Summer grill season is here! Let's talk barbeque and let's talk rubs!

I recently bought a private label rub from a favorite local store and the freshness and flavors were wonderful. This - along with the high price-per-ounce of this rub ($4.00 per ounce!) - inspired me to try my hand at crafting my own. 

So, did a little research, raided our bursting-at-the-seams spice shelf and grabbed a few fresh spices to try. I spent $20 on three new spices (Chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika and Herbs from Provence), fresh organic brown sugar and sea salt.

We got our how-to-tips from Southern Living, then experimented from there.

Sweet Chipotle Rub

1/4 cup Organic Light Brown Sugar
1 T Coarse Sea Salt
1 t Chipotle Chili Pepper
1 t Smoked Paprika
1 t Garlic Powder
1 t Herbs From Provence

Notes: The chipotle chili pepper is surprisingly hot. The single teaspoon in this recipe really gives this rub a kick. The smoked paprika and brown sugar give a nice balance.

Smooth & Smokey Coffee Rub

1/4 cup Organic Light Brown Sugar
1 T Coarse Sea Salt
2 T Ground Organic Coffee
1/4 t Chipotle Chili Pepper
1 t Smoked Paprika

Notes: I love a good cup of coffee and when I saw a version of a coffee rub on a food competition show, I thought I'd give it a try. The coffee gives a bold but smooth taste and the chili and paprika just a hint of unexpected heat.

Garlic & Herb Rub

1/4 cup Organic Light Brown Sugar
1 T Coarse Sea Salt
1 t Pepper
1 t Smoked Paprika
1 t Garlic Powder
1 t Herbs From Provence
1/2 t Cumin

Notes: This rub is one that is sure to keep everyone happy. Its mild taste and misture of herbs works well with chicken, pork and vegetables.

Preparation

Choose your favorite rub recipe, toss all ingredients in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade and blend. I like to give it a few pulses to mix it up then allow to process for about 20-30 seconds. I tried to skip this food processor but quickly realized this was an important step to really achieving a smooth and consistent rub.

Choose your favorite cut of meat or experiment with vegetables. A small amount of this rub goes a long way. Each recipe yields about 1/4 cup - or 4 ounces - of rub and doubles well. Using only a fraction of the new ingredients, this yielded 12 ounces of rubs with tons to spare on new rubs or in other recipes. Even if I never used another speck of my initial $20 investment, I'd already created rubs cost $1.66 ounce. 

Whether you try one of my creations or whip up your own, dress up your rubs by storing them in a cute little mason jar like the ones I found at a local craft shop for just $0.75 each. These should keep for several months. Stir or shake gently before using.

Happy grilling!