Grilling Guru Rub


Soaked, Slathered, and Seasoned

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

If I were stuck on a desert island and could only have one barbecue rub, this would be it! It has all the classic barbecue notes: salt, spice, sweetness, and smokiness. Even though I have dozens of recipes that I like and a few purchased rubs that I rely on, I find myself making this rub over and over again.

NotesGood for Seasoning: Poultry; pork; ribs; steaks; burgers; new potatoes

For a smoother rub, puree the ingredients in a spice grinder until well combined and all the pieces are uniform in size (the rub will be very fine and tan in color).



Total Timeunder 15 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Taste and Texturegarlicky, hot & spicy, salty, savory, smoky, spiced, sweet

Type of Dishdry rub


  • 3 tablespoons sweet smoked Spanish paprika
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt, preferably Morton
  • 3 tablespoons Sugar in the Raw (turbinado)
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire powder, optional
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed


  1. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. The rub will keep in an airtight container for up to 6 months.


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