10 July 2013

Have you ever made your own barbecue rub?  It's really easy.  And the nice thing about it is that you can customize it to suit your personal preferences.  Last month, I was lazy and when I needed a bunch of barbecue rub to make ribs for my daughter's birthday party, I hit up Penzey's and bought a big bag of their BBQ 3000 rub.  Sorry Penzey's, but I wasn't crazy about it.  It has nutmeg in it, which I find kind of odd.  I don't care for the flavor that gives it.  And it doesn't have as much heat as I like in my barbecue rub.  It did the job, but it was lacking that "wow" factor for me.  I should have put in the effort to make a big batch of the barbecue rub I "perfected" last summer.  It is adapted from one in Steven Raichlen's book How to Grill.

Smoky Barbecue Rub

2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground celery seed
½ tsp ground chipotle powder

Mix all ingredients together, making sure to break up any lumps of brown sugar.  Use 2-3 tsp per pound of meat.  Store rub in an airtight jar away from heat or light.  It will keep for at least 6 months.

Makes about ½ cup.

I changed a few things from Raichlen's original recipe.  He used sweet paprika, while I am totally obsessed with smoked paprika.  And since it's for barbecue, the smoked flavor is perfect.  (In his defense, he calls for hickory-smoked salt instead of regular kosher, but I think it's easier to switch out the paprika than to buy a special fancy salt that I won't use for anything else.)  I also decreased the black pepper and used chipotle instead of cayenne.  That adds more smoky flavor too.  It does have a bit of heat to it, so if you are sensitive to that, you might want to cut the chipotle in half.

This is a really great rub.  It's good on anything you like to grill: chicken breasts, whole chickens, pork chops, and best of all, ribs.  Check out my recipe for "Fall-Off-the-Bone Ribs".  And hey, if you're vegetarian or vegan, it would even be good on your favorite vegetable!

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  1. i love the sound of this rub!! smoky is great :)

  2. Yeah, it gives everything a great depth of flavor. Thanks for stopping by, Sarah!