Originally Posted by eman
In my opinion unless you are cooking for looks the only thing rubs do is add flavor.
X2...Sugar contributes to a nice Bark and Salt is there to enhance the flavor. Beyond that it is preference, For instance, Salt, Pepper, Garlic and Onion add a good layer of flavor. Layer on some Heat and Color with Cayenne, Paprika and Chili Powder. Then add a Sweet sauce to round the flavors out. Some ground Coffee or Cocoa in a rub adds some Bitterness and Spices like Allspice, Coriander and Cumin add Depth. Dry Thyme , Oregano and Basil can enhance the flavor and add Brightness. Citrus Zest can be nice as well.
Here is a good Basic Rub to start with and a link to my Foiling Juice which is popular. Have Fun...JJ
Mild Bubba Q Rub
1/2C Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado)
2T Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)
1T Kosher Salt
1T Chili Powder (contains some Cumin and Oregano) Ancho Chile is same without cumin, oregano etc.
1T Granulated Garlic
1T Granulated Onion
1tsp Black Pepper, more if you like
1/2tsp Grnd Allspice
Cayenne or Chipotle Pwd to taste, start with 1/2tsp and go from there.
You may also like this for Ribs...