Try this Memphis style dry rub from Corky's restaurant GM, Jimmy Stovall.
Memphis has a barbecue style all its own, passionately revered across the country by chefs and home cooks alike. The secret is in the dry rub, which usually starts with a generous portion of paprika. Most Memphis-style ribs are served without sauce, but that doesn’t mean the meat is dry. On the contrary, a good rub will seal in the flavors of meat cooked in the true barbecue method – “low and slow” over wood fire coals at 200 to 375 degrees.
Memphis has one the largest concentrations of barbecue restaurants in the world, so we thought it would be fun to share a recipe that hails from one of the city’s longest standing institutions. But we’re sensitive about asking a restaurant to give up their trade secrets, so we got creative.
In 1984, Don Pelts opened Corky’s BBQ on 5259 Poplar Avenue, in Memphis – a small cozy place with old barn wood walls, lots of neon, polished brass, interior aged brick, ceiling fans, servers in bow ties and white shirts, and of course, all the music hits of the 50s and 60s piped in to the sound system. Jimmy Stovall, Corky’s general manager and QVC spokesperson, shared his little dose of magic that he prepares at home for his family and close friends.
Jimmy says, “My favorite dry rub has a little heat but is balanced by the sweetness of the brown sugar. Not just your basic paprika and garlic dry rub, this adds a whole other layer of flavor to the pork. It’s perfect for ribs and tenderloins and great on grilled chicken too!”
1/4 cup paprika
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
Yields 1 cup
Combine and rub on pork, chicken or steak.
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