Raichlen’s Rub: AKA Your Basic Barbecue Rub or 4/4 Rub

Homemade BBQ spice rub for meat.
Prep Time: 
5 min prep time
Number of Servings: 
makes 1 cup (enough for 16 to 20 pounds of meat)
Recipe Source: 
From The Brisket Chronicles by Steven Raichlen ($19.95, Workman, 2019)


  • 14 cup salt (coarse, fine, kosher, sea, smoked, etc.)
  • 14 cup pepper (cracked, coarse, fine, black, white, green, rainbow, etc.)
  • 14 cup paprika (sweet, hot, or pimentón)
  • 14 cup sugar (dark brown, light brown, maple, granulated, or Sucanat)

Optional Flavorings

  • 1 Tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 Tbsp granulated onion
  • 1 tsp celery seed


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix, breaking up any lumps in the sugar with your fingers.
  2. Raichlen’s Rub will keep, in a sealed jar away from heat or light, for several weeks.


This simple rub is infinitely customizable and the only barbecue rub you’ll ever need. It’s called a 44 rub because it requires only 4 basic ingredients in equal proportions: salt, pepper, paprika, and sugar.

Looking for More?

Here are the basics of rubs and marinades. BBQ like a pro with this great info!