Chile Spice Rub

This rub is the reason we return over and over again to our favorite lunch spot in Burlington, Vermont: Penny Cluse Cafe. Although we prefer the blend of chiles given here, any combination of 12 dried chiles will give you a delicious, spicy result. Use on: Extra-firm tofu, shrimp, scallops, salmon, mahi-mahi, chicken, pork, beef, lamb (see Tip)

1 cup


  • 4 dried New Mexico chiles

  • 4 dried cascabel chiles

  • 4 dried ancho chiles

  • ½ cup cumin seeds

  • ¼ cup paprika

  • ¼ cup dried oregano

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Stem and seed chiles. Spread them on a small baking sheet and roast until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.

  3. Spread cumin seeds on the baking sheet and roast until smoking and very fragrant, about 6 minutes. Stir in oregano and roast for 2 minutes more. Add to the bowl with the chiles, then add paprika and salt; stir to combine. Let cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor and process until the mixture is finely ground. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

  4. Measure out 2 tablespoons of the rub. Using your hands, rub it evenly onto 1 1/2 pounds (6 servings) of your chosen protein just before grilling.


Tip: Follow the marinating times, cooking times and temperatures below for juicy, perfect grilling results. All cooking times based on medium-high grill temperature and cooking with the grill lid closed.

30 minutes to overnight;
2-3 minutes per side

30 minutes;
3-5 minutes per side

2 hours to overnight;
6-8 minutes per side; 165 degrees F

DUCK BREAST (boneless, skinless):
2 hours to overnight;
4-8 minutes per side; 150 degrees F

PORK CHOPS (bone-in, 3/4-inch thick):
2 hours to overnight;
3-4 minutes per side; 145 degrees F

2 hours to overnight;
14-16 minutes, turning occasionally; 145 degrees F

2 hours to overnight;
4-8 minutes per side; 140 degrees F

2 hours to overnight;
5-6 minutes per side; 145 degrees F for medium

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

11 Calories
1g Fat
2g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 48
Calories 11
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Sodium 363mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 18mg 1%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 75mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.