Barbecuers are easy to shop for. There’s always a new accessory, grill, or smoker that’s guaranteed to delight during holiday gift-giving. What other subset of the American population would actually welcome coal in their stockings? Especially if it’s binchotan, a premium charcoal from Japan.
But you don’t have to battle crowds or burden your credit card to please the grill buff on your gift list.
Give him or her something you’ve made yourself—a hand-crafted barbecue rub.
Rubs are simple to make and even easier to customize. And procrastinators take note: in all likelihood, you already have everything you need in your pantry.
So here’s the basic formula, which some of you may recognize as “Raichlen’s Rub” or “Four-Four Rub”:
1 part kosher salt, sea salt, seasoned salt, or smoked salt
1 part black pepper, cracked black pepper, lemon pepper, or white pepper
1 part sweet paprika, hot paprika, or smoked paprika (pimentón)
1 part brown sugar (light or dark), white sugar, maple sugar, or Sucanat
Combine in a bowl and mix with your fingers so you can break up any lumps in the brown sugar.
Where you take it from there is our secret. Here are some suggestions:
Package your rubs in a glass shaker jar or Ball jar. Paste on handmade labels with your personal suggestions for use. It’s a lesson we all learned in kindergarten: nothing says caring and thoughtfulness like a gift you make yourself by hand.
Of course, if you’re really pressed for time, you’ll find a full line of my Best of Barbecue Rubs ready made online. Order today.
Happy holidays, everyone!