Monday, January 16, 2012


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The leftover skins from citrus fruits are aromatic and full of flavor. They can be dried out in the sun, in an oven, a dehydrator, or in a warm, dry spot in your kitchen or pantry. Then those dried skins can be used for creating a variety of culinary delights including a lovely barbeque rub.

Your citrus peels can be used in so many ways: added whole or powdered to baked foods and cakes, mixed into a stew or stuffing, but one of my favorite ways to use cirus peels is in a dry rub for grilling. It is so easy.  Blend everything together, store in a jar on the shelf.  Just remember, the quicker you use it, the more sophisticated the flavors, so keep your batches small.

Most dry rub recipes, used by 'grill masters', start with two basic ingredients, sugar and kosher salt, before adding your preferred spices at a ratio of 8:3:1:1.  The following is a simple example.

8:3:1:1 RUB

8 Tablespoons Brown Sugar 

3 Tablespoons Kosher Salt

1/2 teaspoon Cumin

1/2 teaspoon White Pepper

1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1/2 teaspoon dry Coleman's Mustard

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight container.
For the best results, the rub should have time to 'rest' with the meat. Rubs should be applied liberally to moist, thawed meat for a minimum of two hours. You have maximum flavor if you apply the rub 24 hours before throwing on the fire. This allows the rub's ingredients to marinade with the meat's natural juices. If preparing duck, chicken, or some other fowl for barbequeing, place the rub under the skin for best results. Play with the citrus to find your favorite flavor combinations.  For instance, orange peel works well with duck, lemon peels with chicken, and a combination of grapefruit and lemon blends wonderfully with pork.

Wrap your meat tightly in plastic wrap, this helps keep your rub married to the meat, and rest for the desired time in the refrigerator.  Pull out meat about an hour prior to cooking and let return to room temperature. Grill according to taste.

Personally, I don't consider cooking on gas grilling. For an unrivaled, full-barbeque flavor, Paul and I prefer cooking over a natural hardwood charcoal fire, but we all do as we must!

Dried grapefruit and lemon peels in the Mini Chopper.
Grind into small bits, store in a container in the fridge

or with your other dried spices.



2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt

2 Tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar

2 Tablespoons dried Citrus Flakes

2 Tablespoon Cumin

1 Tablespoon Paprika

1 Tablespoon diced Garlic

1 Tablespoon diced Onion

1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 teaspoon White Pepper

1 teaspoon ground Sage

1 teaspoon ground Thyme

NOTE: Garlic and onion may be fresh diced (added just before applying the rub) or dried. Dried citrus flakes can be any combination of lemon, orange and grapefruit.


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight container. Pack the dry rub onto your next rack of ribs, pork roast, venison loin, or chicken. 

NOTE:  Purchase the best quality spices you can find. There is a huge difference between the older discounted spices, and the newer fresher bottles.


  1. This is interesting--I hadn't thought about a specific ratio for rubs. I love citrus and this is a great idea!

  2. @Cucina49 Do you have any favorite rub recipes?