Which Rub to use on Which Smoker

Char-Griller Ambassador Steve Dotson shares tips on selecting the right rubs for your smoker.

Hey everyone, today we are going to talk about a lesson that at one point we all have to learn and hopefully it will help you to keep from ruining your turkey this year! One important aspect we sometimes don't think of as pitmasters is what sorts of rubs pair well with the type of smoker we’re using. What I mean by this is we all have our favorite rubs, some are salty, some are savory, some are hot, and some are sugary sweet. That last kind, the sweet rubs, can react very differently depending on what kind of smoker we are using them on. If we are using them on something like a Kamado, or cooking on something with a lower temp like say 225, those sugary rubs will slowly caramelize into a beautiful and delicious crust on the outside of whatever we are cooking over hours of smoking. However, if we are cooking on something that say either has a more direct heat aspect to it or higher levels of convective air flow or even the same kamado say at 300 degrees or 320, that beautiful caramelization can quickly turn into something more dark brown and while it may not even taste burnt, all of the delicious sweetness has now gone to what i really think just tastes like nothing at all. For that reason we really need to think about how the rubs we want to use can play into how we are going to execute our cook. For instance if we have a sweet rub that we really want to use on our turkey this year, but we’re also trying to cook at a high temperature to crisp up that skin. Perhaps we can cook the turkey with a traditional salt forward rub until the last half an hour or 15 minutes, then apply our sweet rub giving it just enough time to melt and form that delicious sweet crust. As always there are a million ways to BBQ and I just want to help you find out how you enjoy doing it the most. If this helps leave a comment and let me know.