Alton Brown has his own version of MacCarthy's 15 minutes of fame prediction. He says that in a few years everyone will have their own TV show and their own spice rub. I gotta tell you I'm starting to believe it. Just go into the food/grilling blogging game and you'll be inundated with every Tom, Dick, and Harry and their homemade spice rubs. Most are average, some are very subpar, and only a few stand out above the rest.
The ones that do stand out have two things in common: quality marketing and branding and a quality product. Sure, you have to have a quality product. But if you do not brand yourself well, you'll be dead in the water. If you talk to knowledgeable people in the industry, you'll find out that marketing and market positioning is the key to the business. Case in point: Rod's Rub.
Rod's Rub hit my front porch a month or so ago, and I've been testing it thoroughly ever since. I think they have a quality product going for them. Rod offers three different rubs, all packaged in a brightly designed yellow label: Original, Citrus Tang, and Sweet Mesquite. I like the Citrus Tang the best, and my second favorite is Sweet Mesquite. I've been looking around for a quality citrus rub, one that isn't chock full of salt. Rod's Citrus Tang just might be it.
Citrus Tang is a nice blend of lemon-lime and chile peppers that goes great on chicken and seafood. You could probably use it on all kinds of meat including steak and pork, but it works best with what benefits from a citrus twang.
The Sweet Mesquite may be the most versatile in my mind, but you really have to like a smokey flavor to your foods to enjoy this flavor. The smoke flavor is strong but only overpowering if you overuse it on a piece of meat.
Original is a wonderfully basic blend of seasonings that you just can't go wrong with. I've been using it on everything from green beans to corn on the cob and all meats in the meat spectrum.
One big thing that sets Rod's rubs apart from other rubs is that they are true "Rubs." Most products that tout themselves as rubs are usually just seasoning blends loaded heavily with salt. If you tried to rub one of those on a piece of meat, you'd get a very salty result. But Rod's primary ingredient is not salt ... usually it's sugar. This is a prime testimonial that Rod's Rubs are honest-to-goodness.
After checking out Rod's site, one gets the feeling that whoever is behind the rubs and its marketing knows exactly what to do. The seasonings are delicious and the branding works. Here's what a little bit of the Sweet Mesquite will do to some pork chops.