Various Rub Recipes

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Original poster
Jan 5, 2014
Hi Folks,

Thought I would contribute to this great forum by sharing some recipes that I have collected. Many thanks go to these guys that were willing to share their mixes that worked for them. I have tried several and I do not think you will go wrong with any. Something for everyone I would think. Credits included.

Smokey Joel (also known as Joel Schwabe) fares well with this rub in competitions.

Yield: About 1 cup

1⁄4 cup brown sugar

1 ⁄4 cup paprika

1⁄4 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

1-1⁄2 teaspoons dried oregano

1-1⁄2 teaspoons cumin

1-1⁄2 teaspoons celery salt

1 tablespoon dried, grated lemon or orange peel (optional)

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. __________________________________________________________________

The Smoke Hunters team advises using this rub, which is the one they took to their early competitions, on pork ribs, pork shoulder, or chicken. The recipe, as written, produces about 2 cups of rub, which may be overkill if you don’t use it regularly. Cut the recipe in half, and you still have enough for a good 15 pounds of meat. 

Yield: About 2 cups

1⁄2 cup brown sugar

6 tablespoons kosher salt

1⁄2 cup Sugar In The Raw

1 1⁄2 tablespoons granulated garlic

1⁄2 cup paprika

1 1⁄2 tablespoons granulated onion

6 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

Sugar In The Raw is the brand name of turbinado sugar, which isn’t refined as white sugar is and so still has some of the flavor and nutrients from the sugar cane juice. It has a natural brown color and larger crystals than refined white sugar, but you can use it in much the same way when it comes to sweetening coffee or cereal.

Turbinado has more moisture than white sugar. In flavor and texture, it’s somewhere in the middle of brown and white sugars. It’s more likely to replace brown sugar in recipes than white because of its moisture content, and it also will harden as brown sugar does if it’s not stored in an airtight container.


Pirate Potion #4

This recipe comes from the Pirates of the Grill, who warn that it’s a spicy one but has a lot of depth. Fred Larsen from the team says the rub was developed to use on pork but that it’s a swell seasoning for your morning eggs, too.

Yield: About 3 cups

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup salt

1⁄2 cup paprika

1⁄4 cup chili powder

1⁄8 cup black pepper

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon chipotle pepper

1 tablespoon white pepper

1 teaspoon jalapeño pepper

 1⁄4 cup garlic powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon onion powder

Vary It! Try using seasoned salt rather than plain table salt. _____________________________________________________________________________

Paradise Jerk Rub

The Pig Smokers in Paradise BBQ Team earns kudos when it uses this jerk rub on pork: “It goes well with about any type of pork cut,” says member Connie Owens.

Yield: About 1 cup

6 tablespoons onion powder

6 tablespoons onion flakes

2 tablespoons ground allspice

2 tablespoons black pepper

2 tablespoons cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

4-1⁄2 teaspoons dried thyme

4-1⁄2 teaspoons cinnamon

1-1⁄2 teaspoons nutmeg

1-1⁄2 teaspoons ground cloves


Spicy Rub

#1 for Beef John Webb, from the Up-in-Smoke team, said he started making spicy rubs because he had a sinus infection that interfered with his taste buds. “I started adding more and more spice until I could taste something,” he said. “The downside was that everyone else was tasting the meat and saying, ‘Wow — that is way too spicy, but pretty good.’ I learned from that experi- ence and cut down on the spices until I got the right blend. They still say, ‘Wow,’ but now they follow that with, ‘Boy, that’s good.’” Webb makes his rub in big batches, using whole 3-ounce bottles, but he says that the point is that you use equal parts of each ingredient (except the cayenne powder or black pepper). 

Yields about 4 cups

3 ounces paprika

3 ounces garlic flakes

3 ounces cumin

3 ounces onion flakes

3 ounces Cajun spice

3 ounces natural cane sugar

3 ounces garlic powder

1 tablespoon cayenne powder or black pepper

1 Combine all ingredients in a food processor

2 Grind the mixture about 10 seconds.

Variation: To use this rub with chicken or pork, add 1 tablespoon mustard powder. You can add further dimension to any dry rub by adding just enough liquid to turn it into a paste or wet rub. Any flavorful liquid will do the trick, but some of the favorites are Apple juice Beer Mustard Olive oil Orange juice Worcestershire sauce Yogurt ___________________________________________________________________________

Shigs-in-Pit Bootheel Butt Rub

Todd Grantham of the Shigs-in-Pit BBQ team said the name of this rub (and the team’s sauce in Chapter 9) came from the area two of his team members hail from — the Bootheel area of southeast Missouri. He says that rubs of this style are popular in restaurants in that area. Grantham advises using the rub on all things pork, especially ribs and pork butt. The heavy yield of this recipe means that you may want to cut it in half. Doing so still yields enough rub for two healthy-sized meals. Yield: About 2 cups

1/4cup kosher salt

1⁄4 cup Accent (monosodium glutamate, or MSG)

1⁄2 cup granulated sugar

1⁄2 cup light brown sugar

1⁄2 cup fine organic cane sugar (turbinado)

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1-1⁄2 tablespoons granulated onion

2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons ground black pepper

1-1⁄2 tablespoons ground cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon thyme

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1-1⁄2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon hickory smoke salt

1 teaspoon celery salt


Everything Rub

Rich Allen of Dick’s Bodacious Bar-B-Q, Inc., offers up this recipe that he says can easily strike up a beautiful relationship with any meat you want to cook.

