Here’s the granddaddy of all barbecue rubs, but don’t let the simple formula fool you. There’s a heap of flavor in this simple rub—the molasses sweetness of the brown sugar, the heat of the pepper, the vegetal sweetness of the paprika, and the slow burn of the cayenne. Use this basic formula as a springboard for your own creativity. There are two ways to use this or any rub—sprinkle it on right before grilling or smoking as you would a seasoned salt. Or apply it several hours or even the day before to cure the meat as well as season it.
— Steven Raichlen
Excerpted from Barbecue Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades—Bastes, Butters & Glazes, Too by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Matthew Benson.
- 1/4 cup coarse salt (sea salt or kosher)
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark—your choice)
- 1/4 cup sweet paprika
- 2 to 4 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder (optional)
- 1 tablespoon onion powder (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds (optional)
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir or whisk to mix. Transfer to a jar, cover, and store away from heat and light. The rub will keep for several weeks.
Stacy Rodriguez says
Hi! Thanks for this. I’m looking for the recipe for his Java Barbecue Rub. I called the number on the last can I had and they said sorry, you’ll just have to try online. Wondering if you had that recipe too.
Robyn Doyon-Aitken says
We don’t have that one, but I bet it’s similar to this coffee-cocoa rub recipe on his site. Hope that’s what you’re looking for. (Omit the cocoa, if the chocolate flavor doesn’t float your boat).