Recipes: Barbecue Butter and Basic BBQ Rub
You can perk up any grilled meat or fish with this make-ahead barbecue butter from Melissa Cookston, the “winningest woman in competition barbecue,” and owner of the Memphis Barbecue Co. It is from her new cookbook, “Smokin’ in the Boys Room.”
Keep this ready-to-go in the freezer — it’s especially welcome when you need to rescue an overcooked chop or steak. If you don’t want to make the rub recipe, simply season the butter with herbs or spice to taste. But the rub is great to have on hand, too.
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper
1½ teaspoons Basic BBQ Rub (see recipe)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the remaining ingredients. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low-medium for three to four minutes, scraping the bowl a couple of times, until well incorporated.
2. Divide into four portions, lay each on an 8-inch square of parchment paper, and roll up into a log shape. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze until firm.
3. The butter will keep in the freezer for up to three months.
4. To use: Place a pat on warm meats and fish just before serving.
BASIC BBQ RUB
Makes 2¾ cups
1 cup turbinado sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
1½ teaspoons cayenne
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dry mustard
¼ cup light chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin (see note)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons paprika
1. Place the turbinado sugar in a coffee grinder and pulse until lightly powdered.
2. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and add the granulated sugar, salt, onion powder, granulated garlic, cayenne, black pepper, dry mustard, chili powder, cumin and paprika. Stir until well incorporated.
3. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
Note: Right before mixing any seasoning blends containing cumin, lightly toast the cumin in a clean, dry skillet over medium heat for about two minutes or until aromatic. This brings out the oils and really improves the flavor.
— Both adapted by The Miami Herald from “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” ($23, Andrews McMeel).