Yield: About 1⁄3 cup

1⁄4 cup seasoning salt

1 teaspoon mild chili powder

1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper

2 teaspoons garlic powder 1 teaspoon celery salt ___________________________________________________________________

Super Simple Brisket

Rub Doug Spiller of Smoked Signals BBQ keeps things nice and simple with this rub of just four ingredients used in equal parts. Spiller advises using a can of beer to mop your brisket when you use this rub so that you can keep the flavors moving around on the meat. In the last half-hour of cooking, Spiller uses three parts Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce cut with one part beer to finish the brisket. He says that the sauce is a perfect way to not only cut through some of the heat of the rub but also to give the brisket a nice glaze. Yield: 1 cup

1⁄4 cup black pepper

1⁄4 cup paprika

1⁄4 cup salt

1⁄4 cup onion powder


Rib Dust

Rich Allen is a Texan who brought his barbecue to the Midwest when he founded Dick’s Bodacious Bar-B-Q, Inc., a string of Indiana restaurants. His rib rub is a well-balanced affair that makes good use of just a few flavors. 

Yield: About 2 cups

3⁄4 cup paprika

1⁄2 cup chili powder

1⁄4 cup cumin

1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

1⁄4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon thyme

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons onion powder

1 tablespoon salt


Pork Perfection

The Smoked Signals BBQ team took home a first-place trophy with this rub, which team leader Doug Spiller said he came up with after much studying of recipes in books. The rub includes a pretty heavy amount of sugar, and Spiller explains that that’s what gives the pork a nice bark.

Yield: About 1 cup

1⁄4 cup granulated sugar

1⁄4 cup course cane sugar (turbinado)

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1⁄4 cup kosher salt

1⁄4 cup paprika

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

2 teaspoons white pepper

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder

1 Combine all ingredients in a food processor.

2 Grind the mixture about 10 seconds

. _________________________________________________________

Yard Bird Rub

Rich Allen of Dick’s Bodacious Bar-B-Q, Inc., also served as the technical reviewer for this book. Here, he offers a straightforward rub concocted just for chicken and turkey.

Yield: About 1⁄4 cup rub

3 tablespoons poultry seasoning

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon thyme

1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper


Jamaican Rib Rub

Poppi-Q BBQ founder Tom Schneider likes this spicy rub when it’s paired with a citrus-based barbecue sauce. This recipe covers four slabs of pork baby back or spare ribs.

Yield: About 3⁄4 cup

1⁄2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons sea salt

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon dried and ground thyme

1⁄2 teaspoon habenero or scotch bonnet pepper powder

1⁄2 teaspoon allspice

1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon

1⁄2 teaspoon dried and ground ginger


Sweet Persian Rub

The Persian Empire influenced a large part of the culinary flavors throughout Asia. This recipe from Brandon Hamilton pays tribute to those wonderful flavors. It goes well with seafood, chicken, lamb, and beef. Let sit at least 2 hours or overnight

Yield: About 3⁄4 cup

1 tablespoon black mustard seeds

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons turmeric

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons cayenne

2 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground coriander

1 tablespoon curry powder

2 teaspoons ground ginger


Zesty No-Salt Herbal BBQ Rub

Paul Kirk offers a unique, salt-free rub that gets a spicy punch from a goodly dose of chili powder. 

Yield: About 2 cups

1 cup cane sugar

1⁄2 cup light brown sugar

1⁄4 cup chili powder

3 tablespoons fine ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dill weed

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 tablespoon granulated onion

1 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon marjoram

1 teaspoon dried mustard

1 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon crushed rosemary leaves

1 teaspoon rubbed sage


Grilled Leg of Lamb Seasoning

Paul Kirk says his recipe for leg-of-lamb seasoning covers up to 5 pounds of trimmed and butterflied lamb.

Yield: About 3⁄4 cup seasoning

1⁄4 cup coarse ground black pepper

1 tablespoon crushed rosemary leaves

3 tablespoons kosher salt

1⁄2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons dried flaked garlic

Note: Store in refrigerator in airtight container or apply directly to lamb, using a pastry brush to paint it onto the meat.

Adjust quantities as needed.

Regards, is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts

Hot Threads