses part of what I was getting at. Does the rub on the outside actually add that much to the taste? Or does the sprinkling of rub over the meat once it's pulled do just as much?

One thing that seems to be fairly consistent it that brisket appears to be done with just S&P more than pork. Is this because brisket has its own naturally pleasing taste and pork needs the embellishment? Or is it a geographical thing with many of our members being in the brisket states?

And by the way, thanks for the education. This stuff is fascinating to me for some reason... I know my next brisket will just plain ol' S&P over pecan.

ShooterRick
10-18-2009, 01:52 PM
:sign0092: for all the replies. Interesting to see the I haven't seen much thought on whether the bark inhibits the meat from taking on flavoring from the smoke.

:stir:I pulled this from another thread here...[quote=BigAL;53885]I've used all kinds of rubs and find that I can hardly taste the rub after it's all pulled and mixed together so go w/what ya got, it'll work fine. QUOTE] (italics mine) This sorta addresses part of what I was getting at. Does the rub on the outside actually add that much to the taste? Or does the sprinkling of rub over the meat once it's pulled do just as much?

One thing that seems to be fairly consistent it that brisket appears to be done with just S&P more than pork. Is this because brisket has its own naturally pleasing taste and pork needs the embellishment? Or is it a geographical thing with many of our members being in the brisket states?
.

Let me try this one for you. First the bark does not develop immediately and those that foil do so around 150-160 internal temp and continue to braise. The smoke ring and flavor does not seem inhibited at this point and some as do I foil at certain points to controll the amount of smoke flavor and to braise for tenderness and moisture retention. Personally I love the taste of the bark and make sure to mix it in if I am pulling the meat. With a butt many use a finishing sauce that is mixed in after pulling for the same reason; to impart additional flavor. Carolina style pulled pork is the best known example of this. Most rubs once cooked take on a different flavor somewhat from dry in the bottle. Sugars carmelize and such. Flavors meld and the end result is different than from the bottle.

To increase flavor and moisture I also inject with a carrier such as apple juice mixed with my rub. I do this with all but ribs.

As to brisket: I have done many briskets and if you think about a slice of brisket and how it is eaten the bark is in about every bite. If ya pull brisket the large surface area of the bark compaired to the thickness say of a flat is mixed in well and add injection to this and you can impart many flavor combinations depending how you season it. S&P is fine if that is the flavor combo you want. As mentioned by someone else; cooking technique is very important and you can vary flavor and smoke by your technique as I mentioned foiling at a certain point.

Hope this gives food for thought.
Shooter

BluDawg
10-18-2009, 02:22 PM
When it comes to rubs I mix all my own it took a long time to get the flavor profiles that I like.I have 1 for pork, 1 for chicken and1 for beef and 1 for Cow bones that I'm working on. Most of the briskets I do are K salt Crushed black pepper and Mexican oregano.

SmokyOkie
10-18-2009, 05:50 PM
Smoke flavor will mix with fat and drippings and continue to penetrate the meat.

If you catch and retain all the juices of a butt and mix it in with the pulled product, it will do a great job of flavoring the meat and the fat will greatly improve the mouth feel. There is absolutely no reason that you can't reseason the meat after pulling.

Like the Shooter said, taste is subjective. that's what makes competition cooking so difficult. You never know who you're cooking for and what their tastes are. We had a brisket once that scored 4 triple nines and then two fo the judges thought it was just mediocre.

Given this subjectivity, the bottom line is to learn what you like and then cook accordingly.

I like strong and different flavors. to me, herbs and spices provide a whole world of discovery. If Salt and pepper does all you need, then there really is no sense in spending the time money and effort in using anything else.

ShooterRick
10-18-2009, 06:12 PM
Smoke flavor will mix with fat and drippings and continue to penetrate the meat.

If you catch and retain all the juices of a butt and mix it in with the pulled product, it will do a great job of flavoring the meat and the fat will greatly improve the mouth feel. There is absolutely no reason that you can't reseason the meat after pulling.


Yes 100%. Fat=flavor. Some I know go so far as pour the fat in icecube trays before freezing the meat and toss a couple cubes in when reheating. I don't go that far but ya get the idea. I freeze the drippings with the meat and doesn't seem to bother anyone that eats it reheated. It is the same reason I don't use a finishing sauce on my pork. I inject and that with the drippings is plenty for me.