ABA Product Reviewer – Michael Rose likes to rub his meat. This time, with Oakridge BBQ Rubs.
When I first started cooking real BBQ I was staunchly against the use of store bought rubs and sauces simply because I figured real Pitmasters made their own. As the years have gone on I’ve come to realise that things like rubs and sauces don’t make the Pitmaster at all (although they can help). Rather, a real Pitmaster is someone who can do things like maintain temperatures for long periods of time and know exactly when a piece of BBQ is ready and ultimately be able to produce good BBQ consistently. Nowadays, it would be rare to find me making my own rubs. Instead I like to seek out the best on the market and mix and match as I go depending on what I am cooking and flavour profile I am seeking.
Of course with all that said, I need to be confident that the rubs I am buying are full of good quality, natural ingredients and free of nasties such as preservatives and anti-caking agents which, regardless of the claims I can taste!
Oakridge BBQ are an award winning BBQ rub and brine producer out of Kearney Missouri who have been making BBQ rubs for many years. To this day they still make their entire range by hand and while they have seen some major growth in recent years they still insist on only making small batches at any one time so as to ensure the rubs don’t go stale – And of course, there is no nasties in their ingredients.
There are 15 rubs in the entire range covering every kind of meat you can possibly think of (including 2 rubs for game meats) and each rub falls into one of 5 different categories:
- Gold Edition – This category of rubs leans toward the competition side of things. It contains the ‘Dominator Sweet Rib Rub’ which is my favourite in the entire range and the ‘Game Changer Brine’ which is the secret weapon for many comp teams
- Signature Edition – These rubs are what they are famous for. This is where you will find the very popular ‘Black Ops Brisket Rub’ and the ‘Jah Love Jamaican Jerk seasoning’
- Wild Game Edition – Exactly what it says. 2 rubs perfect for poultry and wild game meats
- Limited Edition – Currently 1 rub in the range the ‘Crucible Ghost Chile Rub’
- Experimental Edition – The ‘Scorpion Chile Rub’
One of the things you notice with all the rubs in the range is that they are ground to the perfect granular size. Not too fine which would make it clumpy and not too coarse which can result in the rub not adhering correctly. No single ingredient is bigger or smaller than the others in the mix which also means you get a good distribution of the flavours and to ensure the rubs stay nice and fresh they are packaged in resealable foil sachets.
Having tried the entire range over the course of a few months I can honestly say that these rubs are some of the best I’ve come across to date. And while they are all very unique, at the same time there is a familiar salty, spicy, sweet flavour profile undertone across all of them which is sort of like their signature taste.
So if you’re in the market for some new BBQ rubs, my suggestion is to go out and buy the entire Oak Ridge range! but If I had to give my personal recommendation on only 3 rubs to start with I’d say get a pouch each of the ‘Jah Love Jamaican Jerk’ and the ‘Black Ops Brisket’ rub and then grab yourself the biggest bag of the ‘Dominator Sweet Rib rub’ you can find, cause to be honest, you simply won’t find a better rub on the market – it is that good!
The entire range of Oak Ridge rubs are available exclusively from American BBQ Australia: www.americanbbqaustralia.com.au