Chris's Best Ever Rub

From Chris Schlesinger, cookbook author, restaurateur, and good friend. This is, hands down, the best rub in my repertoire. It’s versatile and flavorful, spicy without being hot, and just a touch of sugar promotes a deeply colored crust. Delicious on ribs, salmon, chicken, vegetables—just about anything.

Makes: 1/2 cup
Time: 5 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 tablespoons paprika

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder


1. Stir the sugar and spices together in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container away from heat and light for up to several months.

Best Ever Rub With Five-Spice

Incredibly fragrant: Substitute 2 teaspoons five-spice powder for the chili powder.

Best Ever Rub With Chipotle

Amp up the heat level: Substitute 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (or to taste) for the chili powder.

Best Ever Rub With Pimentón

Both this rub and Best Ever Rub with Chipotle are great ways for the gas griller to add smoke flavor without having to add wood to the grill: Substitute smoked paprika (pimentón) for the regular paprika.

Recipe from How to Grill Everything