My Simply Marvelous Weekend
I have been hanging out at the BBQ Brethren the past few months and catching up on who is doing what. One of the things I have noticed is that quite a few people are using the Simply Marvelous line of bbq dry rubs. I have never seen these rubs for sale locally and didn’t know anything about them except that they were the “go to” dry rubs of some pretty serious cooks.
I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do a post on these dry rubs as the primary question, “Are they any good?” had been answered many times as a solid yes by almost everyone that was using them. As soon as I decided to order some I realized that a post was definitely in order. I was having a hard time figuring out the differences between the products and I was a little surprised at how expensive they were. I figured if I was a little confused then maybe some other folks might be as well.
I splurged and bought the variety six pack of dry rubs that included Sweet Seduction, Apple, Sweet Heat, Season All, Pecan and Cherry. The total cost was $50 plus shipping. I thought it was a little steep but hey, as far as hobbies go, it’s cheaper than buying another smoker!
A few days later my package showed up and I stopped worrying that I had overspent. The first thing I realized is that these are huge bottles of dry rub. I had envisioned the typical container size that folks had been sending me which was absolutely incorrect. The website indicates how much rub is in each bottle (16 oz) but quite frankly I don’t think in terms of ounces; it just didn’t register that I was getting a pound of each dry rub. I’ll have faith that the website is correct and not the actual labels. Two off the bottles indicate they have 6 ozs, one says 12 and the other says 15. I think somebody has been monkeying around with the label maker!
The second thing I realized is that the ingredient list on these guys is off the hook! Some of the more interesting ingredients I picked up off the labels included dried honey, powdered apples, powdered peaches, dried molasses and pecan flakes. Seriously, who does that?
Okay, I get it now, it is money well spent. The dry rubs are much bigger and better than initial expectations.
As far as what the differences are between the dry rubs I just have to say that the titles are extremely descriptive. When I was reading the product names on the website it never occurred to me that the Pecan Rub would actually have a strong pecan flavor with real pecan flakes. I am so used to over-hyped marketing that I discounted the possibility that the product names were actually accurate. The top three ingredients in Sweet Seduction are sugar, brown sugar and dried honey. Yep, it is a very sweet rub. You want to take a guess about the flavor profile of the Sweet Heat dry rub? I shot a picture of Sweet Seduction, Sweet Heat and Pecan. The Sweet Seduction is the orange colored rub on the right and the Pecan is the one in the back with flaked pecans.
So now the question is, what do I do with all of these dry rubs? Well the Apple and Cherry rubs got shipped off to some friends. No point in keeping all of the good stuff to myself. I decided that I would use the other four dry rubs in one big weekend cook.
I started thing off on Saturday night with some bacon wrapped pork tenderloin rubbed with Sweet Seduction. These guys were very tasty (for full details I’ll send you over to another blog I have going about pork tenderloin) and got me excited to try the others on Sunday.
Sunday afternoon found me cooking boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Half of them got the Sweet Heat dry rub while the others got Pecan. These were cooked indirect with a little Parkay for about an hour. The Pecan rubbed thighs came out with a beautiful dark brown color and were delicious. The Sweet Heat rubbed thighs were a compromise; I enjoyed them but the heat was a bit too much for my young daughter. Like I said, the product names are highly accurate.
I grilled some chicken legs with the Season All dry rub. These got cooked on the Weber Genesis with high indirect heat for about 40 minutes. The legs were sauced with a mix of Sweet Baby Ray and Maple syrup. A disclosure on ingredients; the Season All rub does include MSG. Personally I am cool with MSG and think it adds a positive flavor to foods. Some folks strongly disagree. If you aren’t down with MSG then you might want to skip this one.
I also made up a batch of coleslaw using 2 cups of cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of Sweet Seduction dry rub and one tablespoon of turbinado sugar.
A point to remember about these dry rubs is that they are intense. The Pecan rub has a strong earthy flavor that tastes like pecans. Some folks might not appreciate that much pecan flavor in their food and so using this rub as a component of a blend would make a lot of sense to me. The same goes for Sweet Seduction. When I was reading a post on The Hog Blog I was initially surprised that Mister Bob was blending Sweet Seduction with the Season All but I think I get it now. Sweet Seduction might be too sweet for some applications so blending in the salty and savory aspect of the Season All adds some more balance.
I had a great time playing with the Simply Marvelous dry rubs and was very pleased with how everything turned out. I will probably be ordering more of these in the future but doubt I’ll get any more Season All. I like the product just fine but it is pretty close to some of my own dry rubs so paying extra for the shipping just doesn’t make sense to me. I will be using these quite a bit this month because they are great rubs and I have a LOT left over!