What Is a Dry Rub?

A dry rub (a.k.a dry brine) is any type of dry seasoning applied to meat before it is cooked. At its simplest, a dry rub can be a palmful of salt, though most barbeque dry rubs contain additional herbs and spices. The function of a dry rub is to season meat ahead of time, giving the salt and other flavorings time to penetrate the meat, so that you’re seasoning the whole piece—not just the surface. It’s called dry to distinguish it from wet brines and marinades, which involve liquids.