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Dry Rub – Not Just for BBQ

In past we’ve taken a look at the most common ways to ‘flavor’ your jerky including wet marinating (strips) and adding seasonings to ground meat for stick or extruded jerky. However, there is another way to season your jerky meat and that is by using a dry rub.  This would only apply to portions of meat that are to be sliced or have already been sliced.

A dry rub cure typically consists of using the dry ingredients sprinkled on to the meat – all sides, and then rubbing it in . . .   wearing a glove will help keep your hands clean.  The dry ingredients are then allowed time to meld with the meat.

Like marinating, once the dry rub has been applied, seal the meat in an air tight container or zip-bag and allow to cure for a minimum of one (1) hour. When you are ready to begin the drying process, rinse the meat under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.  The meat is now ready to be dried either in the oven or using a dehydrator following  manufacturer’s directions.

Most of the recipes we’ve seen for a dry rub are very simple.   One that would be easy to prepare at home is below.

Salt Jerky

  • 2 tablespoons Morton Tender Quick mix OR Morton Sugar Cure mix
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Note: It is a good idea to mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl before applying to the meat.  Doing so ensures that they are well mixed and you won’t have any ‘hot spots’. 

Salt Cures:  What’s the Difference?

Below are three (3) of the top cures available on Amazon.  We’ve included a brief look at the differences and uses.  For more information, please visit the link and see what others are saying.

Morton Tender Quick – 4+ Stars  . . .   A salt product with sodium nitrate  (.05%) and sodium nitrite (.05%)  for preservatives.    For a wet marinade, per Amazon question/answer – 1 cup per 5 lbs. of meat.



Morton Sugar Cure – 4 Stars . . . This mix is formulated for dry or sweet pickle curing of meat, poultry, game, salmon, shad, and sablefish. It is primarily used for dry curing hams and bacon.   If you plan on making  jerky using this product, you may want to read some of the questions on the Smoking Forum.



Hoosier Hill Farm Prague Pink Curing Salt – 5 Stars   . . .  Hoosier Hill Curing Salt (1 lb.) contains enough salt to cure 100 lbs. of meat and is sometimes referred to as the ‘tinted cure’. According to questions asked on Amazon, you would use 1 teaspoon of product for 5 lbs. of meat.  Use of this product will give the meat a pinkish tint.



Next post we’re taking a look at some different ways to flavor your jerky using common OTS (off-the-shelf) seasonings.











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