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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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

Coffee Rub for Beef

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.
coffee-rub-for-beefYou 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

Course Spice Rub
Cuisine American
Servings 6 cups
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Store in an air-tight container.

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.

For burgers

  • Sprinkle the rub on both sides of the burger patties before cooking.

Smoky Chipotle Rubs

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.

Smoky Chipotle RubsThese 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

Course Spice Mix
Cuisine American
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients into an air-tight container. Seal and shake to combine.

Chipotle rub #2 is fantastic on my smoky chipotle dry wings.

Smokey Chipotle Rub #2

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients into an air-tight container. Seal and shake to combine.

No-Burn Rib Rub

I’ve become more and more a believer in cooking ribs over high heat. Now, I still love my low-and-slow smoked ribs, don’t get me wrong, but high-and-fast ribs are great too. They are still tender, still have great taste, and often have a nice little crust to them that I really like.

But, you have to be careful what rub you use on ribs when you are cooking them over high heat. Anything with brown sugar in it will burn, and burn bad. That’s why I use this great no-burn rib rub. It packs seriously good flavor, but without having to worry about it charring.
No-Burn Rib RubI am a huge fan of celery seeds in my rubs, so I have to warn you, this rub has a LOT of celery seed in it. If you’re not as big a fan of it as I am, I suggest adding just a bit of celery seed at a time. Taste as you go, until you get the flavor you want.

I apply a generous amount of this rub to the ribs the night before I’m going to cook them. I wrap them in foil to let them get happy in the fridge. This is the perfect rub for cooking ribs on a charcoal grill over direct heat, or on a Char-Broil Big Easy.

No-Burn Rib Rub

Course Spice Rub
Cuisine American
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed or less, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients. Keep in an airtight container until ready to use.

Copycat Famous Dave’s Rib Rub

I was hankerin’ for some tender, almost-fall-off-the-bone smoked ribs, and lo and behold, spareribs were on sale at our grocery store. So I grabbed a few racks, trimmed them up St. Louis-style and started contemplating how I was going to cook them. Normally, it means an overnight rub down with some Memphis rib rub, then onto my Weber Smokey Mountain smoker using the 3-2-1 cooking method. This time, I decided to try a copycat of Famous Dave’s rib rub (the one they use in the restaurants for making their totally outstanding ribs) and cook the ribs low-and-slow for 6 hours.
Copycat Famous Dave's Rib RubThis copycat Famous Dave’s rib rub is outstanding. It has a little heat, a little sweet, and a little saltiness. And celery seeds, which I think are just about required in any rub. And just a hint of cloves, which I don’t think I’ve seen in a rub before. It’s amazingly complex, and oh so good.

Although I sauced my ribs, I easily could’ve eaten them ‘dry’, without sauce. I cannot wait to use this same rub on a pork butt in the very near future. With just one cook it has become my go-to rub.

Copycat Famous Dave's Rib Rub

Course Spice Mixture
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 6 cups
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup lemon pepper
  • 1/4 cup onion salt or powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed or ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Original

Instructions

  • Note: The version of this rub stated above uses less salt than the version you'll find on the internet. Add more (or use less) salt as you desire.
  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
  • To use, spread liberally on ribs (or pork shoulder or butt), wrap in foil, and let refrigerate 12 hours before smoking or grilling.

Memphis Rib Rub

There was a time when I purchased many of the rubs I used for cooking, specially when it came to smoking pork butt or ribs. Now, I just use this simple but very tasty version of a Memphis rib rub based on a recipe from Myron Mixon.

Memphis Rib RubA little sweet, and a little heat (add more cayenne if you like) makes this Memphis rib rub perfect. It made my St. Louis-style ribs (and tips) something great. This recipe makes a nice big batch. Just store any extra in an air-tight container out of the light and away from heat.

I keep my homemade spice mixes in resealable containers. To identify them I write the name of the mix and the date on painter’s blue tape. The tape comes off easily when I’m done with the mix so I can re-use the containers for other things.

Memphis Rib Rub

Course Spice Mixture
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mild chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • Smoked paprika optional, to taste

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients.


Fire-Eater Rub and Seasoning

Fire-eater rub and seasoning is by far my favorite kicked-up rub and all-purpose seasoning. It has the wonderful flavor of celery seed. I am a little heavy-handed with the celery seed. Don’t be afraid to cut back on it a bit if you’re not quite the celery seed enthusiast that I am. And it has a fantastic bit of heat. A good amount of heat actually. Hence the name.

I’ve used this rub/seasoning on everything from wings to chicken breasts to corn, to soup, to a kickin’ sauce for burgers, and even prime rib.

Fire-Eater Rub and SeasoningFire-Eater rub and seasoning is a must-have for your pantry. I always have a big batch on hand. Check out my list of great recipes that use this fantastic rub.

Also try my smoky chipotle rubs.

Fire-Eater Rub

The best rub around for chicken wings, whole chickens, turkey... all things poultry.
Course Rub
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 /4 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed

Instructions

Makes enough for 3-4 pounds of poultry

  • Combine all ingredients. Store in an air-tight container for up to 6 months.

Old Bay Steak Rub

I usually marinade my steaks, but when I came across this Old Bay steak rub recipe, I had to give it a try. I love Old Bay seasoning. The combination of spices is great on crab cakes. Fantastic in crab boils. And divine on steaks. Just sprinkle any cut of steak with the rub a few minutes before grilling.

Old Bay Steak Rub

This Old Bay steak rub does contain a bit of brown sugar. Sugars will burn if placed over direct heat for any length of time. I prefer to reverse sear my thicker steaks, which prevents that from happening.

I’m a borderline Old Bay addict. Also try my crab legs, peel ‘n eat shrimp, and wings, all seasoned with Old Bay.

Old Bay Steak Rub

Servings 1
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients. This makes enough for a single large steak.