This is my signature rub – the recipe I’m asked for most often and the one I’m most protective of. To be honest, my version never stops evolving. Sometimes I add pequin chile and habanero powder to amp up the heat. I’ll add cumin, coriander, and turbinado sugar if I’m making beef ribs. Lemon zest in the mix works will on chicken, and ground sage goes in if I’m making porks. In other words, this is a highly futz-able rub. This recipe yields a large batch, but I think you’ll find many uses for it. I throw it into everything, including dips, mayo, and salad dressing. Shameless self-promotion: The rub is also available through The Spice House ( I like to use a blend of my favorite, dried ground Mexican chile peppers, and I always recommend toasting and grinding the whole, dried peppers instead of using pre-ground, store-bought powder.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

10 tablespoons hot Hungarian or “half sharp” paprika

6 tablespoons garlic powder

6 tablespoons kosher salt

5 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons onion powder

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons dried thyme

2 tablespoons chipotle powder

2 tablespoons ancho powder

1 tablespoon guajillo powder

Mix ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk thoroughly to blend. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of rub over each rack of ribs, or more to taste. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to two months.