Memphis Style Rub
Yes, for real. This was our Father's Day Meal. Can we still be friends?

Yes, for real. This was our Father's Day Meal. Can we still be friends?

I know what you must be thinking. What in the world is a Kansas City girl doing posting about a Memphis BBQ rub? Well, sit down and I'll tell you a little story. 10 years ago, a young married couple decided to take a little road trip somewhere new to them, but not far, and do a little exploring during a med school break. Now, these kids had done their research and knew that they must dine at Rendezvous to test out the ribs. It was an experience they would remember forever, yet not for the ribs. You see, the ribs were great. They were smoky and spicy and not at all saucy as they are in KC. Very good, a different kind of BBQ. But, what these kids were intrigued by most were the baskets of smoked sausage, cheddar cubes, pickles, and saltines that kept coming to nearly every table. Thinking they were missing out, this couple decided to order "that sausage and cracker appetizer thing". And their lives were forever changed. The sausage was sliced and covered in rub. It was juicy, smoky, and incredible dipped in BBQ sauce. The pickles were a sour balance and the saltines were just the right vehicle to not interfere with any of the other flavors. And the cheese? Well, cheese is never wrong. As you can  guess, these "kids" were my husband and I and you can bet we went home with a bunch of the Rendezvous rub and sauce that they sold and replicated this as best we could on the grill. Time and years passed, and of course that rub and sauce were long gone. I am pretty sure we ordered some online once, but I can bet you it had been at least 5 years before my husband suddenly said on Father's Day Eve, "I want the Rendezvous sausage plate for dinner tomorrow". So, I did some googling and found a rub recipe that looked like it would pass, bought some very delicious (but very very naughty) kielbasa, and all the fixins, and we fired up the smoker (you don't need a smoker, but my husband has an electric one and it is a fun toy to tinker with) on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. This tasted every bit as good as the original to us, and we devoured an insane amount of artery and colon clogging food. What a treat. So, if smoking meat is your thing, try this rub on anything. Or, use it pre-grill on pork chops, chicken, beef...or kielbasa if you dare!

Memphis Style Rub
-adapted from

  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 T packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 T white sugar
  • 2 t. kosher salt
  • 1 t. celery salt
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 t. cayenne
  • 1 t dry mustard 
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder

Mix all together in a small container. Brush meat with Dijon mustard and rub liberally with rub (that's the point, right?) Grill or smoke. Enjoy a couple beers while it cooks. Sprinkle with additional rub if desired and serve with BBQ sauce.