I've tried hundreds of store-bought BBQ rubs and have never found one that I was completely in love with. So, I made my own. This dry rub is perfect for brisket, pork shoulder, chicken, and even shrimp. Don't even get me started on how good this seasoning rub is on roasted sweet potatoes.
You won't find a more balanced flavor profile anywhere! Make a batch today and store it in the cupboard.
There are a few culinary categories that I have crowned myself an expert at.
I feel like once you have eaten a metric ton of a particular food item and really analyzed every detail of it's a character, it's reasonable to consider yourself an aficionado. Am I right?
Barbecue is one of those food categories. While I'm still working on perfecting my grill maven status, I know what fantastic BBQ should taste like.
BBQ should be smokey and sweet. A little bit of char and a lot of chewing bark. Slow-cooked over a cool smoke to perfection. My mouth is watering just thinking of the next rack of ribs that I'm going to make.
It's my goal this summer to get on the Kamado grill train!
What you'll love about this rub recipe.
- Easy: Most of these ingredients you already have in your pantry. All you have to do is mix them up and then store them in an airtight container.
- Super Handy: You can use this seasoning blend to season almost anything. Did I mention the sweet potatoes?
- So Much Flavor: This bbq seasoning blend, of course, can be used when you are grilling but it can also be used when you just want to bake up a quick batch of chicken or add flavor to some pan-fried shrimp.
This recipe doesn't really require much explanation. You simply add all of the ingredients to a bowl, mix them together and then store in an airtight container.
My only advice is to find the highest quality spices that you can.
My favorite spice merchants are:
I usually order my spices in bulk. I put together a lovely magnetic spice rack in my kitchen if you are interested in checking it out visit the post on how-to build a spice pantry.
PRO TIP: If I'm not using this rub right away I leave out the salt so I can adjust it to the type of meat I'm using. I find that pulled pork needs more salt than say bbq shrimp.
Salt is an important element in barbecue so make sure that you season your meat well with a generous helping of kosher or sea salt. (ditch the iodized salt, please)
Ingredient Notes for making BBQ Rub Seasoning
Brown Sugar: I usually use coconut sugar or panela sugar. I like the rich flavor of these sugars in my bbq rub. Both of these sugars are less processed and still maintain some nutritional elements and have a lower glycemic index when compared to traditional brown sugar.
Salt: Barbecue needs a good amount of salt. Always Kosher salt. However, sometimes I leave the salt out of this recipe and add the salt in before cooking. That way I can adjust the amount of salt I'm using. Fattier cuts of meat like pork shoulder can handle a lot more salt than shrimp.
Paprika: You can use regular sweet paprika or smoked paprika in this recipe. I usually use smoked paprika. If you aren't going to be smoking your meat smoked paprika adds a lovely element of smokey flavor to any dish.
Chili Powder: Chili powder is a blend of spices. I use a lot of chili powder in cooking and it adds great flavor here! The spices in chili powder are very similar to the ones used in this rub, in different ratios of course.
Garlic Granules: I like to use garlic granules in my spice blends. I find that the granules are less cakey. They seem to keep better when storing.
Dry Mustard: Dry mustard has virtually no flavor at all until it is mixed with liquid. Then if yields an earthy, spicy element to the barbecue rub that is essential.
Oregano: Dried oregano provides an earthy, pungent, and slightly astringent flavor element to sauces.
Cumin: Cumin is used in a lot of different types of food to provide an earthy note. It is the main ingredient in Chili Powder. It's used heavily in Mexican, Thai, Indian and Vietnamese cooking. Some of my favorite kinds of food!
Cayenne Pepper: Ahhh cayenne. Sweet heat. Cayenne doesn't have a lot of flavors it has bitterness and tartness and a whole heck of a lot of spiciness. Cayenne is the main ingredient in Tabasco sauce. Adjust the amount of cayenne in this recipe to suit your level of preference.
What can you make with BBQ Spice Rub?
- Pulled Pork
- BBQ Pork Skewers
- Easy Baked Chicken Thighs
- Roasted Potatoes
- Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Spatchcocked Turkey (or Chicken)
What To Serve With BBQ
- Spam Fried Rice
- Watermelon Salad
- Hawaiian Mac Salad
- Classic Potato Salad
- Baked Beans
- Southern Coleslaw
- Soft Fluffy Rolls
Other Spice Blends to Try
BBQ Rub Seasoning Blend
- airtight spice jars
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Store in an airtight container.