Posted September 27, 2005 by Adam in Reviews

Review: Red Lion Spicy Foods Original Dry Rub

Ah marketing … ever pulling the wool over people’s eyes. So when is a rub not a rub? When it’s a marinade. But really, if a rub was not dry would it really be a rub? Or would it be a slather, or perhaps a drench? Lots of stuff to ponder on my morning commute.

Red Lion Spicy Foods has a product called Dry Rub. How clever. They call it “original,” but according to their web site, no other version exists. I suppose if they ever created “New” Dry Rub, they could call the subsequent product Dry Rub Classic. But I’m digressing here.

Dry Rub is a mixture of chile peppers, chili powder, salt, pepper, garlic, and all manner of other spices that you might expect to find in a rub or seasoned salt. Contrary to its packaging and list of ingredients, this product is not spicy. However, it was an average seasoning on my pork chops and onions tonight.

The flavor is strong with garlic and salt. This is nothing new to most packaged rubs and seasonings. In fact, salt is usually the main ingredient. In “Dry Rub’s” case, the main ingredient was ground chile pepper, none of which were named. In these cases, you can usually expect that it is some low grade of dried, ground cayenne pepper. Combine that with the next ingredient, chili powder, and you get a very red rub:

Rubs tend to work really well on pork chops and steaks, so I did the natural thing: rub it heavily on some 1-inch thick pork chops. It gave the chops this nice red color, which eventually turned a golden caramel color when applied to the grill. Notice the lovely grill marks:

The rub did add some flavor to the pork chops, which was a good thing. But there was no heat involved whatsoever. It just wasn’t there. TheWife even remarked that the rub added a nice taste to the pork and onions, but proffered no spice to the tongue. It was disappointing.

For the recipe of my onions and shrooms topping, see here. It’s a wonderful compliment to most grilled pork and steak. I have included the Red Lion Dry Rub in the recipe just to try it out. Not a bad addition.

Rating: 1 out of 10 chilies

Reviewer’s note: I think that store-bought rubs are scam and a waste of money. If you look at the ingredient list of these things, you’ll see things that can easily be found in the spice aisle of your local grocery store. And then you might even notice that the main ingredient is salt … way too much salt.

Try this: next time you buy a pre-mixed rub, look at the label and buy the ingredients as well in some sort of bulk amount. Go home and mix your own based on the order of ingredients starting from most to least. I guarantee that you’ll have it down in 2-3 tries. Plus, you might even find an alternative that you like better.

You’ll get better sense of satisfaction from making your own, you’ll save money, and you’ll probably end up with a better product that isn’t so salty.