Learn How to Apply Dry Rub Like the Pros Featured

Learn How to Apply Dry Rub from the Pros

Do you love to cook on your grill but are looking to improve your barbecue skills? When you first begin cooking on your grill, you might not know the difference between a marinade and a dry rub.

That’s okay! Grill Masters Club is a great way for you to discover the best grilling products every month. At the same time, you join our grilling community and unlock access to pitmaster-tested recipes and BBQ guides & grilling tips that you won’t find anywhere else.

In this blog post, we’re going to discuss nine steps to follow when applying dry rub to your meats. The magic happens before you even put the meat on your grill!

Learn How to Apply Dry Rub from the Pros GIF

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1) Identify the meat you’re going to grill.

Select the Meat You're Going to Grill GIF

Choose a meat, and subsequent dry rub, based on your personal tastes and preferences. You should also consider the sides that you’ll be enjoying alongside your meat entree.

This may seem obvious, but many people don’t know that you can use a dry rub on any meat.

Feel free to season chicken, lamb, fish & seafood, pork, beef and even goat meat with a quality dry rub!

If this is your first try using a dry rub, we recommend grilling a meat you’re used to cooking.

That way, the process seems familiar and you already know what tastes and cooking times to expect. You can also use this strategy to compare your dry rub results with your old results, sans dry rub.

2) Select the dry rub you’re going to use.

If you’re a member of Grill Masters Club, you probably have some award-winning dry rubs in your spice cabinet to use from your monthly grilling & BBQ box.

If not, you can either create your own dry rub (there are tons of dry rub recipes out there), or find one at your local supermarket.

Most grocery stores have a dedicated aisle for barbecue and grilling supplies. This aisle usually contains charcoal, wood chips, grilling accessories, marinades and rubs. Go there and try to select a rub that will give you the flavor for which you’re looking.

There are tons of dry rubs available, and some perform better on select meats than others. For example, a good dry rub for beef ribs may not be the best choice for chicken breasts.

If you have no clue which rub to pick, look on the label!

Look for pictures of the meats the rub is recommended for, or examine any recipes on the back of the container. The photos and recipes give you a good idea of what meat goes with a particular dry rub.

3) When you get home, preheat your grill.

There’s no need to wait around after you apply your dry rub to your meat. You can put it right on the grill after you put on the dry rub.

If you want to wait or need to wait until later, that’s okay, too. Remember that you don’t have to wait for the spices to seep into the meat.

That said, we suggest trimming and rubbing your meat, wrapping in plastic, and marinating in the fridge for up to 24 hours. It simply produces better flavors and great results.

4) Remove your meat from the packaging and rinse it in the sink with cold water.

Rinse Meat In Cold Water

This is a quick and easy way to remove any surface contaminants from your meat.

Anything left over from the packing and processing is washed away.

It’s always a good idea to take this step before you cook any store-bought meat in your home, whether you grill or not.

5) Blot the meat dry with paper towels.

This removes all of the water remaining on the surface of the meat from the rinse step, and it prepares the meat for the next step.

6) Slather your meat with olive oil.

Coat Your Meat With Olive Oil

Apply a generous amount of olive oil to your meat and make sure it coats the entire surface of the meat.

You may need to brush it or massage it in with your hands to achieve a nice even coating.

You can also use any other binder as your slather. Some people use yellow mustard when prepping brisket or ribs, some people prefer sunflower oil, and others prefer something else — experiment with the various flavors and you may find a that a specific slather works best with some meats, while a different one works best for others.

7) How to apply your dry rub.

Apply Your Dry Rub GIF

For this step, we recommend using the wet hand / dry hand method.

Use one hand to sprinkle the rub onto the meat (using your dry hand), and the other to vigorously rub the seasoning into the meat (using your wet hand).

Make sure that you have a coating of dry rub covering the entire outer surface of your meat.

Remember: Don’t be shy with the dry rub, because the more you apply, the more great flavor you’re going to get. Just be mindful of whether or not your rub contains salt.

If it already contains salt, you may not need to salt your meat separately. If it doesn’t contain salt, you’ll want to salt first, then apply the rub. Again, you need to dial this in based on your tastes and diet requirements.

8) For larger meats like roasts or prime ribs, it can be more difficult for the rub flavor to penetrate into the meat.

How To Rub Larger Meats

Ball your hand into a fist and use your knuckles to grind the dry rub seasoning deep into the meat. This will help the flavor reach the center.

Don’t be afraid to really massage the rub into the meat! It’s only going to serve to tenderize it. (Obviously, more fragile meats won’t stand up to the same massaging as, say, a brisket — so you need to use your common sense here and adjust as necessary.)

9) Grill, barbecue or smoke your meat!

Once you apply a generous layer of dry rub to your meat, you can transfer it directly to the grill or smoker, or once it has had time to marinate.

Cook meats as you normally would. Ensure the internal temperature is heated to a safe level by checking your meal with a meat thermometer.

Remove the meat from the grill, let it sit and slack off if necessary.

Slice or serve, whichever you prefer. You’ll notice the difference in flavor with your dry rubbed meat instantly.


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Here’s a video tutorial showing how it’s done:

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Then you can use them on your grill to wow your friends and family! Revel in sauces, rubs, wood chips, marinades and more award-winning products each and every month.

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