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Cozy Soup Recipes to Get You Through the Winter

Smoky BBQ Rub

22 Reviews

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

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Perfect for beef, chicken and especially pork, this smoky bbq rub is what makes grilling so amazingly delicious. Just dig in!

Smoky BBQ Rub

4.6 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
Nutrition Facts
Smoky BBQ Rub
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 192 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Sodium 28447mg1237%
Potassium 586mg17%
Carbohydrates 43g14%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 5987IU120%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 159mg16%
Iron 7mg39%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Cozy Soup Recipes to Get You Through the Winter

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • I Love the recipes on oh sweet basil and have had no complaints but this one is a miss. I followed the recipe but I knew when I took the first bite of my chicken that I wouldn’t be able to eat it. It was very salty. I mean really salty. No one in my family could eat it and we threw it away. I will make the rub mixture again but will only put a fraction of the salt in. 1/4 Cup of kosher salt is way too much.

    • Reply
    • Thank you for the feedback Linda!

      • Reply
  • I agree with the other poster…way too salty. I tripled the recipe after tasting it and omitted the salt when I increased the other spices. I did add some extra brown sugar as well. It that is just for my taste preference. I love having this blend now at the ready for the future. 

    • Reply
    • We love having it on hand too!

      • Reply
  • This is a solid rub but waaaay to salty. Cut the salt in half and you’re in business.

    • Reply
    • Thanks for the feedback Jacob!

      • Reply
  • I make all my rubs from scratch and this one is so similar to to one of mine that I suggest giving it a go on YOUR Salmon with a squeeze o’ lemon, then foil wrap it and grill it….No disappointments guaranteed….. Works great for grilled cabbage steaks, lemon/lime slices, and some stone fruits

    • Reply

Cozy Soup Recipes to Get You Through the Winter