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The Best BBQ Dry Rub Around

The Best BBQ Dry Rub Around

Homemade BBQ seasoning mix is easy to make homemade with spices in your pantry. This blend is great for seasoning burgers, steaks, ribs, and can be used as a bbq dry rub!

spoon full of chicken seasoning for the grill

I absolutely love making spice mixes.  I know you have heard me talk about making my own blends so I can avoid all the extra salt and anti-caking agents they put in them.  

Not to mention how expensive they are!  Today I am making a BBQ dry rub seasoning blend.

Perfect for the summer that is almost here and all the naked meats and vegetables that will need to be dressed before hitting that grill!

I probably shouldn’t say pre-made. More like pre-mixed.

What is in a BBQ Rub?

You can never really tell what’s in pre-mixed spice blends because the ingredient list mentions things like, salt, sugar, oregano, and other natural spices. Well no duh! It’s a spice blend!!! 

But what are all the other “natural spices” that they can’t list out individually? Doesn’t seem very natural if you can’t tell me what they are EXACTLY.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t any actual spices in it.  Just colored salt and MSG.

side view of pork Rub from scratch layered in a jar

If you’d rather skip my (very helpful, I think) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this delicious easy Homemade BBQ Seasoning Mix recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

Salt content is very important to me. I love salt!! That’s probably why my son likes to lick all the salt of the pretzels.

Maybe it’s genetic. Having control over salt content is a necessity for those with dietary restrictions.  

These pre-mixed seasoning blends tend to overdo it on the salt because it is a lot cheaper than the other spices in the mix.

But let’s not forget that salt is also a great meat tenderizer. It is necessary to get your meat tender too. When you are BBQing on the grill or a smoker tender meat is what everyone wants.  

Also some sweet, smoky, and spicy flavors too. This BBQ Dry Rub has all that! You might be asking what the difference is between a spice mix and a dry rub.

Is a dry rub better than a marinade?

A spice mix is a combination of spices and herbs that you add to marinades, soups, dips, and dressings. A dry rub is a spice and herb combination that you rub on the outside of something before cooking it.

I don’t use my dry rubs to make dressings and such because they tend to have more salt in them.

Marinades containing spice mixes can be left on meats for over 24 hours and they help flavor the meat at the liquid and spices seeps into the meat.

Depending on the components of the marinade, it can help tenderize the meat by breaking down tissue fibers.

A dry rub is meant as a flavoring for the meat and not for seeping into it and tenderizing it. Think of it more like a flavor coating or a sauce that you top your meat with.

My dry rubs tend to have more salt because I am adding flavor to the plain and enhancing the flavors of the other spices.

If you are making a spice mix into a dry rub you need to watch the sugar content. Sugars can burn on a grill or in an oven that is over 275F so I tend to reduce the sugar content and up the salt content if I am transforming a spice mix to a dry rub.

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Overhead view of BBQ Seasoning in a jar

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Dry Rub Recipe Ingredients

All of the spices in my homemade BBQ Rub are ones you probably have already in your pantry. I know I have all of them on hand at all times, but I have a spice hoarding problem, much like my Worcestershire and soy sauce hoarding problem.

You will have all of these on hand too, most likely.

The only spices in this BBQ Seasoning that you might not already have are smoked paprika and celery salt. Regular paprika is prevalent but smoked paprika is so much better.

Just like its name, it has a great smoky flavor and adds another layer of flavor to your food. I would highly recommend getting some pronto!

Celery salt is another one. Most home cooks have celery seed in their pantry. Celery seed is used in a lot of recipes and adds a great floral flavor to a lot of foods.  

I have celery seed and celery salt seeing that I like the salt so much. If you only have celery seed, feel free to use it and then taste the BBQ Dry Rub Seasoning to see if you need to add more salt.

Don’t forget your onion powder and brown sugar for sweetness.

Dry Rub pouring out of a jar

This recipe for my homemade BBQ Seasoning Mix makes roughly 1 & 1/4 cups. This is enough for a few dishes depending on how spiced you like your foods.

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How do you rub ribs and other meats?

The best way to rub your ribs is to take off the membrane first. If there isn’t one or you are using a cut of meat that doesn’t have one, skip this step.

Next rub the surface of the meat with vegetable oil. Sprinkle the rub over the surface liberally.

Use your hands and actually “RUB” the spices into the meat! Feel free to use gloves if you like to stick your finger in your eyes on a regular basis. Hello, contact lens wearers!

Let the rub sit overnight or at least 30 minutes at room temperature. Your meat should be room temp anyways when you cook it so it cooks evenly!

Can I use this BBQ seasoning on other things besides chicken?

Of course you can! I like to use it on steaks and veggies too!

How long does bbq rub last?

If you keep them in an airtight container like these jars they will last 3 months. If you want them to last longer I would portion it out and freeze in small bags for up to 6 months.

Should I dry rub overnight?

 You can but the rub will become wet and thus come off when you start to cook the meat. I would apply it about an hour ahead of cooking time.

Why should I use a dry rub on my meat?

As the meat cooks it will release moisture that will mix with the dry rub and create a nice crust on the outside.

Can you use a dry rub in the oven?


This BBQ Seasoning Mix is a must-make for the summer cook-out season and for my Redneck Snack Mix.  So make some today! That’s an order!

Complete your BBQ with these

Other great spice mixes to make!

If you love this BBQ Dry Rub Seasoning Mix as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

Pinterest image for bar-b-que Seasoning

Easy Homemade BBQ Seasoning Recipe

Dry Rub BBQ Seasoning Blend spilling out of a jar on to a wood surface

Homemade BBQ Seasoning Mix

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Whip up your own BBQ seasoning mix with spices from your pantry.  Sweet, spicy, and smoky is the best seasoning blend for all your summer grilling!


  • 1/2 tablespoon Thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celery Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Dried Mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar


  1. Mix all ingredients together and store in an air-tight container until ready to use.


You can substitute Ancho chili powder for the regular chili powder if you prefer.  If you don't have smoked paprika, feel free to use regular paprika.

*If you like this recipe, please leave me a comment and rate it with some stars.  Thank you!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 28Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2117mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 1g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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Tuesday 25th of August 2020

I hate to post since I didn't do EXACTLY what the recipe says, but I can't have sugar, so I used a small amount of monkfruit powder, I wanted something for sprinkling on pork rinds. This is delicious! I didn't use sugar, and I halved the salt because pork rinds usually have salt, but... Delicious.


Friday 28th of August 2020

Monkfruit powder is genius! I have been experimenting with other sweetener options, my fave so far is Sverve, but haven't tried it in my dry rubs yet. I think I will make my snack mix to see how it acts when heated.


Friday 8th of May 2020

I’m so pleased to hear that Runa! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on this recipe ?? N xx

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Karen Brynd

Monday 13th of January 2020

Great minds think alike! I had used up my Lawrey's seasoning and decided to make my own with the many spices on hand. After I had already, without measuring, dumped them all in a bowl, I checked out your recipe. I put in everything you suggested except the arromatics. Thanks for confirming my guess on dry rubs. This is great on my 10 hour slow roasted (225) meats!

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