Wild Willy’s Number One-derful Rub

This is our main all-purpose rub; good on ribs, brisket, chicken, and more.

NotesIn the decade since we published the first edition of Smoke & Spice, the number of commercially available dry rubs has grown from a handful to enough to sand a new Sahara. It makes sense to keep a few with favorite flavorings on hand to shake effortlessly over food you are smoking for simple weekday meals. Be aware, however, that you may pay a lot for the convenience. Some companies load up rubs with inexpensive spices that have the flavor of sawdust, and others rely heavily on salt or sugar as the primary ingredients (the ones listed first on the label). As always, buyers must beware.



Total Timeunder 15 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationdiabetic, egg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, low calorie, low carb, low-fat, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

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

Type of Dishdry rub


  • ¾ cup paprika
  • ¼ cup freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup coarse salt, either kosher or sea salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne


  1. Mix the spices thoroughly in a bowl. Store covered in a cool, dark pantry.


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I bought the book 8-9 years ago and had made this rub at least a dozen times. It is excellent. I used it on everything, ribs, chicken, pork, brisket. I mixed in an old peanut butter jar, shake it and then transfer as I need it to empty spice bottle so I can shake it over the food I am BBQ-ing. I even give this out as gifts. I use the spices I buy at Aldi's so it is very affordable.

wont the sugar burn.


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