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 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.)