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Marinades, Sauces, Rubs & Salsas

Raichlen’s Rub

This is it, folks. The only barbecue rub you’ll ever need—both basic and universal. I call it a 4/4 rub because it requires only 4 basic ingredients in equal proportions: salt, pepper, paprika, and brown sugar. And Raichlen’s Rub because it’s my go-to seasoning at home. This simple rub is infinitely customizable: Use smoked salt in place of sea salt, or maple sugar instead of brown sugar. Pump up the smoke flavor with pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika). You get the idea. Sometimes I round out the flavor with a touch of granulated garlic, onion, and celery seed.


Raichlen’s Rub

Recipe Notes

  • Advance Prep: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 1 cup


  • 1⁄4 cup salt (coarse, ne, kosher, sea, smoked, and so on)
  • 1⁄4 cup pepper (cracked, coarse, ne, black, white, green, rainbow, and so on)
  • 1⁄4 cup paprika (sweet, hot, or pimentón)
  • 1⁄4 cup sugar (dark brown, light brown, maple, granulated, or Sucanat—granulated sugarcane juice)

Optional Flavorings (Add any or all of the following)

  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed

Recipe Steps

1: Combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix, breaking up any lumps in the sugar with your fingers.

Raichlen’s Rub will keep, in a sealed jar away from heat or light, for several weeks.

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