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Should You Use a Dry Rub or Wet Rub for Backyard Grilling?

One of the decisions that any backyard griller has to make is whether to use a dry rub or wet rub for the meat. Each method of adding flavor has its proponents, so which do you choose? Read on to learn a bit more about both methods, as well as their pros and cons.

What is a Dry Rub?

A dry rub is a combination of herbs and spices that one coats the meat with before putting it on the grill. A typical dry rub consists of garlic powder, onion powder, Italian spices, paprika, pepper, cayenne pepper, and cumin. But, any combination will do according to how you want your meat to taste.

The main advantage of using a dry rub is that it tends to be less messy than the wet kind. Dry rubs also provide a great caramelized crust to your meat. When using a dry rub, it is best to grill for a few minutes on each side on direct heat before moving the meat to finish off on indirect heat.

What is a Wet Rub?

A wet rub, also called a marinade, is a combination of liquids. They include wine, citrus juice, soy sauce and apple cider vinegar.  As with a dry rub any combination will do, according to your tastes. Store your meat in a plastic bag and let it soak in the wet rub.

Keep it in the refrigerator for several hours before putting it on the fire. The main advantage of a wet rub is that it enhances the moisture of a meat that can dry out during the grilling process.

Some backyard chefs use a combination of dry and wet rubs, especially if they plan to cook low and slow, such as a brisket or pork shoulder. Put the meat in the smoker with just the dry rub. Then, periodically, baste the cooking meat with the wet rub to enhance moistness and flavor. You can also reserve the wet rub as a sauce to put on the meat after you cook and plate it.

It is important to avoid using a wet rub that the raw meat has soaked in as a sauce. Either use it during the cooking process or toss it out. Always practice safe handling methods when cooking raw meats.

Whether you use a dry or wet rub, be sure to enjoy your guests and the great outdoors. Backyard grilling is a pleasure most people can only enjoy seasonally. So, invite your friends and enjoy the warm weather while you can.

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