Smoky and Spicy Chipotle Rub for BBQ Lovers

Are you looking to elevate your grilling game? Do you want to add some extra flavors to your favorite meats? Well, look no further than this sweet and smoky chipotle rub recipe. This dry rub is packed with a combination of smoky chipotle and sweet brown sugar making it an excellent choice for chicken, pork, beef, and seafood.

What makes this recipe stand out from others is the unique blend of ingredients that come together to create a flavor explosion in your mouth. The combination of smoky paprika, garlic powder, and dried chipotle peppers give it a spicy kick while the sweet brown sugar adds a touch of sweetness that perfectly balances out the heat.

But don’t just take my word for it. Try this chipotle rub on your next grilled chicken or ribs and see for yourself how it transforms your dishes into something extraordinary. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you.

One more thing – if you want to impress your friends at your next BBQ party, prepare a big batch of this chipotle rub recipe in advance, store it in an airtight container, and keep it in your pantry. Whenever you feel like grilling up some meat, just take a scoop out of the jar and rub it generously onto your protein before grilling. It’s that easy!

So let’s get started on this amazing sweet and smoky chipotle rub recipe that will take your grilling game to the next level!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Rub
Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Rub

If you’re a true grilling enthusiast, there’s nothing better than the sweet and smoky flavors of a perfectly seasoned cut of meat. And that’s exactly what you can expect from my Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Rub Recipe.

Here’s why you’ll fall in love with this recipe:

– Incredible Depth of Flavor: This rub is made with a carefully crafted blend of spices like smoked paprika, chipotle powder, garlic powder, and more. The result is a seasoning that’s smoky, slightly sweet, a little spicy, and totally addictive. The flavor will infuse your meats with irresistible notes that will leave you wanting more.

– Versatile Use: The Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Rub Recipe can be used on a variety of meats from chicken to ribs to pork. It will enhance the natural flavors of any meat and give it an extra boost of deliciousness.

– Perfect for Grilling: This rub is perfect for grilling because it creates a robust crust on your meat that locks in its juice while cooking on high heat. That means that every bite of your grilled masterpiece will burst with flavor.

So if you’re looking for a spice rub that can take your grilling game to the next level, look no further than my Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Rub Recipe.

Ingredient List

 Rub the sweet and smoky chipotle seasoning all over the ribs for a flavor explosion.
Rub the sweet and smoky chipotle seasoning all over the ribs for a flavor explosion.

Here are the ingredients you will need:
For Rub Ingredients 1:

  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For Rub Ingredients 2:

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons spice rub (McCormick Grill Mates Smoky Montreal Steak Seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried chipotle pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked dried jalapeno (or smoky cayenne)

Other Sweet & Smoky Chipotle Rub Ingredients:

  • For a little sweet smoky rub, add sweet paprika, coriander and a little sweet brown sugar.

The Recipe How-To

 Enhance the flavor of your BBQ dishes with this savory rub.
Enhance the flavor of your BBQ dishes with this savory rub.

Preparation Steps

  1. Combine the Ingredients: To make the Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Rub Recipe, combine all the ingredients for the dry rub in a mixing bowl. Mix well using a whisk.

  2. Prepare the Meat: Before seasoning the meat with the chipotle rub, you should pat-dry it using paper towels to remove any excess moisture from its surface.

  3. Season the Meat: Take half of the chipotle dry rub and sprinkle it gently onto one side of your meat (chicken, ribs or pork). Massage it uniformly into every nook and cranny of your meat with your fingers.

  4. Flip and Repeat: After seasoning one side of the meat, flip it over and sprinkle the remaining half of your chipotle rub. Repeat the previous step to ensure that you coat every area of your meat evenly.

  5. Resting Time: Once you have seasoned your chicken, ribs or pork roast with the sweet smoky chipotle mix, let it rest for 10-15 minutes at room temperature so that all flavors meld together.

Cooking Methods

  1. Grilling Method: Preheat your grill with medium-high heat around 400-450°F (204-232°C). When your grill is sufficiently hot, cook your meat directly over grates for 6-8 minutes per side. Then, move it to indirect heat until it’s fully cooked through and has reached an internal temperature of 165°F (73°C).

  2. Oven Method: Preheat your oven to 350°F/176°C. Place chicken, ribs or pork on a baking sheet without overcrowding them together. Bake for approximately 20 minutes per pound or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F/73°C.

  3. Smoking Method: Fire up your smoker to between 225-250°F/107-121°C with hickory or mesquite wood chips chunk. Smoke chicken, ribs or pork until they achieve a crispy exterior texture and come to an internal temperature of 165°F/73°C.

