Championship Barbecue Rub (AKA Bob’s Rub)


This recipe (from Bob Lyon, the granddaddy of barbecue in the Pacific Northwest ) follows a rule of thumb that’s worth remembering anytime you are creating a rub: “a third, a third, a third.” Translation: one-third sugar, one-third seasoned salts and one-third dry herbs and spices will give the meat a balanced flavour profile.

1 cup sugar
1⁄3 cup chili powder (try a combination of ground chilies like ancho, poblano, New Mexico or guajillo)
1⁄3 cup freshly ground black pepper
1⁄3 cup paprika
¼ cup celery salt
¼ cup garlic salt
¼ cup onion salt
¼ cup seasoning salt (I like Lawry’s)

Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Add extra heat to this basic rub with cayenne pepper, hot paprika or ground chipotles. Also try adding 2 or 3 signature ground spices/herbs to suit your taste, like thyme, oregano, cumin, sage or ginger. Add only 1 to 3 tsp of each so they don’t overpower the rub. Makes about 3 cups.

(Adapted from Ron Shewchuk’s Barbecue Secrets Deluxe, Whitecap Books.)