Pepper Palace Maple Chipotle Rub: Sugar ’n Spice

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Autumn sweet…

When you think chipotle rub, you likely think smoky and woody. And that’d be true for Pepper Palace’s Maple Chipotle Rub. But where it goes beyond that is what makes it different. The maple, brown sugar, and honey undertones, provide a comforting earthy sweetness as well. Simply, it smells and tastes like autumn, and that’s a real good thing. Let’s break down this delicious meat rub.

What’s in Pepper Palace Maple Chipotle Rub?

The ingredient list is well balanced between sweet, earthy, and spicy:

  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Brown sugar
  • Chipotle pepper
  • Garlic
  • Honey powder
  • Onion
  • Black pepper
  • Maple chipotle flavoring
  • Spices

The last two ingredients are the hardest to pin down. “Maple chipotle flavoring” doesn’t ring immediately natural and “spices”…well, that can be just about anything in the spice rack. Though (total speculation) they are likely aromatics – maybe allspice or cloves – to provide an additional hint of rich fall flavor to the mix.

The flavor: Rich and comforting

This rub tastes like a fall comfort food. It checks all the boxes: woody, smoky, and earthy sweet. The maple flavor is well balanced – along with the brown sugar, it’s just enough to give the charred woody flavor of chipotle a delicious flavor foil.

Sweet and smoky are the first things you taste in the rub, then the salt kicks into gear to finish off the flavor. It’s a big salt finish – maybe too much if used as a finishing seasoning – but it does balance better when applied (as intended) as a dry rub to steaks prior to barbecuing. Many dry rubs built for red meats tend to be heavy on salt. Still, those looking for a low-salt dry rub should likely look elsewhere.

The heat: Medium sizzle

Obviously, chipotle pepper is the heat source here (2,500 – 8,000 Scoville heat units), but since it’s cut with so many other ingredients (and there’s no apparent hotter chili to “up” the heat), it’s not quite as spicy as you’d expect. The sweetness plays a part here, too, as the sugar balances the spiciness quite a bit. It’s a moderate spice level that most will be able to handle.

Usability: Best with steaks

Some dry rubs can work across all meats, but the Pepper Palace Maple Chipotle Rub is really a pork or steak seasoning. The sugary and salty flavor is typically too strong for chicken or fish. It’s delicious, and the flavors tend to balance the more you allow the meat to sit prior to cooking.

As a finishing seasoning, though, be careful with the amount of salt in the rub. If you are going to use it as a finishing seasoning, plan ahead and don’t add additional salt to your meat before barbecuing. Otherwise, you may find your meat way too salty for eating.


Pepper Palace’s Maple Chipotle Rub is a worthy addition to a barbecue spice rack, especially if you like bold autumnal flavors. Though those concerned with salt intake should likely look in a different direction.

Pick up a jar at a Pepper Palace.

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on August 20, 2020 to include new content.
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