Tips to get the best of this Blog?

  1. Schedule intentional time for the email, videos and cooking
  2. Print out the materials and hang them on your fridge
  3. Practice (schedule in that cooking during times that work for you)
  4. Ask questions & be fearless!

A Rub

is essentially a mixture of spices that are used to enhance the flavor of a piece of meat or hearty vegetables.

The kinds of spices and how they are combined is based on your likings, but there are a few key things that are helpful to keep in mind when building this kind of flavor.

What is a Rub?

A combination of dried, ground spices used to coat your protein or vegetables.

Ratio - 25% Kosher Salt : 75% ground spices

When cooking any meal, you want to make sure you are balancing flavors. That means you are mindful about having as many types of flavors in one dish as you can.

Typically, we think about the 5 basic flavors: Salty, Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy

Spices are more complex and also bring flavors like:

  1. Earthy
  2. Smokey
  3. Floral
  4. Nutty

The thing about spices is that they don’t typically have only 1 flavor and bring so much complexity to a dish.

That’s why using even ONE is so impactful!

The Method of Making a Rub

When creating a rub, you will be simply combining various spices in a bowl. I like to start with the spice combination first and then add 25% kosher salt to the mix.

The action is easy, but often folks don’t know WHAT to put in their spice rub.

Step 1

When thinking about what goes into your rub, it’s easiest to think in terms of region of the world to start.

Below are some examples of flavor combinations that we enjoy here at The Connected Chef.

Italian spice rub

Mexican spice rub

American spice rub

Dried oregano Cinnamon Paprika
Paprika Smoked paprika Chili powder
Lemon zest Oregano Coffee
Red chili flakes Clove Coriander
Dried chili of choice Cumin

Step 2

Once you’ve decided WHAT your spice will be, you want to think about HOW MUCH of each you will add.

Nobody has time for measuring, but keep this in mind…

  1. Half of the spice rub will come off in the pan, so be sure to use big flavors and a lot of it.
  2. Start with the mildest flavored spice and do a little at a time of the others from there.

You should be tasting as you go!

What are you tasting for? Making sure you can taste a little of each spice and they are not too overwhelming to each other.

Step 3

When you have tried some classics and your ready to experiment, think about the flavors that each spice is bringing to the dish.

Here is a small starter list of spices and the flavor they bring to your rub. Choose from various columns when creating combinations.

Salty Spicy Smokey Bitter Floral Earthy (depth)
Kosher Chili powder Smoked paprika Coffee Coriander Cinnamon
Himalayan pink salt Curry Cumin Bay leaf Thyme Cloves
Sea salt Red pepper flakes Curry Turmeric Cardamom Star Anise

Print your Spices and Rubs Notes to hang on your fridge!

It may seem like a small step, but this will make the difference in you actually working on the rubs this month.

Pro Tips

I love to make a couple different rubs in big batches. Then you can store than in a mason jar and pop them on your kitchen spice rack for when you want them.

There is nothing better having a go to bottle of flavor to add to a quick meal!

You don’t have to limit yourself to dried ingredients and can add some citrus zest into your rubs for a bright pop.


Cooking with your kids

Making rubs are the PERFECT kid friendly task!

Kids love to experiment and combine flavors and it’s an awesome way to get them involved into the meal.

It may feel nerve-wracking to give the freedom with you spices, but talk to them before hand and let them know what you’re doing.

A pre-session talk goes a long way with kids.

  1. Tell them that you’re making a spice rub and why.
  2. Explain what a rub is.
  3. Let them taste, smell and feel the individual spices before you begin combining the together.

If you feel up for it, you can alway let them make their own combination for the next meal.

Kids are much more likely to eat food that they have taken part in! And if they don’t - that’s ok too - talk to them about what didn’t work and what you’d do different next time!


Don’t forget to print your Spices and Rubs Notes to hang on your fridge!

It may seem like a small step, but this will make the difference in you actually working on the rubs this month.

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