Honey Habanero meat rub
Sweet hot heat!
With this rub, you will pick up the unmistakable sweetness of the honey, followed by the quick blast of Habanero heat and then you’ll notice hints of citrus and a bit of smokiness from the salt and the paprika.
The Importance of the Right Heat
Now, heat is subjective, as “burn your face off hot” to one person may be relatively mild to a more experienced chile head (who has a higher threshold for heat). Some chile heads are only interested in crazy hot heat that lingers – think something with Carolina Reaper Chiles (1,400,000 – 2,000,000 SHU), while others are more fans of a quick hitting heat that doesn’t linger. For this type of heat, we’re big fans of Habanero Chiles – a quick heat (150,000 – 325,000 SHU) that dissipates quickly.
Why Sugar Matters in a Rub
Sweet, of course, is equally important in a rub. Many companies will take the boring, tired approach of using just highly processed plain white sugar, maybe some brown sugar, or if they are really feeling adventurous a raw sugar like demerara in their blends. We like for our sugar bases to be a bit more out-of-the-ordinary – honey, pineapple and molasses being some of our current favorites.
When creating a rub for chicken or pork, sugar is essential; as it helps in forming the critical “bark” or crust that can really lock in the meat’s juices. We are very aware that excessive use of salt and sugar has directly led to a slew of health issues in the U.S. (rising obesity rates, diabetes, high blood pressure etc.), but we also know that salt and sugar play starring roles in the most spectacular rubs for the grill or the smoker. So how do we balance this? We have chosen to only use salt and sugar in our blends as a way to enhance flavor, and not as excessive fillers to drive down the cost of the blend.
What’s In It
Hand blended from granulated honey, orange zest, smoked sweet paprika, habanero, smoked mesquite salt, garlic and onion.
How Much and When
The general rule of thumb with the majority of our rubs is to use about 1 tablespoon of dry rub per pound of chicken or pork. If you’re using our Honey Habanero Rub on fish or shrimp use about half that much to start. I typically recommend using a bit less the first time you experiment with a rub, as you can always add more flavor if desired, but you can’t take flavor away if you over season.
I’ve seasoned both chicken and pork with this rub, and have then let them sit in the refrigerator for 1-24 hours to allow the seasoning to marry with the meat before smoking or grilling. 3-4 hours seemed to work best for me, but you should experiment until you find what works best for you. For fish, I only let the seasoning sit for about 30 minutes and for shrimp about 15 minutes before cooking.