Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


All-Purpose Barbecue Rub

Recipe from Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible Beer-Can Chicken

Variations on this rub have appeared in each of my barbecue books. There are four basic ingredients — salt, black pepper, paprika, and brown sugar — and by varying the proportions you can create an almost endless variety of flavors. For spicier rub use hot paprika instead of sweet paprika. You could also substitute granulated sugar, light brown sugar, or Sucanat (powdered evaporated sugarcane juice) for the dark brown sugar. There isn’t a fish that swims, a bird that flies, or a beast that walks that wouldn’t benefit from a generous sprinkling of this multipurpose rub.


  • Yield: about 3/4 cup
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  • 1/4 cup coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

Step 1: Put the salt, brown sugar, paprika, and pepper in a small bowl and stir to mix. (Your fingers actually work better for mixing the rub than a spoon or whisk does.)

Step 2: Store the rub in an airtight jar away from heat and light; it will keep for at least 6 months.

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