Ingredients: granulated molasses, demerara sugar, orange, smoked Bourbon Barrel salt, garlic, onion, chipotle, paprika, red bell pepper
Our Molasses Bourbon Rub is destined to become one of our more popular grilled chicken seasonings. Now while it was developed with chicken in mind it’ll also work well on smoked or roasted pork and grilled fish. Great smoker and grill rubs tend to be built on the "holy trinity" foundation of sugar, salt and paprika. This rub has all three but with several unexpected twists.
Now certainly some prefer to have their grilled chicken marinated and others slathered in a sauce. But if you've ever had grilled or smoked chicken created by a serious pit master it’s a pretty safe bet that a dry rub was the bedrock of his (or her) flavor. Dry rubs give meat (especially chicken and pork) an unforgettable character. If you aren't familiar with a grilling or smoking dry rub in addition to the “holy trinity” it's a seasoning blend of dry spices and often herbs. The seasoning is shaken onto the meat and then patted in evenly (typically referred to as "rubbed") to all sides before cooking.
Since we started our company we've found that there are two camps when it comes to using salt and sugar in blends. Those that truly feel that these two ingredients are borderline evil and then there are those that can't get enough. We certainly appreciate the fact that salt and sugar can wreak havoc on us (rising U.S. obesity rates, diabetes, high blood pressure etc.) when not used in moderation. In general I'm not a big fan of using much salt and sugar in my own cooking but I also realize that they do have their place in creating some spectacular rubs for the grill or the smoker.
Salt can really bring other spices together and is a great flavor enhancer while sugar is instrumental in helping form the "bark" or crust and can really lock in the juices.
I’m of the belief that instead of looking at salt and sugar as an “either use it” or “don’t go anywhere near it” issue the real question should be how much salt and sugar is needed to deliver the optimum flavor. Most commercially produced rubs and seasonings tend to be heavy on their use of salt and sugar as these are "less expensive" ingredients. So for these companies it’s more about "smart business decision" than an “optimum flavor decision”.
I’m constantly experimenting with creating new rubs and seasoning blends and sometimes inspiration can come from just a single ingredient. For our Molasses Bourbon Rub I had come across a high quality granulated black strap molasses that I knew I wanted to create a chicken rub with. After first tasting the granulated molasses I had a general idea on what flavor profile I wanted to build off of the molasses base. Some smokiness, some heat (but just a bit) and then a hint of citrus. As with many of my “experimental” rubs it took 4 or 5 versions to get it just right. Sometimes a blend just won’t come together and can’t make it out of the test blend stage. Thankfully this wasn’t one of those times.
Our granulated molasses is sourced from New Orleans. Domestic molasses differs from imported Molasses as our domestic molasses has a shorter ripening time. Blackstrap molasses undergoes three boilings until no additional sugar that can be extracted economically. Our New Orleans granulated molasses has the most flavor and lowest sugar profile possible of any molasses. Blackstrap molasses has a very robust caramel molasses flavor and is somewhat bitter. This is 100% pure black strap molasses and contains no fillers, additives, colorings or flavorings.
For the salt I went with one of my current favorites - Smoked Bourbon Barrel Salt as it adds some personality to the needed salt in this blend. For additional smokiness I went with roasted garlic and toasted onion. The touch of heat provided by the chipotle chiles also provides some smoky flavor.
As a rule of thumb you should use about 1 tablespoon of dry rub per pound of chicken or pork. If you’re using our Molasses Bourbon Rub on fish I recommend using about ½ that much to start. In general I always recommend using a bit less the first time your experimenting with any new rub as you can always add more flavor if desired but you can’t take flavor away if you over season.
I’ve seasoned both chicken and pork with this rub and have then let them sit in the refrigerator for 8-24 hours to allow the seasoning to marry with the meat before smoking or grilling. For fish I only tend to let the seasoning sit for 30 minutes before cooking.
A noticeable yet somewhat mysterious sweetness followed by a smooth earthiness from the garlic and onion. Then you’ll pick up a bit of heat that hits the back of your throat with some lingering citrus notes.
If you want some additional citrusy flavor add a few squirts of fresh squeezed orange after you season your meat but before you begin to grill or smoke. The fresh citrus will ignite and enhance the citrus notes.
THIS IS THE HIGHEST QUALITY YOU CAN GET! GREAT FLAVOR AND AROMA WILL KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF.
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