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Rubs & Brines

Sometimes, all a piece of meat needs is a little salt and pepper before cooking to bring out its flavors and suit your current culinary craving. But there are plenty of situations in which more flavor is a welcome addition, and that’s where dry rubs & brines come in handy. Williams-Sonoma offers an excellent selection of blended herbs, spices and salts that you can use as a dry rub or base for a dry or wet brine. Meats of all kinds, from chicken breasts to whole pork shoulders, can benefit from these pre-treatment flavorings, which help add flavor and tenderness to meat before it cooks on a grill, in a smoker or in an oven.


Anyone who’s ever eaten a brined Thanksgivingturkey knows how powerful this simple process can be for adding amazing flavor to meat. Brines, which use spices, salt and sometimes even sugar to essentially carry out a quick curing process before cooking, can also ensure your meat stays moist and tender after you cook it. Dry chicken and turkey are a thing of the past when you use a brine as the first step in your cooking process. If you’re sick of basting and using other time-intensive techniques to keep your Thanksgiving bird delicious, consider changing your routine and opting to brine your turkey using one of our brine blends.


Like brines, dry rubs are the first step in many different cooking processes. These spice blends are particularly popular for use in authentic Southern barbecue recipes. Rubs are generally best for cooking methods that don’t involve a high degree of direct heat, because some spices can scorch and burn when exposed to too-high heat for a long period. However, adding a dry rub to a quickly seared steak can make a huge flavor impact that allows you to enjoy both the natural flavor of the meat and a grace note of spice that may change the way you think about cooking and seasoning meat.


A dry-rubbed piece of barbecue meat can actually be so tasty on its own that it actually doesn’t need any barbecue sauce or other condiments. If you like a minimalistic cooking style, experimenting with dry rubs & brines can open up a whole new world of culinary possibilities that involve limited-ingredient dishes brought to life with some intelligently applied spices. You can even experiment with different proportions or mixing brine or dry rub blends together. As with any other kitchen activity, using these handy spiced starters can be a learning process that involves experimentation.


We develop some of our dry rubs & brines with a specific type of meat in mind. We offer several different varieties of turkey brine, for example. However, you don’t have to limit your use to the on-label application. Turkey brine can work just as well for chicken, goose and any other type of poultry that benefits from brining before cooking. And while brines are typically reserved for whole-bird roasting and other special-occasion applications, you can experiment with brining more ordinary cuts of poultry such as chicken breasts or wings as preparation for cooking methods as varied as grilling, roasting or deep frying.


Because they include multiple ingredients, including various spices, our dry rubs & brines may introduce flavors you’ve never experienced before. And while you can make your own dry rub and brining mixes, if you’re new to using these culinary techniques, you can make your first few runs easy by using a pre-mixed blend that has been tested for flavor and quality in our kitchens. Once you get the hang of the technique, you can make your own blends or continue to rely on our expert combinations to save yourself a prep step before making an elaborate meal.


From succulent poultry to amazingly authentic Deep South barbecue, dry rubs & brines are an excellent tool to use when creating complex dishes with meat. Chicken, turkey, salmon, pork, beef and lamb are just a few of the meats you can season with these inventive and useful spice blends.