Serving Suggestions

After resting time is over; carve it up, serve as desired with additional chipotle bbq sauce on top if you like it extra spicier. Here are some ideas for serving:

  • Serve juicy grilled chicken alongside some fresh guacamole salad.
  • For an excellent combination with these smokey tasting pork ribs try white bean salad.
  • If you want something mixed up, barbecue baked beans will go great along chicken or pork yeast rolls.

Enjoy this delicious Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Rub Recipe!

Substitutions and Variations

 Give your meat a sweet and spicy twist with our chipotle rub.
Give your meat a sweet and spicy twist with our chipotle rub.

When it comes to making the perfect sweet and smoky chipotle rub, there are a few ingredient substitutions and variations that can be made based on personal preference or dietary restrictions. Here are some options to consider:

– Brown Sugar – If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, you can substitute brown sugar with coconut sugar or honey. However, keep in mind that this can change the overall flavor of the rub.

– Chipotle Powder – If you’re unable to find chipotle powder, smoked paprika can be used as a substitute. It will still add a smoky flavor but with less heat.

– Garlic Powder – While fresh garlic is preferred, garlic granules or minced garlic can also be used in place of garlic powder.

– Cumin – For those who are not fond of cumin, ground coriander can be used instead. This substitution will give the rub a slightly different flavor.

– Salt – While kosher salt is recommended, sea salt or Himalayan pink salt can also be used.

– Spice Rub – McCormick Grill Mates Chipotle BBQ Seasoning Blend makes for an excellent ready-made spice rub option if you’re looking to save time and effort.

– Chipotle Peppers – Substitute chipotle peppers with canned adobo sauce for a milder flavor or dried jalapeno peppers (also known as chipotle morita) for a smokier taste.

Ultimately, the choice of ingredient substitutions and variations comes down to personal preference. It’s important to experiment with different combinations to find the perfect blend that suits your taste buds. Whatever changes you make, remember to balance the smoky, sweet and spicy flavors so as not to overpower the meat it will season.

Serving and Pairing

 This dry rub is perfect for everyone who loves sweet and smoky flavors on their meats.
This dry rub is perfect for everyone who loves sweet and smoky flavors on their meats.

Now that your meat is perfectly seasoned with our Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Rub, it’s time to talk about how to really make it sing. This rub pairs best with pork, chicken, and even seafood such as shrimp or scallops. If you’re grilling up some pork chops, this rub will give them a spicy kick that will leave your taste buds wanting more. Chicken legs or thighs would also benefit from this dry rub, as the smoky flavor and hint of sweetness will balance out the savory meat.

For a complete meal, serve your seasoned meat with some classic sides such as coleslaw or potato salad. These refreshing dishes will complement the chipotle spice in the rub without overpowering it. If you prefer something a little heartier, why not try serving your meat with some grilled vegetables? Bell peppers, onions, and zucchini are especially delicious when grilled alongside your meat.

To really take things to the next level, try pairing your Sweet and Smokey Chipotle-seasoned meat with a bold red wine. A Malbec or a Syrah would be the perfect way to balance out the heat and enhance the smoky flavor of the rub. If you prefer beer, a cold lager or pilsner can also do the trick.

Overall, using our Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Rub is a great way to elevate any meal with its perfect blend of sweet and spicy flavors. So fire up the grill, get cooking with this amazing seasoning blend, and enjoy!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 You will love this chipotle rub that will add depth to your BBQ dishes.
You will love this chipotle rub that will add depth to your BBQ dishes.

One of the best things about the Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Rub Recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for later use. You can make a big batch of the rub and have it ready to go whenever you want to add some extra smoky flavor to your dishes.

To make ahead, simply mix all of the ingredients together in an airtight container and store it in a cool, dry place. The rub should last for several months if stored properly.

When you are ready to use the rub, pat it onto your preferred meat or vegetables and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before grilling. This will allow the flavors to blend together and create a delicious crust on the outside of your food.

If you have any leftover meat seasoned with the Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Rub, it can be easily stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. When reheating, be sure to do so gently over low heat to prevent drying out the meat.

The Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Rub is also an excellent addition to soups, stews, or chili. Simply sprinkle some into your dish while cooking for added depth of flavor.

Overall, this rub is versatile and can help you create delicious dishes with a little preparation beforehand. Enjoy!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Create a perfect crust on your meats while grilling or smoking them with our rub.
Create a perfect crust on your meats while grilling or smoking them with our rub.

If you want to make sure that your sweet and smoky chipotle rub recipe results are delicious every time, then follow these tips to achieve perfect results.

