The Secret of Great Barbecue

Forty years cooking experience from the Mississippi Delta to the mountains of East Tennessee has made Lucious “The King’s” Barbecue Seasoning the best in the South (and many people will tell you, the best in the world). It’s a tangy secret blend of spices and herbs with just the right amount of seasoning to make barbecue so mouth-watering you’ll have to taste it to believe it.



Lucious The King


Lucious Newsom created his famous BBQ rub in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was first sold to Pruett’s Grocery and Red Food Stores in the early 1970’s. What has been called “the world’s best” barbecue seasoning came into being because Lucious Newsom didn’t like having to draw unemployment compensation to get by and was determined to find a way to earn his own money and not depend on others. “I knew I could do better than that.” he told a newspaper interviewer years ago. And he knew that the answer was a secret seasoning that was the result of years of experimentation with old family recipes to make a tangy blend of salt, spices and herbs.


A barbecue chef for four decades, Lucious came upon hard times when a former business associate, thinking he had learned the secret recipe, told Lucious “to take off, that he didn’t need him”. It was while unemployed that Lucious elaborated on his already well-known seasoning to create the formula that today is winning acclaim all over the United States. But getting into business wasn’t easy. He knew of a company in Birmingham that could package the seasoning. Lucious had no money to get there, so he started hitchhiking, catching rides, and ended up walking much of the way.


When he finally arrived an hour before closing and explained why he was there, the manager was skeptical. So Lucious promised the man if he would delay closing, he would have some of his barbecue ready for sampling. The meat was purchased and a grill obtained. After tasting it, the manager proclaimed it “fantastic”, and although Lucious had no money, the manager agreed to get the seasoning ready for the market. He returned to Chattanooga to sell Lucious “The King’s” Barbecue Seasoning, and the rest is history.