Champion’s Applewood Chipotle Rub brings together the holy trinity of every grill and smoker: salt, sugar, and paprika. This popular blend is widely used to grill anything from prime-aged salmon to crispy chicken fillets. Champion’s Applewood Chipotle Rub is an essential companion to any barbecue and the perfect flavor enhancer for your family’s favorite, mouthwatering smoked ribs.
If you are a barbecue lover, you know that dry rubs are the best source of flavor for meats. For those who haven’t yet been introduced to the power of the dry rub, this concoction has a simple strategy that makes it the best seasoning for your kitchen by blending herbs, dried spices, and oftentimes salt. You use it by simply shaking or sprinkling the seasoning onto the meat, then patting it or rubbing it thoroughly on all sides before sending it to the grill or smoker. Once it’s taken to heat, the seasoning will be molded into a firm, delicious crust that explodes with powerful flavor in every mouthful.
To Salt or Not to Salt?
Believe it or not, but salt is the protagonist of the greatest debates in modern cuisine and nutrition circles. The gridlocked meeting rooms of Congress and heavily polarized American voters have nothing on cooking aficionados vs. disciples of healthy living. Since the average American already consumes daily amounts of sodium far higher than what is recommended, many believe that we should cut down salt whenever possible, or even remove it entirely from our diets. Well, on the other side, there are those who would rather shave off a couple of decades off their life expectancy than surrender to a life without the fireworks salt lights up on the pleasure areas of our brains. Within these debates, we have chefs and barbecue specialists that consider salt to be the fundamental ingredient for any great dry rub.
Champion’s Applewood Chipotle Rub takes the middle road, carefully employing salt to highlight the blend of notes brought by different spices. There are many spottieottiedopaliscious seasoning blends that are completely free of salt. But in general, when salt is included, expertly-crafted, artisan blends use it in a very low ratio. This occurs because oftentimes seasoning blends benefit highly from having an extra pinch of salt that carefully balances different notes.
Instead of arguing about the extremes, we should be focusing on the amount of salt used in any dry rub recipe. The dry rubs you can find being sold commercially certainly contain an excessive amount of salt. Of course, this occurs because salt tends to be the cheapest ingredient of all herbs and spices included in commercial seasoning blends. Thus, the most profitable commercial dry rubs for companies are the ones that contain the most salt.
The Story Behind The Applewood Chipotle Rub
The best part about the seasoning game is coming up with new blends and experimenting with different recipes. Before it gets to you, a dry rub might have gone to 4 or 5 different versions –or it might never even get to you if it gets shot down during testing stages.
This recipe represents a return to tradition and simplicity, showcasing the power of the holy trinity of salt, sugar, and paprika, but with a unique twist that elevated this all-time classic.
Instead of brown or white sugar, this dry rub uses granulated honey. Many specialized rubs used in competitions go for brown sugar and white sugar, but granulated honey creates a more powerful caramelizing effect than most common options available. It’s the caramel that helps create the signature crust and lock the powerful juices inside the pork, fish, or chicken.
As for the salt, most recipes opt for Kosher or sea salt as part of the flavor profile, but the recipe breaks out of the formula, becoming more inventive. Experts barbecuers and home-based grill masters tend to experiment with every single component of the process. What is the most accurate timing for ribs that come off the bone? What type of wood is the best for smoking pork shoulders? Turns out there a lot of answers to these questions. But applewood is a near consensus in the barbecue circles., both for its smoking prowess and exquisite taste. For this reason, Champion’s Applewood Chipotle Rub employs smoked applewood salt, as its fruity notes are a fantastic complement to the paprika and granulated honey.
Developing The Seasoning
In the test kitchen, we often tell the stories of traditional barbecuers. These masters of the grill have many well-kept secrets, but we get to hear their feedback and learn from their experience. They experiment with different woods to get the best results when smoking pork shoulders, ribs that come off the bone, and other barbecue wonders. Of all the different types of wood, applewood is one of their favorites. So we decided to experiment with Smoked Applewood Salt, as the fruity notes of applewood complement the paprika and granulated honey.
Currently, exotic varieties of paprika are all the rage. You will find that upscale chefs often choose Hungarian or smoked sweet paprika as their predominant ingredient. But sometimes, simplicity is the best option for a recipe, so the last piece of this rub’s holy trinity is probably already known to you: sweet California paprika. But the secret to any great recipe lies not in the ingredient list, but in the expertly measured proportions and the magic balance that comes from this work. This blend’s usage of salt and paprika take advantage of flavors that are very powerful individually, but the chipotle flakes in it create harmony and bring out the best in each ingredient. The flakes also give the seasoning blend an interesting layer of texture that you will enjoy. With this flavor profile, our Applewood Chipotle Rub renews classic ingredients to create the tastiest barbecued meats.
If you are using it on pork or chicken, we recommend using one tablespoon of dry rub for every pound of meat. For fish dishes, use half the amount of dry rub. When trying new ingredients and recipes, it’s important to use a light hand before you are familiar with the flavors to avoid over-seasoning.
After thoroughly working the rub into chicken or pork, let it chill in the fridge for anytime between eight to twenty-four hour, which will help the seasoning hold onto the meat. As fish is a less dense meat, you will only need to let it sit with the seasoning for thirty minutes to two hours before it’s ready to cook.
The taste strategy of this blend balances a small amount of sweetness with a combination of flavorful heat ingredients that don’t overpower this well-crafted dry rub.
This hand-crafted blend combines smoked Applewood seat salt, black pepper, sweet California paprika, garlic, granulated honey, chipotle flakes, and onion. Champion’s Applewood Chipotle Rub is packaged in glass containers for long-lasting smell, taste, and freshness.