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My husband and I have an ongoing culinary debate on the awesomeness of dry rubs versus sauces.  This recipe was born because it was my way of compromising on a dry rub that tasted great on its own but could be supplemented by a variety of sauces!

My favorite way to use this rub is to season ribs before adding BBQ sauce at the end.  However, I also really like to use this dry rub to transform otherwise inexpensive (and maybe a little boring) cuts of meats.  This works especially well on tougher cuts of meats such as brisket because you generally have to cook them a long time to get the right texture and the longer cooking times let the flavors really meld together into something delicious.  Since tougher cuts of meats are generally quite difficult to work with but tend to be really cheap (that’s my secret to buying well-raised, grass-fed meats on a budget!), I wrote a post on how I cook them to make them nice and tender.

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  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (give or take depending on how spicy you like your food…this makes for a fairly mild rub)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (again, add more if you like really spicy foods)
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt (I prefer Redmond’s Real Salt)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar


1. Add all of your ingredients into a small mixing bowl.

2. Stir until everything is really well combined.  I like to use a fork to mash everything around.

3. Transfer to a shake-top bottle (I peeled the label off one of my old, empty spice bottles and reused that).