Making a homemade dry rub is a great way to season any cut of beef. With this easy 8:3:1:1 ratio, your custom dry rub will turn out perfectly every time.
What is a homemade dry rub?
A rub is a dry mixture of spices and seasonings that’s literally rubbed onto the surface of raw meat. Rubs are designed to enhance the flavor meat. They can be used on any type of meat: beef, chicken, pork or fish.
One of the many reasons we like dry rubs is because they create a savory crust on the meat. Plus, rubs help seal in the meat’s juiciness, and they add flavor, not fat.
What cuts of beef are best for dry rubs?
We like rubs on roasts, steaks, brisket, and ribs, just to name a few.
How do you make a dry rub? 8:3:1:1 ratio
Making a homemade dry rub is easy, but making one that tastes good may be a little more challenging.
That’s where this 8:3:1:1 ratio of ingredients comes in. If you stick to this formula created by Chef Alton Brown, you’ll end up with a good dry rub, every time. The basic idea is 8 parts brown sugar to 3 parts kosher salt to 2 parts (1:1) of various other spices.
The first two parts of this formula “8:3” are very straightforward — brown sugar and kosher salt. The last part of this formula “1:1” is where you can be creative. The “1” can also be divided in half, thirds or fourths. At our house, we typically use chili powder for the first “1”, and the second “1” we divide into thirds with black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. (See Recipe Below)
It’s important to note that with this 8:3:1:1 ratio, you can customize the dry rub blend however you’d like. Some common spices to use in rubs are cumin, chili powder, oregano, thyme, peppercorns, rosemary, sage, black pepper, white pepper, coriander, dill, garlic powder, and mustard powder.
How to store a homemade dry rub
This homemade dry rub should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. It should remain fresh for six months.
How to apply a dry rub to beef
For those who are new to rubs, here are a few really basic rules of thumb:
- Pat beef dry with a paper towel.
- Sprinkle rub on beef.
- Use 1-2 tablespoons of a dry rub for each pound of meat.
- Apply the rub directly to the surface of the meat using your hands.
- After applying, put it in a Ziploc bag or wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator before cooking. This will give time for the flavors to be absorbed in the meat.
- We recommend putting rubs on 30 minutes to 3 hours before cooking the beef. The longer you let the beef sit with the rub, the more you’ll notice the rub’s flavors in the cooked beef.
Common pantry ingredients for homemade dry rubs
One of the many great things about making your own homemade dry rub is that rubs use very common pantry ingredients. Here are some of the most common ingredients:
- Brown Sugar
- Cayenne Pepper
- Chili Powder
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Dill Seed
- Garlic Powder
- Ground Black Pepper
- Kosher Salt
- Onion Powder
- White Sugar
Homemade Dry Rub (8:3:1:1 ratio)
- 8 tbsp brown sugar (8 tbsp equals 1/2 cup)
- 3 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp black powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Mix dry rub ingredients together in a small bowl.
- To apply, pat beef dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle rub on beef. Use 1-2 tablespoons of a dry rub for each pound of meat. After applying, put it in a Ziploc bag or wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
One more thing!
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