Carolina BBQ Rub

Spices for Carolina barbecue rub
Claire Cohen
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
50 Calories
1g Fat
11g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 50
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1808mg 79%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 40mg 3%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 184mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This is a fantastic, classic-style Carolina barbecue rub recipe courtesy of Chuck Ozburn. Quick to make and easy to use, this rub is a simple combination of seasonings and flavorings and is an excellent addition to pork chops, ribs, and roasts.

Sometimes it's not clear if our jarred herbs and spices are past their prime—if they're old, they can smell musty or be less than flavorful. A rub is only as good as its ingredients, and to really maximize the flavor, you can buy your herbs in bulk at many supermarkets or health food stores. This will ensure that your mix is as best as it can be.

While this recipe makes one cup, it's easily doubled if more is needed. And although it's definitely designed for things like traditional Carolina pulled pork, it's perfect for racks of ribs, or even simple grilled pork, steak, or chicken.


  • 1/4 cup paprika

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a small bowl, combine paprika, salt, white sugar, brown sugar, ground cumin, chili powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Use as a dry rub on pork, chicken, beef, lamb, and vegetables. Make sure that the rub has a fine consistency and that the brown sugar leaves no clumps. 

  3. To apply the rub, gently pat it on all surfaces of the meat and cook as directed. 

How to Store Carolina BBQ Rub

Store this rub in a cool, dry place in an airtight container. Be sure to label it and put the date on it. It will keep for six months or longer.


  • For ease of applying the rub on meat, put it in a spice shaker and shake it all over the meat's surfaces. The general rule of thumb is however much of the seasoning sticks to the meat is the amount that you need.
  • Feel like adding some zest to your veggies? Try some of this rub on grilled corn on the cob, zucchini, or yellow squash.
  • Carolina BBQ rub makes a great gift. Feel free to double or triple the amount and gift it in clear glass jars. Be sure to affix a label with the date it was prepared.

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