What is and How to use a Slather

Post Senape Slather

From Trivial Base for rubs to Tool

I’m made my own way. When I get into something, the first thing I do is read. I look for anything reachable with a credit card, which has been written on the subject and I read the more I can. Many years ago, when I started to love the BBQ world one of the first read text beds was Paul Kirk’s Championship Barbecue, which I still consider one of those who contributed most to my training.

What I liked more about Championship Barbecue was the approach adopted by Kirk. In the other books read, each author interprets his own way themes already seen. I love Kirk cause he make his own themes. Some of them I agree with, others less like the famous Kiss of Smoke but it remains the fact that he tries a different vision of things. One of the themes of the book that fascinated me more was that of the Slather.

Senape per SlatherThe term ‘to Slather’ literally means ‘covering with a thick layer’. By derivation, Slather noun becomes any substance to be used for this purpose and in the barbecue in particular, the substance that is used as an adherent to the application of the rub. Generally speaking, this is limited to the trivial mustard, so that in the barbecue the two terms are often conceived as synonyms. I was rather fascinated by the fact that Kirk makes from Slather a culture, a thing I never heard by other authors. The book is brimful with recipes for Slather’s creation, even quite complex, which actively contribute to the overall recipe.

Over the course of time, I have tried several, and more generally I continued my studies on the subject, formulating my theories about that I wanted to share with you. Point by point we define the three rules that will allow you to enjoy the best of the Slather concept:

  1. An ideal slather should be damp and pasty so as to cling more rub possible and to moisturize any dry ingredients that make it up but above all it does not have to burn easily in cooking. That is why we use mustard and not mayonnaise for example. Mustard also tends to oxidize in contact with the air and favor the stratification of the bark
  2. Slather viscosity degree determines the type of bark we will get. The mere mustard gives a thick and lush bark that will color slowly. Those who like to apply rub on their steaks know that the ideal base is instead the oil because it will convey the heat and cauterize it faster. The two concepts can be combined in the Slather: adding oil to mustard, we get a finer bark, which will golden more easily. By adding honey, we will have a similar inclination to golden but a thicker bark. For what is my experience, the solution with oil is more suitable for high temperature indirect heat, honey for lower temperature ones.
  3. When we taller about how to create a rub, if you remember we have explained how we should take into account that many spices change their aromatic perception in the presence of heat. A curry-based rub, for example, will lose a lot of its exotic character once it toast and converts into bark. However, this aspect will change considerably if spices instead of being applied over the mustard veil are kept moist when mixed with it. Slather is the perfect solution if you want some spice that you thought as an ingredient for your rub preserving its character in the final result.

Before closing down the fascinating world of slather, I wanted to leave you my three favorite recipes to try

Capers Slather


Post Slather Agnello10 cl of Mustard
5 cl of Lemon Juice
5 cl of Olive Oil
1 tablespoon of finely minced Capers
1 mashed Garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon of White Pepper

Suggested Using: Fantastic on lamb, especially on the leg, maybe  smoked with olive wood

Rum and Orange Slather


Post Slather Volatili10 of Mustard
3 cl of Orange Juice
1 teaspoon of grated Orange Zest
1 teaspoon of Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon of Dark Rum
1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon of White Pepper

Suggested Using: on all games but amazing on duck, specially on breast.

Red Slather


Post Slather Rossa10 cl of Mustard
1 teaspoon of Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon of Horseradish paste
1 teaspooon of Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of Honey
1 teaspoon of Pimenton (smoked paprica)
1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper

Suggested Using: Pork meat, specially in Low&Slow cooking. Have to be tried on Boston Butt.

There are infinite recipes for infinite slathers. Choose yours and run to the supermarket, but this time not just buy the mustard, a world of new flavors is waiting for you.

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