15 April 2008
Rub: The Salt Lick
A few years ago, my friend Matt brought me some rub from the Salt Lick in Driftwood, TX. The Salt Lick is one of the most famous bbq joints in Texas...so much so that they have a Salt Lick location in the Austin airport.
At the time, I was just getting into bbq and I thought "oh, rub from Texas equals brisket rub." So the first time I used the rub, I used about half a bottle on a brisket flat. We sliced the brisket and it was one hot piece of meat. Little did I know that one of the primary ingredients was cayenne pepper. I like things spicy, but this was almost inedible. After that experience, the Salt Lick rub sat on the shelf for a while.
Then one day, I decided I want a spicy steak. Usually I would reach for the cajun spice, but I was out. I decided to try the Salt Lick rub, going with a much lighter coating this time, and the steak turned out great. I like a spicy rub for my steak and this one is just about perfect, used regularly when I grill steaks on the Egg. Thankfully, Matt took another trip to Texas recently for SXSW and he brought me back another bottle of rub.
Most steak houses and some steak purists prefer a steak that is seasoned with just salt and pepper. The Salt Lick rub starts with these basics - the primary ingredients in this rub are salt, pepper and cayenne. Also listed under the contents is the proverbial nondescript ingredient referred to simply as "spices." On the whole, this rub is simple. It doesn't have a wide range of exotic flavors. When applied carefully, it's just a good, solid rub with straight, steady heat that doesn't take away from the flavor of the meat.
Here are some pictures of a Ribeye before and after, after alongside some homemade thin cut fries: