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Need a no salt, no sugar rub.

rod g15

Smoke Blower
Joined Feb 27, 2013
My buddy is smoking a 14# brisket this coming weekend for a family reunion. He has family that can't have salt, and another that can't have sugar. Do any of you know of a rub recipe that doesn't contain salt or sugar? I told him I would ask the experts! Thank you.


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Aug 27, 2008
EDIT: Disregard...I missed your mention of brisket...what I posted is best for the milder flavor of pork ribs. Well, it might suit your tastes...never know. (end edit)

Huh, you're just in time...or, maybe I'm just in time. This is a brand new recipe which is a culmination and revision of 2 of my previous pork dry rubs. I have used it's predecessors without salt in the past and results were very good. This latest version should be very good as a salt-free rub, as there is very little in it to begin with. It is also sugar-free with respect to processed sugars. There are natural sugars from the tart cherries, blueberries and apple, although natural sugars generally cause far less problems with diabetes, if that's where your concern lies. The flavor is much milder and smoother than the recipe might lead you to believe.


All measures are pre-grind, except if listed as powder.

4 Tbsp dried whole Blueberry
4 Tbsp dried Tart Cherry
3 Tbsp dried 3/8" diced Red Bell Pepper
5 Tbsp Apple powder (any sweet variety)
2 Tbsp dried minced Garlic
1-1/2 Tbsp Black Peppercorn
1 Tbsp ground White Pepper
2 Tbsp Sea Salt (sub with Himalayan Pink Salt,Kosher Salt, Salt Substitute, etc)
1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika (sub with Spanish Paprika)
1 Tbsp Rosemary
2-1/2 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Fennel Seed
1-1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper powder (sub to your liking)
1 tsp Cinnamon (optional: reduces bitterness of Cayenne)
1 tsp ground Cumin
3/4 tsp rubbed Sage

Yield is approx. 1-3/4 to 2 cups (I made a 1.5X batch and yield was ~3-3/4 cups).

For the full instructional to create this recipe (and additional cooking photos, recipe review, etc), please visit the thread HERE.

Last edited:

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