Basic BBQ Rub

When I make a batch of this basic BBQ rub I don’t just make a little ole container full. No, I make a bunch of it. A whole lot. That’s because I use it on just about every piece of meat that I throw onto my trusty old smoker. It shines best on beef and pork, adding a bit of sweetness and a bit of heat. And though it contains coffee and lemon pepper the flavors from those two ingredients don’t jump out and scream at your taste buds. They’re there though, working perfectly with the rest of the flavors. This is truly a great all-around rub.
Basic BBQ RubThe idea for this basic BBQ rub came from Ray Lampe’s book, Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Lip Smacking Barbecue. The book is full of great recipes and stories and ideas, just like this one. This rub can be used as-is or as a great jumping-off point for making your own rub. Play with the ratios to suit your tastes. For example, don’t use regular paprika just use only smoked paprika for a much stronger smoke flavor, perfect for seasoning foods cooked in doors where you won’t get a strong wood flavor. Or add more heat. Or leave out the heat. It’s a very versatile rub.

Also try my basic BBQ sauce. Like this rub, it’s great as is or use it as a base for your own flavors.

Basic BBQ Rub

Course Spice Rub
Cuisine American
Servings 12 ounces


  • 1/2 cup Sugar in the Raw
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder use hot for extra kick
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon or lime pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground coffee not instant


  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

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