Brown sugar makes for the ideal balance in this sweet-and-savory rib rub from BBQ pitmaster Rodney Scott's new cookbook Rodney Scott's World of BBQ: Every Day Is A Good Day

"For years, I seasoned my ribs on the pit just like I seasoned my hogs. But when we opened in Charleston, I rethought the rib seasoning and developed this rub. The main difference between the rib rub and the hog seasoning is the light brown sugar. It’s not much sweetness. It's just enough and that sweet-savory contrast is magical for me. Soon, it was the go-to seasoning for almost half the menu. For most of our dishes, we use the rib rub." –Rodney 

Rodney uses this rub to make his Smoked Chicken, which also uses his Vinegar BBQ Sauce. For another recipe from Rodney, check out his Creamy Coleslaw.  

Adapted from Rodney Scott's World Of BBQ: Every Day Is A Good Day by Rodney Scott. Copyright © 2021 by Rodney Scott. Used with permission by Clarkson Potter. All rights reserved.


  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Jesus's Tears (aka MSG)
  • ¼ cup freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup paprika
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 


Serves: About 2 cups


Mix all of the ingredients until evenly combined. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place until ready to use.