All-American Barbecue Rub
Depending on size, plan on 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of spice rub per serving. For example, I used the full amount recently to coat 12 chicken quarters (a combination of the chicken leg and thigh).

Yields: approximately 3/4 cup (12+ tablespoons)


  • 2 tablespoons paprika (I really like smoked paprika for this recipe; may use regular paprika)
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground (dry) mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • optional: 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a large bowl making sure to eliminate any lumps.
  2. Store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. When making ahead or saving leftover rub, I like to store in the refrigerator to prevent the brown sugar from drying out and clumping.
  3. When ready to grill, sprinkle each chicken piece (or your protein of choice) with 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of the rub, depending on size. The rub is designed to add great flavor when sprinkled on just prior to grilling, but it may be done several hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate the pieces in that case.
  4. This rub will add excellent flavor as is but may also be combined with a finishing brush of your favorite barbecue sauce.


  • Usually chicken, steak, pork, etc., are naturally moist enough that the rub will easily adhere. If you find the pieces seem dry, brush them with apple juice or even water–just enough so that the spices will stick.

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