Basic Barbecue Rub

  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 3 Tbsp black pepper
  • 3 Tbps coarse salt
  • 1 Tbps hickory-smoked salt or more coarse salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to mix.  (Actually, your hands work better for mixing than a spoon or whisk does.  Use your fingers to break up any lumps of brown sugar.) Store the rub in any airtight jar away from heat or light; it will keep for at least 6 months.

Yield: about a cup

From: How to Grill by Steve Raichlen

This was delicious.  It is a deceptively simple recipe for a great rub.  The 1 tsp of cayenne is barely noticeable heat, so you can definitely add more if you want a kick.  Raichlen recommends spicy paprika as a substitution for some or all of the sweet to add some more heat.

I (Gray) have been using rubs for several years now to get a lot more flavor out of my grilling and they work great.  Any time I am going to cook something with sauce, I put a rub on as early as I can; the night before if possible.  It makes a tremendous difference.  Then I just put the sauce on at the very end of cooking, the last 5-10 minutes. That way the sauce doesn’t burn and you get a good complex layer of flavors.  This rub is perfect for anything you are going to put BBQ sauce on, chicken, ribs, brisket, pork chops, etc.

Lately I have been experimenting with my own sauces and rubs, and we have a delicious, different sauce coming up next week that I can almost guarantee you haven’t had before.

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2 Responses to Basic Barbecue Rub

  1. trkingmomoe says:

    I like this. I just learned from another food blogger today about smoked salt. I have seen it in the natural food shops but didn’t have any idea how it was used. Thanks for sharing.

    • We have not tried smoked salt, but we have tried many different rubs with a combo of different BBQ sauces. The food always tastes better when we put the rub on the night before and then finish up with the sauce in the last 10 minutes or so of grilling. We will talk more about this chicken in our next post, which is about the sauce we used. Let us know how your food turns out if you try a rub or the smoked salt!

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