I love to cook. I love to cook outdoors over an open fire. I have been doing so my whole life, which - at this point - is turning out to be a goodly number of years.
I've used pre-made rubs and spices over the years. There's a BBQ restaurant in Memphis, TN that has a particular flavor profile. Rendezvous ribs are among my all time favorite. I love pretty much everything about them. When, about 20 years ago, I found Rendezvous barbecue rub available in the store, I loaded up. My ribs tasted pretty damn close to those succulent memphis ribs. But it felt a little bit like cheating.
I've been making my own spice rubs and spice blends at home for several years now. I like the process. I love the results. My homemade spice mixes have no anti-caking additive, no stabilizers, flavor-boosters. Just interesting combinations of herbs and spices.
I've been doing the same with salad dressings too. Haven't bought a bottle of dressing in over 5 years. No need. I can use the absolute best vinegars and highest quality oils. I can use fresh lime or lemon. I can add kosher or sea salt, cumin, mustard seed, whatever I like and tweak the recipe for the day, the dish, the occasion.
I think the thing about pre-packaged rubs and spice mixes that annoys me is this: They're a shortcut. A cheat. A way to attempt to insure consistent results.
Try making something from scratch next time you fire up the grill. I think you may be surprised at how much fun it is and how much better things taste.
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