How to Use My Smoky Texas BBQ Rub
Texas BBQ always emphasizes smoke, whether from an open fire or a smokehouse. It is also savory rather than sweet, and sometimes includes the influence of Mexican (or Southwest) spices. (If you want sweet, consider my Carolina Sweet or Vermont Smoky Maple rubs.) My Texas BBQ Rub features a well-smoked paprika that both enhances the smoky flavor from your smoker or grill, and adds smoky Texas flavor when you’re cooking indoors.
Like all rubs, Texas BBQ is also a good spice blend to experiment with in your daily cooking. My wife loves this blend on homemade potato chips and in the sour cream dip included here.
Quick, Tasty Pork Loin
This simple and delicious oven recipe also works well with pork chops!
- 2-2½ lb pork loin roast
- 2 packages Smoky Texas BBQ Rub
1. Evenly coat the entire pork loin with my Smoky Texas BBQ Rub, and pat or rub it in. Let it rest at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator, covered. Add a second layer of rub before cooking.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 325°, then place the roast fat side up in a shallow roasting pan, preferably on a roasting rack in the pan. Position the pan in the center of the oven. Roast uncovered, 20 minutes per pound, until the internal temperature reads 145° F.
3. Remove from oven and rest the meat 15 minutes before slicing.
While the pork is resting, pour off the accumulated roast juices into a heavy skillet.
Use a tablespoon to skim off the excess (not all) fat, then gently heat on a medium setting on the stovetop.
Sprinkle 2 tbsp flour over the heating juice and whisk it in until lump free.
Keep stirring as the juices thicken, making a thin gravy to drizzle over sliced pork pieces.
Smoked Texas Short Ribs
Okay, so it takes half a day to make these delicious smoked ribs, but that makes it ideal for a day at the lake with friends – and the results will knock your socks off!
- 2 racks of beef short ribs, roughly 1 square foot each
- 2 packages Smoky Texas BBQ Rub
- 1 package of oak or hickory smoking wood (available wherever grills are sold)
- optional: 2 large pieces of butcher paper (try asking your local butcher when you buy the ribs)
1. Prepare the rib racks by removing the membrane and trimming the hard fat cap to about 1/8″ thickness. Then thoroughly and thickly coat them with my Smoky Texas BBQ Rub. Let rest bone side down until ready to cook, at least 30 minutes, and up to 24 hours wrapped and refrigerated. Add remaining rub as a second layer, and let rest 10 minutes before grilling.
2. Preheat grill to medium-low. Use the vents to achieve a temperature of 225-250° F. Then spread 1 cup well-soaked wood chips on the coals.
3. Place the ribs, bone side down, on the grate. Cover and smoke until the meat’s internal temperature registers 165° F in the thickest part – 4 to 6 hours.
Note: check the ribs every hour or so. As needed, add a dozen briquettes to each side of the grill and spread a cup of soaked wood chips over the coals at those checks.
4. When the ribs register 165° F, wrap each rib in a piece of butcher paper and replace on the grill. Continue smoking until the internal temperature reaches 185° F, another 2 hours or so.
Note: Texans often use tin foil, which doesn’t breathe; it’s a matter of choice. Foil traps the stream and speeds up the cooking process. It also softens the “crust.” By contrast, butcher paper allows much of the steam to escape, but retains enough to help soften the meat without altogether softening the crust made by the rub. So it’s a question of time or crust: you decide!
5. When the internal meat temperature reaches 185° F transfer the ribs to an empty cooler and let it rest at least 30 minutes, up to 3 hours. The longer it rests, the softer and juicier it will become.
To serve: Slice into individual ribs and serve garnished with steak sauce or Hickory smoked BBQ sauce.
These are perfect for the grill!
For an easy and quick tangy Texas BBQ flavor, thoroughly mix 2-3 teaspoons Smoky Texas BBQ Rub into one pound of ground hamburger. Shape into 4 or 5 hamburgers and grill as usual.
Adding a rub will cause a normal “blackening” effect on the surface. Be sure to check for doneness by temperature or by slightly opening the burger to see if the center is at its desired level of cooked.
Hint: Meat flavor is in its fat. That’s why grilled meats taste best when they include 10-15% fat. (Fat also keeps grilled meats from drying out.) The higher the heat during cooking, the more fat will be lost; a slower cook will help seal in the flavor – and the blackening effect of the rub will contribute to the sealing.
Texas BBQ Flavored Dip
Great with chips, pretzels, and cut vegetable plates!
For a tasty BBQ chip dip at your next party or picnic, blend 1 or 2 tablespoons of Smoky Texas BBQ Rub into a 16-ounce container of sour cream. Serve.
Tip: Start with 1 tablespoon, thoroughly mix, and taste before you decide if you want a stronger flavor. Add additional rub one teaspoon at a time.