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A pile of chicken spice rub seasoning

(photo by Kristen Chavez)

All-Purpose Rub

Many rub recipes are for particular kinds of meat, but here’s an all-purpose rub that’s good with everything from chicken to pork, beef to bologna. Shoot, it’s even good on popcorn.

Makes a bit less than 3 cups

  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sweet paprika
  • 1/4 cup seasoned salt (such as Lawry’s)
  • 1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

Mix the ingredients thoroughly. This keeps indefinitely, sealed and refrigerated.




From Barbecue by John Shelton Reed, a “Savor the South” cookbook (The University of North Carolina Press, 2016). Reed, Kenan Professor of Sociology Emeritus, is co-founder of The Campaign for Real Barbecue ( His many books include Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue (now in paperback), also published by UNC Press.

Listen to a podcast with John Shelton Reed about the book, Barbecue.



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