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Last updated on June 18th, 2021 at 09:25 pm

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Homemade BBQ Rub [Video]

Homemade Dry BBQ Rub is the secret to stellar and flavorful meat! Made with basic ingredients, you can simply follow this recipe to make your own spice mix at home!

Spring is here, and the weather is nice to have some barbecue sessions for a weekend lunch for the family! And, this recipe is perfect for that! Get your Grilled Chicken Fajita Salad, Easy Macaroni Salad, and Instant Pot Corn on the Cob ready!

Barbecue Rub Recipe

BBQ Rub is so simple to make that you can make it from scratch at home. Everything that I used in the recipe may already be found in your pantry!

I love how the spices blend well resulting in an enhanced flavor that can be put on everything. Individually, the ingredients taste good but together, they are amazing.

The proportion is also perfect. I like the balance of saltiness and sweetness that is perfect for any BBQ! The smokiness is there, and it complements any kind of meat, may it be pork, chicken, or beef.

This seasoning is also great on veggies and tofu!

I also like the texture that results in using a dry rub. The surface crisps up which makes it even more fun to eat! The balance of flavors and crispiness add up to a great barbecue experience!

What goes into Homemade BBQ Rub:

  • brown sugar 

caramelizes as the meat is cooked which provides crunch

  • onion and garlic powder

both spices add a savory flavor

  • salt

adds a nice balance to the sweetness

  • ground black pepper

adds a bit of heat

  • cayenne pepper 

adds spiciness, use as much as you can handle

  • smoked paprika

you can choose if you want to add mild or hotter variants, this adds a smokiness that complements any BBQ

  • dry mustard 

adds aroma and a bit of tang

  • dill seeds 

slightly pungent and bitter

  • cinnamon

adds a sweet-spicy flavor

  • nutmeg 

adds a sweet-nutty flavor

How to make the best BBQ Rub?

Simply gather and measure all the ingredients according to the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Then, mix everything in a bowl! Once ready, you can use it right away!

How do you use a BBQ Rub?

Simply coat the piece of meat that you will cook, whether it be rib, brisket, shoulder, chicken wings, or legs. This recipe is good for any kind of meat!

Just make sure that the surface is not overly wet. There is no hard rule as to how much you put on a piece of meat. You just want to coat generously, and any excess will simply fall off.

This is different from a marinade that has tenderizing properties. No marinating is required when using dry rubs, go ahead and cook shortly right after you put it. In barbecuing, you can use the oven, the Instant Pot, or a grill.

BBQ Rub Variations:

Extra Spicy:

  • Add more cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and chipotle!

Extra Sweet:

  • Just add more of the sugar.

Caribbean Style:

  • Add dried chives, ginger, cloves, thyme, and allspice.

Poultry Special:

  • If you like something tailored for chicken, add dried rosemary, oregano, and sage.


  • Use five spices in addition to salt and cayenne pepper.

You can use this seasoning mix in the following recipes:

How to Store:

Put the mixture in an airtight container, then, store it in a cool and dry place for up to 3 months.

Or, put in a resealable plastic bag to be kept in the freezer for a longer time.

Recipe Tips:

  • While barbecuing, you can brush the meat with a glaze or sauce for added flavor if you want. But, using this dry rub alone is enough if you want a certain crisp on the exterior.
  • You may use dark brown sugar for a richer flavor and kosher salt for the salt.
  • Make double or triple batches of this for you to use anytime you need that hint of barbecue flavor in your dishes.

YouTube video

Homemade Dry BBQ Rub

Homemade Dry BBQ Rub is the secret to stellar and flavorful meat! Made with basic ingredients, you can simply follow this recipe to make your own spice mix at home!

image of barbecue rub in a jar
  • Prep Time10 MIN
  • Cook Time
  • Servings 12 tablespoons


  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika or regular paprika
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper use more or less
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon dill seeds


  • Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl and stir with a fork to fully combine.
  • Add to a mason jar and close with the lid.
  • Store in a dry, dark place.

Nutrition Facts

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Chris S.

Chris S.

This is a great foundation recipe. Its good as is but i doubled the brown sugar, doubled the salt, removed the cayenne and added two tablespoons of my dried hot sauce pulp for a little heat. I’ve tried as a seasoning and also as a rub on low smoked proteins and it is amazing! Well done!

Krystel | Frugal Living

Krystel | Frugal Living

I've never had anything with dry rub on it but I love this recipe. Definitely want to try it

Claudia Krusch

Claudia Krusch

Wow! So many amazing spices, I can almost taste it! Can't wait to try it!



Yum! I love the flavor profile of this easy recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!

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