Quito’s Barbecue Butt Rub

This versatile barbecue rub, with the amazing moniker of Quito’s Barbecue Butt Rub, is a game-changer. It can be used on any cut of chicken, beef, or pork to elevate your grilling game.

Small piles of the individual spices that make up Quito's barbecue butt rub.

The great thing about barbecue is that everyone eventually finds a recipe and a method of cooking that works best for him or her. In Tennessee, where I grew up, real barbecue is traditionally sprinkled with spices, rather than drenched in sauce, before it’s put on the grill. Every barbecue aficionado invents a rub that he or she swears beats all others–and keeps it as a closely guarded secret. Sprinkle the rub onto any cut of pork, beef, or chicken before putting it on the grill.–Sara Foster

LC Who is Quito? Note

And not only that, but what does his tushy have to do with anything? All we can say is he certainly knows his barbecue.

☞ Table of Contents

Quito’s Barbecue Butt Rub

Small piles of the individual spices that make up Quito's barbecue butt rub.
Quito's barbecue butt rub is a perfect balance of sweet and spicy with a little smoky thrown in. And, unlike the name says, it doesn't just need to be rubbed on pork butt. Try it on anything you think needs a little savory flavor.

Prep 5 mins
Total 5 mins
24 serving (1/2 cup)
5 kcal
5 / 2 votes
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  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Combine the ingredients in a small jar or airtight container and shake.
  • The spice rub will keep in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 5kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.03gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 297mg (13%)Potassium: 17mgFiber: 0.2g (1%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 133IU (3%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 3mgIron: 0.1mg (1%)

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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I’ve got a stash of this rub in my pantry and I intend to keep some on hand at all times for evermore. It has a subtle yet complex taste that’s just noticeable enough for me and my husband. (I’ve gotta confess, I’m not a mustard person, and this is one of the rare rub recipes that doesn’t call for it.) I rubbed some baby back ribs with it and then wrapped them in foil and tossed them in a 250°F oven for several hours. I was a little sparing with the rub this time, next time I’ll use it with wild abandon. My husband is already thinking about what he wants to use it on next….

We adore rubs at our house. I used this rub on baby back ribs and let them sit in the refrigerator overnight. This recipe is quite a typical combination of ingredients and it works very well. It contains all the components and flavors that a good rub should. In order to make enough for company I had to quadruple the batch. Good thing I did—the ribs disappeared in no time. (I also used homemade barbecue sauce on the slow-roasted ribs.) This is one of my favorite pork rubs now.

Originally published May 14, 2011



  1. 5 stars
    I made this spice rub with a few changes. Instead of salt and pepper, I used lemon pepper, and added some Texas spice mix and cumin. I rubbed it on a 3 1/2-pound pork butt. In a 40-year-old Crockpot, I put a large sliced onion and a mixture of 1/2 cup BBQ sauce and 1/2 cup water, then put the pork on top and covered. After 5 hours on high, the meat fell apart. Best pulled pork I’ve ever tasted. Carolina meets KC.

    Pork Butt

  2. 5 stars
    I used this recipe to smoke 14 beef briskets and they turned out perfect. The briskets had to slow smoke for 18 hours for each batch to get a deep smoke ring. My smoker would only handle 4 briskets at a time, so this wasn’t a quick process. I purchased a BBQ Smoker Gauge from Ace Hardware, which set me back $49.99 plus tax, but it was worth every penny of the price. I did have to make the mix in five 1-gallon jugs to have enough to cover the project of a wedding dinner. I now keep 2 gallons on hand at all times for special events.

    1. Wow! Wow! Wow! Bill, I seriously wish I could’ve been there to witness that. Do you have pictures or just fond memories? Many thanks for placing such trust in our recipes….

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