Pastrami Spice Rub

From chicken to cauliflower, it's good on just about everything
31 Ratings
100% would make again
Pastrami Spice Rub Recipe
Photo: Rachel Vanni/Tasting Table

If you're looking to spice up your grill routine, look no further than the deli. That's right. Chris Cosentino of San Francisco's Cockscomb shares his recipe for a pastrami spice rub, which turns our favorite deli flavor into a seasoning you can use on just about anything. Perfumed with charred cinnamon, peppercorns, mustard seeds and nutmeg, this rub is the secret to taking your chicken, steak and even cauliflower to the next level.

If you don't feel like getting a wrist workout, you can use a spice grinder. Just make sure to pulse the cinnamon and nutmeg first to ensure you aren't left with huge chunks. Then spread with abandon.

To learn more, read "Rub Hub."

Pastrami Spice Rub

Recipe adapted from Chris Cosentino, Cockscomb, San Francisco, CA

Yield: 1 cup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes


2 cinnamon sticks

1 whole nutmeg

2 tablespoons red peppercorns

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds

2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds

2 tablespoons coriander seeds

2 tablespoons fennel seeds

2 tablespoons red chile flakes

2 tablespoons allspice berries

2 tablespoons whole cloves

24 dried bay leaves, crumbled


1. Using tongs, burn the cinnamon sticks over an open flame for 5 to 10 seconds. Alternatively, place the sticks on a sheet pan and char them with a blowtorch. Then, in a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind the torched cinnamon sticks with the nutmeg.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to pound the spices until coarsely ground. Use immediately or store the rub in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 year.

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