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!

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A jar of BBQ rub made with brown sugar and a variety of spices.

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.

A blend of brown sugar and spices to make BBQ rub.

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.

The ingredients for BBQ rub all mixed together in a bowl.

How do you use a BBQ rub?

I use this barbecue rub on so many different foods including

  • chicken thighs
  • steaks
  • chicken wings
  • burgers
  • pork tenderloin
  • chicken breasts
  • pork chops
  • roasted potatoes
  • roasted cauliflower
  • tofu

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. If you’re cooking a Thanksgiving turkey, be sure to check out my smoked turkey rub recipe.

BBQ rub on chicken thighs ready to be smoked or grilled.

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.

Smoked chicken thighs made with BBQ rub.

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

5 from 88 votes

BBQ Rub Recipe

AuthorSara Welch
A jar of BBQ rub made with brown sugar and a variety of spices.
This all purpose BBQ rub is a blend of 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.
Time
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time1 minute
Total Time6 minutes
Course Seasoning
Cuisine American
Serves 12

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 53kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Sodium: 388mg | Potassium: 138mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2300IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1.2mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

Learn more about Sara

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5 from 88 votes (54 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. Totally one of the best chicken rub recipes I have tried!! My new go to recipe.
    Thanks as always for another fabulous recipe.

  2. This is my families go to seasoning! Can’t buy store stuff because of seed issues and have been looking for that just right combo…. here it is!!! Thank you!

  3. This is the blend that I’ve been looking for! I have another one that uses cumin and not smoked paprika, but I like this better. I didn’t add the brown sugar because the kids were helping and I was concerned about the sugar burning. It was perfect… making a big batch now for next rib fest.