After a whole grueling winter, summer is here! Summer is backyard barbequing primetime. The weather is warm and inviting, and who wants to cook inside, anyway. Hardcore grilling enthusiasts will grill anytime of the year, but there is just something about summer that makes grilled foods that more appetizing.
Grills hold amazing potential. You can grill anything, from meats to vegetables to pizzas and salads and even fruit and seafood. With the right marinade or rub, almost anything can be grilled.
Most of you know what a marinade and dry rub is, but how many of you know what a wet rub is? As the name implies, a wet rub is a dry rub with a wet ingredient added to give your rub an edge over a plain dry rub. Marinades can waste an excessive amount of spices without adding too much flavor or tenderness while dry rubs do not adhere to the food very well.
A wet rub is more of a paste than a marinade, and delivers a more concentrated flavor. The moist ingredient is usually not water, but a flavor agent like juice, a condiment, or dairy.
Just as when you apply another tenderizing application, there is a certain technique to deliver the fullest flavor. If applying to meats, lightly scoring the flesh at half inch or quarter inch intervals will help the rub penetrate deeper. If applying a wet rub to poultry with skin, separate the skin from the flesh within a half inch of the edges of the skin with your fingers and apply the rub under the skin.
Application of a wet rub varies depending on the meat or other food, but is generally simple. You rinse and dry the meat or other food, apply the rub, and let it sit in a closed container in the fridge for the desired time. You can leave it for as few as 15 minutes if you tenderized the meat or as many as several hours if you have not. Whichever you do, just remember to leave the food in a covered container or a closed zip-lock baggie in the fridge while it is sitting.
Some easy and delicious wet rubs for grilling are as follows:
• ½ cup orange juice
• ¼ cup minced fresh parsley (or 2 tbs dry)
• ¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves, crushed (or 2 tbs dry)
• ½ cup ground black pepper
Mix and store in refrigerator in airtight container.
• 2 teaspoons sea salt, crushed
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 tbs rosemary, very finely chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Mix and store in refrigerator in an airtight container.
You can take any dry rub or any combination of your favorite spices, add oil, juice, mustard, or even cream or yogurt and mix them to make a paste. The only requirement is that the mix will stick to the meat. Afterwards you can rinse the meat or grill it as-is.
As a general rule of thumb, you should mix the rubs directly before you apply them. Dry rubs can be premixed and shelved for up to 6 months before losing potency. However, if you get the itch to premix a wet rub, store it in an airtight container and for no more than 6 months, and always throw away rub that has touched raw meat. If bacteria are introduced to your rub the entire jar is spoiled.
Making a good rub is a skill many can acquire; you do not need to purchase many expensive premade wet rubs from the store. Starting off with a few jars of spices and olive oil is a great beginning. From there, you can make all sorts of flavor combinations and grow your collection.