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"Ask Tim"

I’m Tim, and I made up the Rub.

I will offer advice gladly when solicited, on questions involving the Rub, food, sartorial choices, relationship quandaries, etc.

Please be advised: I am not a lawyer, doctor (of anything), or otherwise certified professional.  I am an electrical engineer, writer, and musician who knows how markets and the Internet work, and I know what I like when I sit down to eat.  That’s about it.

Despite my lack of real qualifications, people write to me and ask me stuff all the time.  Not all the time, but some of the time, and enough so that I admit to copying and pasting on occasion.

Now I can just say to them, 'Kindly read the reply to your question in the "Ask Tim" section of the Midyett Premium website, where it will benefit all of humanity until end of times.'

Ask me your stuff below!  Or read what others have asked!  Reading is fun!

Do you have a question that is not answered below? Ask Tim a question!

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You once mentioned that you have added brown sugar to the Rub when using it on ribs. Any other favorite "hacks" of the original Rub that you've discovered?

I don't generally add sugar anymore.  I just lost the taste for it.  If you like sweeter barbecue, though, you can totally try it.  I found it best on pork.

I occasionally add maybe 1/8 part salt when cooking brisket.  The Rub is made so it won't be too salty on any cut of meat 1" thick or more.  It might seem slightly undersalted on brisket if you like salt as much as I do.

One thing I do all the time:  grind the Rub in a regular blade-style coffee grinder to get it very fine for use on popcorn.  It sticks real well that way and you don't need to use very much. 

Actually, for popcorn, I usually grind up the Rub in combination with a commercial spice blend called Tajin, which is mostly chiles, lime, and salt.  The two things play well together.  Quite delicious.
 

Just wondering if the amount of caffeine in the Midyett Rub is anything to worry about when feeding it to kids.

Good question!

I can't give you any hard advice on the caffeine level.  Everyone has different levels of sensitivity to caffeine, kids especially.

I can tell you my kid has been eating it her whole life, but that's not an endorsement.

I'd guess maybe 3 cups of coffee worth of caffeine per jar.

So if you put most of a jar on a brisket...that's about 3 cups of coffee or less over the whole entire brisket.

One slice is gonna be, like, 1/30th of the brisket, or 1/10th of a cup of coffee, or the amount of caffeine in a piece of chocolate or something, probably.

Dunno is the cooking process does anything to lower the caffeine amount or whatever.

Glad you like it!  Thanks for ordering as well!

Very best and happy cookin',

tim

I have heard that the more a spice mix is ground, the more it adheres to the meat. I'd be interested in your opinion on that.

The balance with grind is between adhesion and flavor profile.

Finer grind = better adhesion.  But too fine can be counterproductive.  You can lose differentiation between the ingredients, and it can degrade the flavor somewhat (I believe).

The salt, pepper, cocoa powder--that stuff is basically dust in the Rub. Super fine.

The garlic powder is very fine but maybe a bit less than the other stuff.

The coffee and sumac are more coarse.  They have oil/moisture content that is important to them retaining their flavor over time, and keeping the grains coarse lets them stay flavorful longer.  Also, the larger grains provide a robust little "punch" of those flavors rather than smearing them out more.

It's a subtle thing, but I have tried all kindsa grinds, and that mix is best to me.

That said, I do make a finer grind in very small batches for popcorn, actually.  I put regular grind Rub in a blade coffee grinder, chop it up some more, and put that in a shake jar, like 1/4 jar's worth at a time.  It really clings to the popcorn kernels, and I don't need very much of it.

But I think the regular stuff clings plenty to meat and veggies and stuff.

Feel free to try grinding it down more!

Is it possible that certain cuts of pork shoulder are going to include more "loin-y" sections which need to be managed differently? I'm envisioning this to the challenges of poultry, where breasts can over-cook before thighs.

Yes...the discrepancy in cooking time is between the Boston (marbled fatty goodness) and picnic (leaner with pockets of fat) parts of the shoulder.

Boston is marbled fatty goodness, and no one has any problem with that.

Picnic is leaner with pockets of fat.  It's pork so it's good, but it's more erratic in terms of fat distribution and can be touchy to cook.

I have seen this thing most clearly with a bone-in shoulder cut in two.

Fatty half will be done in 10hrs, perfect, resting comfortably.

Lean half will be just hitting the stall at 9hrs...seems real firm like it's not gonna end well.

The easiest solution if you're cooking a whole shoulder is to wrap the whole shoulder in foil...when the butt (fatty guy) hits its stall temp of 165 deg F or so.

When the wrapped pork hits 190 deg F (measured in the Boston Butt side of things), you can unwrap and return to smoker until it hits 200 deg F to get some of the bark texture back.

There's always a balance with brisket and shoulder between bark and moistness, but you can get both if you work it out.

Note also, re moistness...resting after the cook is big.  Totally recommend a wrap.  I do foil with layer of Saran wrap on outside for pork, butcher paper for brisket).  I do at LEAST an hour sit to get the juice redistributed--often much longer.  Not amazing for bark, but worth it for the meat in general.

Also...if you still have some dry meat..pull the dry and mix with the more moist stuff.  Should help.

I also do a bunch of spritzing with apple cider vinegar mixed with apple juice and a little rub dusting once pulled, to get it just a little extra flavor--sometimes the most "internal" pork will be a bit plain otherwise.

Have you created a sauce to compliment the rub? Or do you have a favorite?

I haven't made sauce from scratch.

The key for me is:  no liquid smoke and not too sweet to start.

I have doctored store-bought sauces when I have to do it.  I add a lot of apple cider vinegar and usually pepper and/or tabasco.  I can get things in line usually if I have to go that route.

Lem's makes and sells their sauce. They're in Chicago.  Best barbecue north of Kansas City and my favorite ribs on the planet.

I go down there to buy a two-gallon jug of it every couple of months, along with entirely too much food.

When I get barbecue there, I get "mixed" sauce, but with the jugs, you have to choose between mild and hot.  I get mild.  The hot is a bit much.

What is your favorite wood for smoking use?

I apologize, but to answer this question accurately, I need to be kind of a jerk and "recommend" a wood that you're not going to be able to get.  Probably.

Kiawe is a variety of mesquite that I first ran across in Hawaii. It seems lighter, sweeter, and more complex than the more pungent kinds of mesquite we have on the mainland. 

I've made some of the best barbecue of my life with kiawe, and anytime I am lucky enough to get some, I am incredibly pleased with myself.  Evidently, it can also be found in Puerto Rico, Australia, and parts of South America (thanks, Wikipedia).

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