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Chef Paul’s BBQ Rub

Kansas City master of barbecue, Chef Paul, created this fantastic spice rub to use on pulled pork. Chef Paul’s BBQ Rub is chock full of spices, herbs, and sweetness from the sugar. This pork butt rub is ideal for low and slow cooking.



  • Brown sugar: Use dark brown sugar for a deeper molasses flavor; however, light brown sugar will work in a pinch.
  • Paprika: Use regular paprika, not smoked.
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder or granulated garlic
  • Lemon pepper
  • Dried herbs: Sage, Basil, and Rosemary: if you can get your hands on rosemary powder, all the better! If not, you can pulverize the rosemary needles in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. This is a great way to disperse the herbs more evenly in the Kansas City pulled pork rub.
  • Cayenne pepper: The measurement for this ingredient is simply a suggestion. Feel free to adjust the heat level in this pork rub to suit your tastes.
Paul Kirk's BBQ Rub

Making Chef Paul’s BBQ Rub

  • Combine rub ingredients in a medium bowl. Use a fork to break apart the sugar and prevent clumping.
  • To use: Start by applying a thin coat of mustard, oil, or your favorite hot sauce to the surface of the pork butt. Doing this will create an added layer of flavor and help the BBQ rub adhere to the surface of the meat.
  • I recommend transferring the pork butt run into a large metal shaker. I have one of these, and it’s one of my favorite tools for applying seasonings!
  • Apply the BBQ rub evenly to the surface of the pork butt or pork shoulder roast. 
  • Increase recipe size (double or triple) if you are cooking more than one pork butt.
  • Make a large batch of Chef Paul’s BBQ Rub and store it in a lidded jar or resealable container for up to 6 months after preparation. 
  • Sugar tends to dry out after a while, so check in on it periodically. This BBQ rub is great in marinades too.

Best Pulled Pork Rub Recipes


Chef Paul’s BBQ Rub

This is a quick and easy recipe for Chef Paul's pitmaster secret BBQ rub! Make a large batch and use again and gain.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Rubs
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: pork rub, pulled pork, pulled pork rub
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons table salt (or 3 tablespoons kosher salt)
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • Mix together all of the ingredients listed above. Apply 1 tablespoon rub per pound of meat. Increase recipe if cooking more than one pork roast.
  • Make a big batch and store in a lidded jar or resealable container for up to 6 months after preparation. Sugar tends to dry out after a while, so check in on it periodically. This rub is great in marinades too.
  • Discard any leftover rub that has come into contact with raw meat.


Photo by: Sabrina Baksh

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