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This isn’t a “knock-off” recipe. This came directly from the Ruby Tuesday Cookbook. If you don’t already have a favorite dry rub recipe, you might want to give this one a try. Heck, you might want to give it a try anyway.

You can also download a printable PDF of this recipe.

Ruby Tuesday Dry Rub

  • Servings: N/A
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons Chipotle chili flakes or red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sweet or hot smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. To make this a low-carb or “sugar-free” version, use 1 cup granulated Splenda plus 1 Tbsp molasses in place of the brown sugar.
  2. I use Chipotle powder instead of Chipotle flakes
  3. I usually quadruple the recipe so I don’t have to mix this up every time, but then I do a lot of barbecuing.  You can store this in airtight plastic jars and it will “keep” as long as any other dry spices.  I buy 20 oz. or 24 oz. jars of spices and then save the jars to re-use after they’re empty.
  4. IMPORTANT: Dry rub isn’t meant to be sprinkled on gently like table salt.  You cover the meat with it like you would with breading and then rub it in.  I usually rub a little yellow mustard over the meat to help the rub stick and then after adding a thick coat of rub and spreading it out evenly, I cover it with cellophane and beat it with the palm of my hand to pound the spices into the meat.
  5. After applying the dry rub, you can wrap in foil and leave in the fridge overnight to let the meat marinate in the rub.  The rub will liquefy like a barbecue sauce and absorb into the meat fibers.  If you’re pressed for time, then apply your rub before lighting the grill or smoker so it has at least 20-30 minutes to sit before going in the smoker.
  6. When the meat is nearly done smoking you can start brushing barbecue sauce on during the last 30 minutes if you like, but personally I think adding barbecue sauce to an excellent dry rub just ruins the dry rub — but it’s your meat, do what you like.
  7. One final, but important, tip:  If you don’t brine your meat overnight before smoking, you may need to baste it occasionally to keep it from drying out too much.  Of course, if you’re smoking it you don’t really want to be opening the smoker door at all during smoke time.  So what does that tell you?  Always brine your meat before smoking!  If you didn’t (or don’t have time), you may find that laying strips of bacon on the rack above your meat rack will help add flavor and moisture to your meat.

That’s it.  Enjoy! If you make any modifications that you are particularly happy with, let me know about them in the comments. Happy barbecuing.