Perfect for beef, chicken and especially pork, this Homemade BBQ Rub is what makes grilling so amazingly delicious. Just dig in!

bbq dry rub in wood container next to small wooden scoop

The BEST BBQ Rub Recipe

In my opinion, rubs are a tastier alternative to marinating meat as they give a fuller flavor. We prefer to dry rub the meat so that it can get all flavorful before any BBQ sauce is even added. In fact, sometimes we enjoy meats dry because they are so good on their own.

Making your own bbq rub is the best way to go since you can fine tune the ingredients to exactly what your palate is craving. Whether or not if you feel like having a sweet, spicy, or smoky flavor — or a mix of them all! — it is very easy to do when you start with the right base.

When creating any bbq dry rub, the base typically starts with your sugars and salts. There are many different kinds of sugar (brown sugar, dark brown sugar, turbinado, regular refined sugar and so on) that will give you different flavors. Experiment to see what you like best, and keep in mind that it may be a combination of them as well.

There are a lot of different salts as well (kosher salt, sea salt, table salt…etc). After getting you sugars and salts picked out, move onto choosing how much and what kind of pepper to use, as well as the other spices that are typical among many rubs, like cumin, chili powder and paprika.  

Then, start adding in combinations of other spices to make it to your very own liking.

The best part about making a bbq spice rub is that if you start with very small increments then it’s hard to screw up. When I first started playing around with how much to put in, I forgot to write down what I put in and how much, so don’t make that mistake :).

Here is one of our rub recipes that we really enjoy with any meat.

homemade bbq rub in wood container next to small wooden scoop

What’s in This Homemade BBQ Rub? 

As I mentioned above, there are so many flavor combinations to choose from when creating a bbq dry rub. Here’s what we used in this particular recipe: 

  • Kosher salt
  • Brown sugar
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Chili powder
  • Smoked paprika
  • Thyme
  • Ground cumin
  • Nutmeg

How Long Does Homemade BBQ Rub Last? 

This bbq dry rub will last up to 2 months in your pantry. Keep it sealed in an airtight container. The bbq spice rub may clump up a bit from the molasses in the brown sugar, but that’s normal. 

Do I Have to Use Kosher Salt? 

Technically, no. However, if you use regular table salt in place of kosher salt, you need to scale down the amount of salt you add to the bbq dry rub recipe. Kosher salt flakes are larger than regular table salt flakes, so the same amount of kosher salt tastes less salty than table salt. 

Ways to Use BBQ Rub

This bbq dry rub can be used in so many different dishes! Here are a few easy ways to use it in your cooking: 

More Homemade Condiment Recipes You’ll Love:

Smoky BBQ Rub

Smoky BBQ Rub

4.60 from 22 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes


Perfect for beef, chicken and especially pork, this Homemade BBQ Rub is what makes grilling so amazingly delicious. Just dig in!


  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 pinch nutmeg


  • Combine all the ingredients in a jar, and give it a good shaking.
  • It doesn't matter what order you go in. Make sure you label the jar with the date you made the rub. Typically 2 months is a good shelf life for your homemade rubs. Enjoy!


store rub in a jar with a tight fitting lid, or in an airtight container for 2 or more months


Serving: 1gCalories: 192kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 4gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 28447mgPotassium: 586mgFiber: 8gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 5987IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 159mgIron: 7mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 50+ Homemade Condiment Recipes
Cuisine: American

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