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Grilling & BBQ Rubs

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My Dry Rub recipe is perfect for just about anything on the grill or smoker! Remember, this is my basic rub recipe.

So, it changes from time to time when I can't find an ingredient in the cupboard. Which means you can do the same thing. Rubs are easy to tweak for personal taste.

This is one of the recipes I used while working with TimberTech and their outdoor living section of their website. We had some neat events, and offered up some simple recipes for outdoor grilling on Timbertech decks. They were all packed with flavor!

Kent's Basic Dry Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion flakes
    (1/2 tablespoon if using onion powder)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper if desired


Mix all of the ingredients in a clean and dry mason jar doubling the amounts as needed. You can also use an empty spice shaker. Rubs can be considered a dry marinade. Leave on for at least thirty minutes before cooking. For many dishes I rub the meat the day before which allows the spices to be soaked into the meat.

Rub Tips:
When trying a rub for the first time I would suggest adding the least amount of salt as possible. One mistake many people make is to use things like garlic salt with onion salt and then adding additional table or sea salt. That's a lot of salt! Use onion powder and garlic powder instead.

Kent Whitaker

Kent Whitaker, also known as "The Deck Chef," is a culinary writer and cookbook author. He's also penned Young Reader and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motorsports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill.