Dry Rubs

These are translations of various recipes into ratios. I haven’t made all of these recipes, I just wanted to get a bunch of dry rub ratios all in one place.

I like to have premade batches of dry rubs, and it’s harder to make batches when the recipe uses a small measure like a tablespoon. I also find it easier to compare different recipes and flavors when they’re in ratios like this.

In general, amazingribs.com seems to be a good resource. I especially appreciate the mention that if you taste the uncooked rub, that’s not what the final flavor is like. The only way to know is to cook something with it.

As a general rule, dry rubs are mostly paprika and sugar.

My personal preference is to make rubs with less or no salt. Pre-salting meat before cooking, brining, and different size pieces of meat all need different amounts of salt. Being able to measure out flavor and salt separately gives you more control over the flavors.

Also 1 cup = 16 tablespoons. Useful for when you make batches.

Easy Spice Rubs For Fish

  • 6 parts paprika
  • 6 parts light brown sugar
  • 4 parts dried oregano
  • 3 parts garlic powder
  • 2 parts cumin
  • 1 part cayenne pepper
  • 4 parts salt

beef & pork

  • 12 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 12 tablespoons white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons American paprika
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2/3 tablespoon rosemary powder

beef & pork
(granulated garlic and onion are not the same as powder, and I’m not sure what a reasonable conversion is)

  • 16 parts brown sugar
  • 4 parts paprika
  • 3 parts granulated garlic
  • 2 parts granulated onion
  • 2 parts kosher salt
  • 2 parts black pepper
  • 2 parts cumin
  • 1 part ancho or chipotle
  • 2 parts mustard powder
  • 1 part cayenne pepper


  • 8 parts paprika (about 20% less if you use smoked paprika)
  • 4 parts kosher salt
  • 4 parts freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 parts brown sugar
  • 4 parts chile powder
  • 3 parts ground cumin
  • 2 parts ground coriander
  • 1 parts cayenne pepper, or to taste


  • 2 parts paprika
  • 1 part salt
  • 1 part white sugar
  • 1 part brown sugar
  • 1 part ground cumin (cumin powder)
  • 1 part chili powder
  • 1 part freshly ground black pepper


  • 6 parts brown sugar
  • 6 parts paprika
  • 4.5 parts salt
  • 3 parts black pepper
  • 1.5 parts cayenne
  • 1 part dry mustard


  • 4 parts paprika
  • 2 parts salt
  • 2 parts onion powder
  • 2 parts fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 part cayenne


  • 4 parts paprika
  • 2 parts kosher salt, finely ground
  • 2 parts sugar
  • 1 part mustard powder
  • 2 parts chili powder
  • 2 parts ground cumin
  • 1 part ground black pepper
  • 2 parts granulated garlic
  • 1 part cayenne

How to eat grains

Our digestive system is designed to handle a high-quality omnivorous diet. By high-quality, I mean one that has a high ratio of calories to indigestible material (fiber). Our species is very good at skimming off the highest quality food in nearly any ecological niche. Animals that are accustomed to high-fiber diets, such as cows and gorillas, have much larger, more robust and more fermentative digestive systems.

I’m unclear about this. Fiber is allegedly good for our bodies.  But this article, called “How to eat grains” claims that the greatest health benefits come from semi-fermented fibers. So, things like soaking beans in water actually improve the amount of nutrients that our digestive systems can absorb from them. This is interesting, because in another post on this site, there’s a claim that whole wheat bread may actually be bad.

Based on my reading, discussions and observations, I believe that rice is the least problematic grain, wheat is the worst, and everything else is somewhere in between. If you want to eat grains, it’s best to soak, sprout or ferment them. This activates enzymes that break down most of the toxins. You can soak rice, barley and other grains overnight before cooking them. Sourdough bread is better than normal white bread. Unfermented, unsprouted whole wheat bread may actually be the worst of all. 

Given the numbef of cultures that eat a lot of rice, I might be digging in a bit more frequently. Good thing I like sourdough, too. 😀

Fun Food Fact of the Fortnight

Q. Why is it when you steam or wilt fresh spinach you get that iron-tinny taste? How do you prevent it?

A. We’re guessing you have been cooking your spinach in an aluminum or unlined copper pan. Pans made of aluminum or unlined copper react with the sulfur compounds in green vegetables to create unpleasant odors and flavors, and destroy vitamin C, folic acid, and vitamin E. You should cook greens in stainless steel, enamel, or glass pans.

Gratuitously stolen from OChef

Boniato and 3030 Ocean

Last weekend I had the pleasure of dining at 3030 Ocean, which is a hotel/beach club on Ft Lauderdale beach. Normally I wouldn’t think much of a hotel restaurant, but this one was really good.

There was an appetizer of clams in a spicy lemongrass broth, which was great. I normally prefer living in the 100K+ range of the Scoville scale, but this broth managed to be spicy enough for me to enjoy, while still being edible for everyone else. I think the broth was intended as a complement to the clams, but I drained that bowl to the bottom. Spicy soups are definitely a great idea.

The particular thing that caught me was the entree. I went with the Florida snapper (remember kids — fresher is better) which was served with grilled green onions and boniato. Snapper was great — served with crispy skin on the fish — but the boniato is what really caught my attention.

Boniato is a plant that started being eaten in South America, and has since moved to the Caribbean, and then South Florida. I lived in South Florida for most of my life, and had never come across this, so I wanted to try it out. Turns out that it is awesome. It’s basically a potato — looks and feels like a regular white potato, but tastes like a sweet potato. If you have the opportunity to try it, I recommend it. It was served to me in mashed form, and I hope to reproduce this dish in the near future.

3030 Ocean on Urbanspoon

What makes a great wine?

Saw a post on the Freakonomics blog about wines, and people’s abilities to tell the difference between good and bad wines. I love Levitt for his willingness to piss people off in the pursuit of truth (read the part about the scholar who stormed out of the room!) Anyways, there was a large study done, and the conclusion is that people generally can’t taste the difference between “great” wines, and ordinary wines (link goes to original paper).

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some reasonably pricey bottles of wine. And I’ve enjoyed some of them. I appreciate that there’s people who really take care of their vines; who pick the best grapes; who use classic equipment and methods. But, I’ve also had bottles that cost under $20 and tasted quite nice.

Generally (and with no expertise to back this up) I think the knowledge of how to produce a decent wine has spread very far, and snobbery is mostly a hangover from the past few hundred years when lots of wines were actually quite bad.

Of course, I know the true secret behind great wine. It’s that any average wine becomes great when you drink it with great people. Salud!

Chubby’s Family Restaurant – Orlando

They clearly love James Dean and Betty Boop — the walls are plastered with pictures — so the place has a real classic American-1950s feel to it. And, it seems, in the 1950s, breakfast was delicious.

I had Donna’s Skillet (served to me by Donna herself), which is

  • home fries
  • onions
  • corned beef hash
  • scrambled eggs
  • cheese

Add hot sauce and it’s great. The price is right for the food; $6 for the skillet. They got the food out fast, and kept my iced tea filled, so that does it for me. The service is totally unceremonious, the servers all work together to get it done.

It really seems like a one-of-a-kind, family-owned restaurant. I don’t think they could make another one — there’s not enough pictures of James Dean in the world to open a second place.

If you’re in the area, it’s worth a stop in for a quick simple breakfast. It sure beats the pants off Denny’s.

Chubby's Family on Urbanspoon