I was browsing a few forums last month and saw where Mad Hunky was sending out sample packs of his brine and dry rub. I was very curious about the brine mix as very few companies offer such a product. I sent a PM with my contact information and got my samples a few days later.
This dry rub is quite different from the other rubs I have been playing with recently as this one is defined by high quality paprika. Paprika is usually included in most dry rubs as a rather flavorless colorant. A combination of paprika and chili powder gives barbecue a beautiful dark red color. What stood out about this dry rub was that the paprika had an incredible aroma and a very noticeable flavor. When I first opened the package I got hit with what I thought was a powerful cumin aroma. It turns out that this was the paprika instead.
One of the nice things about basing a dry rub upon high grade paprika is that you can use it for grilling and barbecue. I found that the amount of sugar in here was low enough that I could grill over direct heat and not scorch the rub.
In addition to being low in sugar this dry rub is also low in salt. Since salty and sweet define most rubs this guy stands out as being very flavorful through savory components. The only way to pull this off is by using really good ingredients and again, the paprika being used here is pretty high grade stuff.
I tried the dry rub on some chicken thighs and grilled them with indirect heat for about an hour. Everything tasted great and the end product looked pretty good.
Once I had some comfort with the rub I wanted to try it in conjunction with the Mad Hunky brine. My first impression of the brine mix was, like the dry rub, it was extremely fragrant. I tasted the mix and my first thought was that it contained some crushed up chicken bouillon cubes (which actually is a pretty good trick). This was not the case though as there aren’t any MSGs in Mad Hunky products so I am guessing that I tasted some phosphates instead.
I mixed up the brine in a quart of water and threw in a 1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast. The brew sat in the fridge for a few hours while I lamented that I was too dumb to split the brine into two batches so I could try it in some different applications. I took the breast out of the brine, dried it off and gave it a heavy coat of the Mad Hunky dry rub.
I grilled this guy over direct high heat on my Genesis for a total of eighteen minutes when an internal temperature of 160F was reached. The dry rub did not scorch but instead gave the chicken a beautiful color. The brine kept the chicken super moist and was not overpowering. I am hoping you can see how moist this guy was when I sliced it up.
All in all I was very pleased with these products. I placed an order for a larger amount of the dry rub after these trials. It arrived last week along with a sample pack of a new brine that’s in development for pork. I can’t wait to give it a try.
If you want to give this stuff a try you can place an order here.