We are not opposed to a nice dry rub. Certainly not if the dry rub can accentuate all that’s good from a nice piece of meat. We made a dry rub with black pepper as a base, and it turned out very well. We found an excellent rib roast to try the rub on.
Of course, this dry rub does not only consist of black pepper. A good piece of beef cannot do without salt either. But we have also added some extra herbs that provide a taste that reminds us a bit of game.
This rub is quite intense, and that’s why you should only use it on a thicker piece of meat. The juniper also gives the rub a new flavour layer that you can’t quickly bring home, but that reminds us of autumn. So we will also try this rub on a nice piece of wild boar in a couple of months.
We apply the dry rub at least 45 minutes in advance. Then the salt has time to extract moisture from the meat. You would think that the meat would then become dry, but after 45 minutes, something beautiful happens. The moisture is reabsorbed by the meat and takes the salt molecules that are small enough to penetrate deeply into the meat.
So now you are brining. The salt adds more flavour to the meat. And through osmosis, that salt will retain moisture in the cells of the meat, so the meat will also be juicier. The effect will not be very much after 45 minutes, but this beautiful meat will not get dry. Certainly not with the preparation we are going to use.
We are often asked how to control the temperature better. With many first kamado owners, the temperature continues to rise while having the vents almost closed. This is usually because they use too much charcoal.
Do not overfill your kamado, and then light it at just one point. That one glowing core will reach the rest of the charcoal on the sides and not upwards and downwards because there is simply no charcoal there. And you don’t have to worry that you can only barbecue for a very short time this way. Due to the insulating effect of a kamado, this little bit of charcoal is enough to barbecue for six hours at low temperatures.
What is important is that you keep the lid closed. Only open the lid if you have to. Each time, extra oxygen will enter the kamado, making the charcoal glow harder. If you keep those moments short, you will quickly have the temperature stable again, but the temperature will rise too fast if it takes too long.
We are going to prepare this rib roast with a reversed sear on our Kamado Joe. This means that we will smoke the meat slowly to a core temperature of 48°C (118F). This way, the meat will cook very evenly and get even doneness from edge to edge. Not the kind of steak that is already grey-brown on the edges and pinkish-red at the core. This steak is going to be perfect.
We would like to know at what temperature we are barbecuing. It would also be nice if we know how far the meat is without having to guess. That is why we use our smoke core thermometer. It has two probes that we use for the core temperature of the meat and the temperature in the barbecue. Of course, the kamado has a thermometer in the lid, but it does not indicate the meat’s temperature.
The smoke comes with its own receiver on which you can monitor the temperature remotely. Unlike a Bluetooth connection, the smoke has a radio connection with its receiver. This results in less interference and a much greater range.
When the desired core temperature has been reached, we remove the platesetters from the Kamado Joe and open the bottom air slide completely. This way, more oxygen will reach the charcoal, and it will glow more brightly and give off more heat.
Avoid large flames and keep the lid closed. Of course, those flames look very spectacular, and all your guests will admire your grilling skills. But you’re just burning your meat and the applied dry rub. And that can never be your intention.
You want to keep that beautiful layer of black pepper and spices intact. The red colour is due to the block of smoking wood we added.
So put the roast on the grid and close the lid. After a minute, see what happened and turn the meat over if necessary. Then close the lid again. The result will be much better this way.
This rib roast with black pepper rub turned out really well. If you’re going to try it, let us know in the comments below. Or better! Take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbq.heroes so we can see what you made.
- A rib roast of one and a half kilos
- 2 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp ground juniper berries
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp coriander seed
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- Sprinkle the meat with an even layer of the dry rub and let it rest in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.
- Fire up the grill with an indirect temperature of around 140°C (284F).
- Place the steak on the indirect side and insert a thermometer into the meat. Cook the meat to 48°C (118F).
- Remove the steak from the grill and open the vents to let the temperature rise.
- Put the roast back in and grill it over direct until the surface has a nice crust.