First off, a good rule of thumb when making any spice rub is to have all the ingredients that you need close at hand. This makes it easier to assemble the rub quickly and ensure that everything is well blended.

When applying the sweet and smoky chipotle rub mixture to your chicken, ribs, pork, or seafood take care not to apply too much pressure. Be gentle with the meat as it can cause the seasoning blend to clump together or rub off entirely. Instead, use light, even pressure and apply the spice mix evenly all over the meat’s surface.

To get an even coating of seasoning blend on your meat, it’s best to use your hands. Gloves can be a great idea here to protect them from getting too spicy. The warmth from your hands helps spread the dry rub around lightly on the meat while forcing crumbs of spices into harder-to-reach places.

For smokers and grills, set up a two-zone grill. This means lighting only half of the grill’s burners, thus creating one hot side and one indirect side. Place your meat on the indirect side first, cover Grill or place a lid over smoker for around half of your primary cook time (smoke). Then move it to the hot side for final searing.

To get an extra layer of flavor – try marinating meat with honey (or molasses) and apple cider vinegar for at least four hours before applying the dry rub.

Ensure that you have properly stored your homemade dry rub in a cool, dark place in an airtight container for long-term storage. This not only keeps it fresh longer but also prevents moisture from damaging its potency.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations when making this recipe. Spice is subjective and everyone has their preferences. Try adding some other seasoning blends such as McCormick Grill Mates or swap some of the ingredients listed in this recipe with alternatives mentioned in section five – Substitutions and Variations – until you find what best fits your taste buds.


As you prepare and grill with this sweet and smoky chipotle rub, you might encounter some questions or doubts along the way. However, don’t let that intimidates you. In this section, we have put together some frequently asked questions about the recipe to address any concerns and help you achieve the best flavor and tenderness with your meats. Let’s dive right in!

Is chipotle seasoning smoky?

If you’re looking to add some heat and smokiness to your dishes, chipotle peppers are the perfect ingredient to go for. These are jalapeno peppers that have been smoked and dried, giving them a distinct flavor that works wonders in Mexican, Tex Mex and Southwestern cuisine. You can grind them up and use them in various ways to add a delicious kick to your meals.

What is Chipotle seasoning blend made of?

For a bold and flavorful kick to your barbecue meat, try using a tablespoon of ground chipotle chili pepper, a tablespoon of onion powder, a tablespoon of ground coriander, two teaspoons of paprika (smoked paprika being the ideal choice), and a teaspoon of black pepper. These spices can take your barbecue dish to the next level, making it taste rich and smoky with a bit of a punch. The mixture can be used on various meats like ribs, chicken, and brisket.

What does Chipotle BBQ dry rub taste like?

This recipe calls for a perfectly balanced blend of heat from cayenne, a smoky flavor from chipotle powder and smoked paprika, and a touch of sweetness from sweet paprika and brown sugar. This seasoning works wonderfully with a myriad of meats, including smoked chicken, ribs, pork, and beef briskets. Creating this flavorful chipotle BBQ powder seasoning is an easy process- all that is needed is to measure out the spices, salt, and brown sugar and combine them in a bowl.

What is smoked chipotle powder?

Discover the wonders of chipotle powder, a versatile spicy seasoning with a distinct smoky flavor, crafted from smoked and dried jalapeno peppers. Uncover valuable insights on what it is, and how to create this magical seasoning. Join me as we explore the world of chipotle powder.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Rub recipe is an amazing addition to any grilling or smoking session. Trust me; this recipe will not disappoint! With its sweet and smoky combination of flavors, it will take your meat cuts to the next level.

You’ll never go wrong with this winning combination of brown sugar, chipotle powder, and smoked paprika. Plus, the rub’s versatility allows it to work with a wide range of meats like chicken, ribs, and pork. Not only that but making your own rub is a fantastic way to enhance your cooking skills while saving money by avoiding pricy store-bought alternatives.

By following the steps above, you’ll create a tasteful BBQ blend that packs a punch in each bite. So why wait? Get grilling and enjoy the robust flavor brought about by our Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Rub recipe.

Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Rub

Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Rub Recipe

Use on shrimp, chicken, pork...coat some burgers, etc. From the
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Seasoning mix
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 11 spoons
Calories 22.1 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons dried chipotle powder
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar


  • Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container like a mason jar.



Serving: 111gCalories: 22.1kcalCarbohydrates: 4.7gProtein: 0.6gFat: 0.5gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 1295.3mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 2.7g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Easy, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Southwestern, Spicy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!