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KC Smoky Sweet Rub

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There has long been a war of sorts between Kansas City, Missouri and Memphis, Tennessee. Over the last two or three decades, other states – Texas, North Carolina, and even California – have joined in this war with their own warriors of the pit. This war is now the world famous Bar-B-Que (BBQ) war!


The BBQ war is fought on many battlegrounds (competition arenas), with a vast difference in arsenal combinations (rubs, marinades, brines, and sauces), and using many different war tactics (cooking techniques). According to the battle at the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, this war affected visitors from all 50 states and 8 countries in 2012.

Heck, there are multiple ways to spell it, too!

According to multiple research avenues, Kansas City Style and Memphis BBQ are similar; however, there are some notable differences.

  • Kansas City style BBQ is sweeter, while Memphis style tends to be a little spicier.
  • Kansas City style uses more sauce
  • Kansas City style uses a wider variety of meats – pretty much anything goes – whereas Memphis style tends to stick with beef and pork.

The beginning tradition of Kansas City BBQ dates back to the early 1900s when Henry Perry began slow cooking meats over different hardwoods and serving those meats with a thick, sweet and tangy sauce that used tomatoes and molasses as the base ingredients. At one point, he was serving a slab of slow – cooked ribs wrapped in newsprint for just 25 cents from a trolley barn.

The follow rub is excellent on pork, beef, chicken, fish, and wild game. It is great for grilling, baking, braising, roasting, and smoking, but I suggest you try a slow cooking method. Using a grill or smoker will certainly enhance your experience, but you don’t have own either of these items to enjoy the benefits of slow cooking. You can slowly cook your meats in your oven, a slow cooker, or a tabletop roaster.

Be sure to add this rub to your ribs, BBQ, and roasts – Your family will thank you.

Makes a great gift! Package 1/2 – 1 cup in a cute jar or baggie and add a tag on how to use – Your friends will thank you.

This is recipe made enough to nearly fill this 32 oz re-purposed peanut butter jar.

2/3 c. Light Brown Sugar, packed
2/3 c. Sugar
1/2 c. Onion, dried
1/4 c. Seasoned Salt
1/4 c. Paprika – preferably smoked
1/4 c. Smoked Salt
4 Tbsp. Black Pepper, freshly ground
3 Tbsp. Celery Seeds, crushed
3 Tbsp. Chili Powder
2 Tbsp. Mustard Powder
1 Tbsp. Chicken Bullion Granules
1 tsp. Ginger, ground
1 tsp. Cayenne, ground
1/2 tsp. Allspice, ground

Mix all ingredients well. Store in an airtight container away from heat and direct sunlight.

To Use
Dry Rub – rub on meat and let rest at least 30 minutes before cooking.
Marinade – Mix 1/2 c. mix with 1 c. olive oil, and 1Tbsp. cider vinegar (or 1/2 c. olive oil and a 12 oz. Beer) in a zip top bag; add meat. Rub bag to coat meat well. Let rest at least 30 minutes before cooking.

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1 thought on “KC Smoky Sweet Rub”

  1. This is a great recipe for people who want to make an awesome dish with minimal effort. The only downside? It doesn’t include any nutritional information, so you’ll have to do the math yourself if you’re counting calories or carbs.


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