This all purpose BBQ rub is a blend of barbecue spices that pairs perfectly with chicken, pork and beef. It’s great for grilled, roasted or smoked meats and you can even use it on vegetables and potatoes.
Barbecue spice rub is my to-go seasoning blend for meats, especially when it comes to grilling and smoking. I make a big batch and it lasts for months. You can even package up your spice blend and give it as gifts to the foodies in your life!
I do a lot of grilling and smoking during the warmer months, and I decided it was high time I create an all purpose BBQ rub to season my meat. This spice rub is a little sweet, a little smoky, and loaded with aromatic spices to create a seasoning blend that can be used in so many ways.
How do you make BBQ Rub?
This recipe literally takes about 3 minutes to put together. The rub is a blend of brown sugar, regular paprika, smoked paprika, dry mustard, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Stir everything together and you’re ready to get grilling.
This barbecue rub will keep for months if stored in a cool, dry place, so make a double or triple batch and you’ll have enough to get you through the spring and summer.
How do you use a BBQ rub?
I use this barbecue rub on so many different foods including
- chicken thighs
- chicken wings
- pork tenderloin
- chicken breasts
- pork chops
- roasted potatoes
- roasted cauliflower
The only thing to keep in mind is that this rub does contain sugar, which means you want to take caution to make sure the sugar doesn’t burn if you’re grilling over high heat or broiling your meat.
BBQ Rub Variations
- Spicy BBQ Rub: Add cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, or ground chipotle pepper to the mix.
- Garlic Lovers Rub: Double the amount of garlic in the recipe.
- Mexican Rub: Add 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 teaspoon ground coriander to the mix.
Since this BBQ rub is shelf stable, it also makes a great gift for someone who loves to cook! Simply package the rub in small jars and add a homemade gift tag.
I use this BBQ rub at least once a week, it’s my favorite way to add a little zest to ordinary foods. This is also my go-to rub for smoking meat, simply rub your meat with the spices, smoke until a thermometer registers as done, and brush on a little BBQ sauce. You’re sure to get rave reviews!
More great grilling recipes
BBQ Rub Recipe
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Mix all of the ingredients together. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
- Spice rub keeps for up to 3 months when stored in a cool, dry place.
I LOVE this rub. Pork shoulder, chicken wings, turkey breast… you name it, it’s all delicous.
can I inject the brine into the turkey while smoking it?
I’ve never tried this, but I’d be concerned that it would cool down the turkey as it cooked and make the cook time much longer.
i love your recipes . more often than not i end up using them. kutddos
I typically only stock smoked paprika. If I only used smoked paprika for both, would it be too overpowering? Is the use of regular paprika needed to balance the flavor? If so, do you use a sweet paprika in combination with the smoked paprika?
I think it could be too smoky if you use all smoked paprika, and it is a sweet paprika I use.
This BBQ Rub is great!! (As is the recipe for smoked pork chops!!) Only suggestion is I use a combination of Hungarian Paprika And Hungarian Hot Paprika and skip the Cayenne.
This rub is excellent!!! I am low carb so I use Swerve brown sugar in place of the brown sugar. So good!!!
Wonderful rub … made a brisket on the smoker and it was perfectly seasoned. Today we’re doing a smoked pork shoulder for pulled pork so I’m sure it’ll be just as good
I am interested in this so that I don’t used bottled bbq sauce. I need to limit sugar in my diet. Is it OK to leave out the brown sugar?
I have not tested it this way so I can’t say for sure. I do think you’d need to use some brown sugar to make it taste right, but you probably could reduce the brown sugar by 1/3 and still be ok.
I made it for Super Bowl and didn’t use bbq sauce. Everyone loves the wings I made best so I’d say yea:)
You might want to try G. Hughes Sugar Free BBQ sauces… look on Amazon. They are really great tasting!!
Fantastic rub! My chicken was never better
I found this recipe a year or 2 ago and it has become my go-to for baby back ribs and Boston butt rub. The flavor turns out amazingly!!!
Hi, Barry here. Making your whole chicken tomorrow, should I rinse the brine off before cooking or just pat it dry?
I just pat it dry!
Red Cayenne o regular?
I liked the rub but have one question. Should I put olive oil on my meat before putting the rub on?
I typically don’t put olive oil on unless it’s a very lean meat such as chicken breast.
Seems to be pretty good I am going to make it and try it. What if I don’t have brown sugar can I use regular sugar? Will it taste the same.
I would really recommend using brown sugar as the flavor won’t be right with white sugar!
**For best flavor: Make ahead**
Amazing rub! One thing I noticed: I made the rub and put immediately on some wings and baked. It was good and I enjoyed it. (ie. good, but nothing to writing home about). I had leftover rub which I had stored in the fridge (not sure why I did this as none of the ingredients needed it), so a couple days later, I made more wings again…and this time, they were amazing. I’m not sure what happened…but the flavors in the rub seemed to meld together and I enjoyed the output the second time much more. The first time, I felt like I could taste the individual flavors (cyan, brown sugar, etc), but the second time, it was one smooth, amazing taste. I’m going to make a bunch now and store for whenever I want to do this next, I can only imagine it will be even better after a longer period of time.
How much of the ground chipotle pepper should I add to the mix to make it spicy?
I’d add 1/2 teaspoon, or more if you like it really spicy!
Thank you for sharing! I used on pork ribs and they were excellent.
Fantastic dry rub! Thanks for posting it! Today I am rubbing down chicken drumsticks with it and refrigerating them overnight before roasting them low and slow atop a bed of onions with some smashed garlic. Looks like a good time here! I’ll bookmark your site for new ideas!. Cheers!
I used this rub for boston butt and beef brisket. It is the perfect blend of spices! Thank you!!
I posted this on your FB page but it seems my post has been removed.
Id like to make this rub but can not source kosher salt, can you suggest a substitution?
You would use 3/4 of the amount of table salt! I’m sorry your post on Facebook got lost I’ll look into that!