Grind
Credit: Robin O'Neill Photography

"You can blend it, pulse it, or you can put it into a mortar and pestle and muddle it," Mays says of the variety of techniques to draw the flavor out of the ingredients. Other styles include toasting, chopping, or bruising, all of which manipulate how the rub is delivered. A grainier rub can be distracting on a skin-less fish and refreshing on a rare steak, so think about the other textures in each bite. Generally, Mays encourages rub-makers to get their grind on, thinning the rub so it doesn't feel like sand on the palate.