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.
The 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
Servings 1 1/2 cups
- 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
Coffee and beef go together like…. uh… well all other things that go together great. The coffee flavor mellows and enriches the beefy taste. My favorite way to use this coffee rub for beef is on smoked beef brisket. I give the meat a nice generous coating of the rub and let it sit overnight before smoking it until nice and incredibly tender. Perfect. And that’s not the only great use of this rub, either. A little sprinkle on burgers just before grilling them really gives them a fantastic rich different flavor.
You can use whatever coffee suits your fancy, but for me, the best is the coffee from Cafe du Monde. It has a wonderful chicory flavor that is incredibly rich and compliments beef perfectly. You can now find Cafe du Monde coffee in most grocery stores, thankfully, so you don’t have to go to New Orleans to get it. However, going to New Orleans is never a bad idea, so next time you go, bring back some coffee.
Coffee Rub for Beef
Servings 6 cups
- 2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 cups freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup chili powder
- 1/2 cup garlic powder
- 1/2 cup onion powder
- 1/3 cup ground coffee
For smoking beef cuts
Rub all sides of the beef with prepared yellow mustard.
Apply the rub liberally. Wrap in foil or place in a resealable container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to 12 hours, before smokng.
I love my smoker. My Weber Smokey Mountain gets a workout all through the year, making everything from jerky to pulled pork. Sometimes I want a great smoky flavor (and some heat) from my gas grill or my Big Easy. That’s where these smoky chipotle rubs come in.
The smoked paprika in both versions of smoky chipotle rubs add that great smoky flavor. The chipotle powder brings the heat and a bit more smoky flavor. To mellow it out a bit there’s a bit of brown sugar. The big difference between the two versions? I use the first when I want an earthier, more southwestern flavor. I use the second when I want a bit more texture, a little heat, and the added flavors of garlic and onion.
These smoky chipotle rubs are great on poultry, pork, and beef. Sprinkle them on your burgers. My favorite way to use them? On chicken wings.
I keep my rubs and spice mixes in a dark, cool pantry, in air-tight containers. To remember what is what and when I made it, I write the name and the date I made them on blue painter’s tape and affix it to the container. The tape comes off easily when I’m done with the mix so I can re-use the container for other things.
Chipotle rub #1 is fantastic on my (wet) smoky chipotle chicken wings.
Smokey Chipotle Rub #1
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground dried chipotle pepper
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
- 1/2-1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
Chipotle rub #2 is fantastic on my smoky chipotle dry wings.
Smokey Chipotle Rub #2
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Turbinado sugar (or substitute brown sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake
- 1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon dried minced orion
- 1/4 teaspoon dried chipotle chile pepper