This Kansas City rub is the most ecumenical of barbecue seasonings. Sweet rather than salty, flavorful rather than fiery, it contains mustard in the style of a Memphis rub and chili powder in the style of Texas. This open-mindedness reflects KC’s central geographic location. Beef and pork are equally popular here and sauces and seasonings tend to be mild and sweet, rather than strongly flavored or spicy. A well-mannered rub, this recipe—from my friends at the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS), the source of so much good information about barbecue—will produce the sort of sweet, smoky ribs most of us would identify as perfect barbecue. Note the use of smoked salt to add a smoky dimension to the rub. You can make your own or use a good commercial brand.
Use on the Barbecue Burgers.
— Steven Raichlen
Excerpted from Barbecue Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades—Bastes, Butters & Glazes, Too by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Matthew Benson.
ON-DEMAND: Listen to Faith and Steven talk about this recipe as well as Steven’s secret to great barbecue.
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup sweet or smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup seasoned salt, preferably Basic Seasoned Salt, or a good commercial brand, such as Lawry’s
- 1/4 cup Smoked salt (or use a good commercial brand)
- 1/4 cup onion salt
- 1/4 cup celery salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons pure chile powder (not a blend)
- 2 teaspoons mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir or whisk to mix. Transfer to a large jar, cover, and store away from heat and light. The rub will keep for several weeks.
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