MYO: Barbecue Sauce and Dry Rub

Barbecue and baseball: two American institutions where the purists get angry. Barbecue, as defined in America by the purists, is cooked over an open flame fueled by wood or charcoal. My four-burner propane grill, by those terms, does not barbecue. It grills. It’s the designated hitter of cooking meat (Meathead at has a couple of great pieces on the definition and history of barbecue.).

But, whether you smoke, barbecue, grill, or pit cook, there are a couple of truths. First, rubbing the meat down with spices before cooking is essential to flavoring the meat fully. Second, you need a sauce to accompany your brisket, ribs, pork shoulder, chicken, turkey or whatever.

Yes, you can buy off the shelf, but that stuff is full of salt, sugar, and chemicals. What you need to do is get out the measuring spoons, rummage through the cabinets and refrigerator and make your own. It’s not hard.

Dry Rub
  • Jared's Barbecue Dry Rub
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp. "regular" garden-variety paprika
  • 2 tbsp. cayenne powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Combine all ingredients in a airtight container or bowl that is tightly sealed with plastic wrap. Shake violently to combine. Makes enough for 10 lbs of ribs or 8 lbs. of pork shoulder.

By Jared Paventi

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