Paul Kirk’s Dry Rub

Laurie Smith

Kansas City chef and "Baron of Barbecue" Paul Kirk, who gave us this recipe, told us that the anatomy of the dry rub consists of a balance of sugar and salt, with paprika added for color, chili powder for flavor, and a touch of mustard "just because." From there, it's up to you.

Paul Kirk’s Dry Rub
Even though it's called a rub, this spice mixture is meant to be used more gingerly—just sprinkle onto the meat for instant flavor.
Yield: makes 3 Cups


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 14 cup seasoned salt, such as Lawry's
  • 14 cup garlic salt
  • 14 cup celery salt
  • 14 cup onion salt
  • 12 cup paprika
  • 3 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. lemon pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground sage
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 12 tsp. ground thyme
  • 12 tsp. cayenne


  1. Sift together sugar, seasoned salt, garlic salt, celery salt, onion salt, paprika, chili powder, black pepper, lemon pepper, sage, mustard, thyme, and cayenne into a bowl. Store in a jar. (When using, sprinkle onto, don't rub into, meat.)