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Homemade BBQ Rub

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The key to good barbecue is starting with a good rub. There are hundreds on the market, but you don’t need any of them. You can make your own with this homemade BBQ rub recipe.

Small bowl of homemade bbq rub spice mix, ready to use on meat and veggies.

There is no reason to put BBQ rub on your grocery list this year. You can make your own instead.

Buying the individual spices gives your spice cabinet a world of possibilities. Besides, once you know the base recipe, you can adjust it to match your own taste preferences.

This recipe is sized to be enough to season a whole chicken or a rack of ribs. You can double or quadruple (or more!) the recipe if you want to have some in your pantry.

Just put it in an airtight container and store it in a dark place. It will stay good for several months, but I am sure you will use it faster than that.

Why You’ll Love Making Your Own Rub

This rub is made with common spices and seasonings – there is nothing weird you need to buy and no preservatives.

It’s all about big barbecue flavor with little to no effort and not adding anything to your grocery list. Plus, it’s a great way to use up any spices you have hanging around your kitchen!

This recipe is great on pork, chicken, brisket and more. However, don’t only use it for meats.

It is also great as a seasoning for roasted potatoes or try some on your veggies. It really is a great all purpose spice mix as well.

Use this rub for smoked meats, of course, but it is also great for food you make in the kitchen. It is great on baked chicken, crockpot pulled pork, and more.

Pro Tip: I like making my rub savory so it can go on anything, for a sweeter rub add a Tablespoon of brown sugar. Or just rub a little brown sugar onto the meat when you are seasoning it.

If you’re looking for more homemade spice mixes, be sure to try these recipes next: pumpkin pie spice, taco seasoning, and Chinese five spice.

Small bowl of homemade bbq rub spice mix that has a red hue due to the paprika inside with small wooden spoon getting a scoop.

Homemade BBQ Rub

Servings: 6 Tablespoons
Author: Carlee
The key to good barbecue is starting with a good rub. There are hundreds on the market, but you don't need any of them. You can make your own with this homemade BBQ rub recipe.
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Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes


  • ¼ cup paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder


  • In a small mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients.
    ¼ cup paprika, 1 Tablespoon salt, 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Stir until the mix fully combined.
  • Store in an airtight container in a cabinet or the pantry for up to 3 months


You can use sweet or smoked paprika in your rub. Using smoked paprika is a great way to add a little smokey flavor if you aren’t grilling or smoking the meat. 
I like to use a coarse salt and a coarse freshly ground black pepper, but you can use whatever you have.
Try adding a Tablespoon of brown sugar for a little added sweetness. Or add a bit of cayenne pepper for more spice. 


Serving: 1TablespoonCalories: 17kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 1.166mgPotassium: 121mgFiber: 2gSugar: 0.5gVitamin A: 2.222IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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