Five Ingredient Grilling Rub – Packed with Flavor

Recipes don’t have to be hard! How about one with only five easy to obtain ingredients? Now you can quit stressing out over developing a tasty rub for your next grilling or smoke session. Just whip up a batch of this flavor-packed paprika based grilling seasoning. That’s “Rub” for all you grilling folk!

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What is Paprika?

You may have taken this common seasoning for granted so much that you never really asked what it was. Dried ginger is easy, so is garlic powder and onion powder. We call black pepper… black pepper. And we call salt… salt. Is there a Paprika tree?

Nope – no paprika trees. Paprika is simply dried, often smoked, powdered peppers. What makes paprika different from chili powder is that the peppers used in the process are mild and low on the capsicum scale. Think Bell Peppers. Here’s the long version according to Wikipedia – just to get to the word “Bell Pepper.”

The first recorded use of the word paprika in English is from 1896, although an earlier reference to Turkish paprika was published in 1831. The word derives from the Hungarian word, paprika, which in turn came from the Latin piper or modern Greek piperi, ultimately from Sanskrit pippalī. Paprika and similar words, peperke, piperke, and paparka, are used in various Slavic languages for bell peppers. – Wikepedia

Chili powder uses hotter peppers. And yes, you can find paprika ranging from mild to somewhat hot. The neat thing is that paprika can be made from a variety of sweet “bell” peppers which means the flavor can differ between manufacturers, where they are located (globally), and where they get their peppers. Here’s how the flavors and types break down.

Paprika is produced in various places including Argentina, Mexico, Hungary, Serbia, Spain, the Netherlands, China, and some regions of the United States. Hungary is a major source of commonly used paprika. It is available in different grades:

  • Noble sweet – slightly pungent (the most commonly exported paprika; bright red)
  • Special quality – the mildest (very sweet with a deep bright red color)
  • Delicate – a mild paprika with a rich flavor (color from light to dark red)
  • Exquisite delicate – similar to delicate, but more pungent
  • Pungent exquisite delicate – an even more pungent version of delicate
  • Rose – with a strong aroma and mild pungency (pale red in color)
  • Semi-sweet – a blend of mild and pungent paprikas; medium pungency
  • Strong – the hottest paprika (light brown in color)
    Source: Wikipedia

Kent’s Easy Five Ingredient Paprika Based Grilling Seasoning – RUB!

Perfect for all types of meat! This is the base recipe I’ve used as a starting point for several of the rub recipes in my cookbooks.

  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika (store brand is fine)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt (a dash or two more if needed)

Combine the ingredients in a bowl, mix, and use. Double as needed. Add additional ingredients to make your own secret recipe.

Author Bio: Kent Whitaker, also known as “The Deck Chef,” is an award-winning culinary writer and cookbook author. He’s also penned Young Reader, NASCAR, and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motorsports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill. You can reach out to Kent at, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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