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Old 07-01-2005, 01:45 PM   #1
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Sugar in rubs

I have read several posts about sugar in rubs. While there are a lot of people who like and put sugar in their rubs, I have also read where some people do not like sugar in rubs at all. One of the main complaints I have read is that it burns when you are cooking. Sugar will burn at 220 degrees, so if you are cooking with a sugar rub and keep the temp under 220 this shouldn’t be an issue. So what am I missing? Are there other pros and cons to putting sugar in a rub that I am missing? Does a non-sugar rub just taste better? I guess I am just confused since I am a sugar rub user. Please educate me!
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Old 07-01-2005, 02:02 PM   #2
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Is the turbinado sugar sweeter than refined sugar?
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Old 07-01-2005, 02:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff E
I think most people who don't use sugar in their rubs do so for health or diet reasons.
I usually use turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw), which has a higher burn point than regular refined sugar.
Exactly right Jeff. No sugar in my rubs as I'm serving to the public. You might be surprised at the amount of people who have diabetes.Same for sauce. People with health issues ask.
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Old 07-01-2005, 02:49 PM   #4
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my last cater I was asked to make all my salads with no mayo! I had planned on doctoring up Sam's potato salad, and I was pissed! For some reason, I was allowed to use Miracle Whip, but had to make it all from scratch! Grrrr.
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Old 07-01-2005, 03:09 PM   #5
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Captain: Don't you do it all from scratch? You can save a lot of money and make a whole lot more from scratch. It wasn't a time issue with the last cater you did. Box-O-Tater salad? YUCK. There are short cuts to making scratch. I can fill you in if you like. Let me know. The rides and park open in 2 hours. Keep your fingers crossed if I'm bitching like hell and have to cook more that's fine. The vending marathon starts now. See ya when the dust clears on night one. All I have to do is steer clear of the beer tent and every thing will be a breeze. (YEA )
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Old 07-01-2005, 03:42 PM   #6
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Good luck...I'll tell you the reasoning of my decision after you're through working!
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Old 07-01-2005, 05:02 PM   #7
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Sugar does not burn at 220. Depending on the sugar used you need temps above 335-350 for that. It does cook however and, as moisture is lost, it caramelizes.

Pros and cons are mostly personal preference if you are cooking low and slow. If you are grill-roasting at higher temps then the con is definitely the possibility of burning.

Imo, too much sugar in a rub muddies the flavors of the other ingredients but I like some sugar in rubs--it promotes bark development as it cooks, and adds a bit of sweetness back to the other rub ingredients (particularly onion, garlic, and capsicums like paprika and pure chile powders) that was 'lost' during drying. Sugar is also used to balance the salt component.

I make several rubs without sugar. Try making a few yourself and see what you think.
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Old 07-01-2005, 05:42 PM   #8
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Sugar in rubs is a matter of tastes. But it also does play a part in osmosis, which helps create the smoke ring.
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Old 07-01-2005, 05:58 PM   #9
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the more sugar the better she said.
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Old 07-01-2005, 10:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Wolfe
Sugar in rubs is a matter of tastes. But it also does play a part in osmosis, which helps create the smoke ring.
I dunno about that, Larry. I use a rub with no sugar and get great smoke rings. I am under the impression the smoke ring comes from a reaction of protien in the meat with nitrites in the smoke.

I'm also under the impression Shania Twain loves me.
I'm no scientist, all I can go by is what I've read and my understanding of what I've read. I've had a good smoke ring with and without sugar too. If you read about the smoke ring and osmosis and what causes or plays a part in both, then you'll see where I'm coming from. Remember the meat has natural sugars in it, so whether the rub has sugar in it or not, the natural sugars help w/the smoke ring.
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Old 07-01-2005, 11:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
the natural sugars help w/the smoke ring.
Correct. And the salt (with its interaction) helps with both the smokering formation and the bark formation. You do not need additional sugar(s)--there is enough in the meat itself--but it can be beneficial in terms of your desired taste/texture result, if desired.
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