Barbecue rubs are a combination of many, or a few spices that are mixed together and then rubbed onto the meat. Rubs consist of a mixture of spices that are highly variable depending on many different factors including, region, style, type of meat, or personal preference. Other than adding additional layers of flavor to the meat, rubs also help to form a delicious ‘bark’. When pit masters refer to ‘bark’, they are not talking about the wood they are stoking their fires with. They are talking about that amazing crusty outer layer of the meat that forms during the cooking process. Smoke is also drawn to the rub due to the moisture it pulls from the meat. This rub recipe is my go to for ribs and pork shoulder, it adds a balance of sweetness, savory, and spiciness. I really enjoy this one because it is simple and contains spices most people have on hand in their pantry. If you like “sweet heat’ in your barbecue then you will love this delicious BBQ rub.


  • 1/4 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Paprika
  • 3 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper (add more if you want extra heat)



Take all of your spices and mix together thoroughly in a bowl or food processor, you want to ensure all the spices are evenly mixed together with no clumps. Once everything is mixed together, rub the mixture evenly onto your meat of choice. Gently shake the excess off the cut of meat and then cook on the grill or smoker.



  • While there is nothing wrong using pre packaged powdered spices, using whole spices such as chiles are definitely worth taking the time to research and use. Sourcing, toasting, and grinding quality dried chiles/peppers and other spices are an easy way to add an amazing depth of flavor that is hard to find in the pre packaged powders.
  • Make sure you don’t have any lumps of sugar or other spices end up in the finished rub, otherwise you will risk having areas of the meat having too much sugar/garlic powder/pepper. You want everything to be evenly incorporated, using a food processor to mix will ensure this.
  • Allowing your rub to sit overnight in a cool dry place will allow the flavors to meld together into a cohesive batch of deliciousness.