Store-bought rubs are fine for emergencies or when your pantry is bare (stock up on our very own Smoke Kitchen Rubs for just such an occasion.
But if you have a fully stocked pantry, nothing beats a good homemade dry rub.
Whether it is pulled pork, smoked chicken, or beef brisket you have a hankering for, we’ve got a recipe for you. You would be surprised at the impressive range of barbecue rubs you can whip up from the ingredients you have sitting around on your shelves at home.
So read on, and we promise you’ll find the perfect dry rub you can make at home for the next time you barbecue.
11 Homemade BBQ seasonings & rubs you need to try
1. The Ultimate Dry Rub for Ribs
This rub for ribs uses classic barbecue flavors and has the perfect balance of sweet, savory, and heat.
While this rub screams pork, it’s also great on chicken and turkey.
With a nice hit of paprika, this rub will also deliver a spicy kick if that’s what you’re into. Just use hot paprika if you like a bit of heat.
It’s so versatile you might find making a big batch is a good idea, so it’s on hand, ready to go when you decide you want to get out the barbecue.
Get the full recipe.
2. Homemade Brisket Rub Recipe
The barbecue community loves to proclaim that brisket should only be seasoned with salt and black pepper.
Our brisket rub has a salt and pepper base, and then adds onion and garlic, some paprika for color and just a touch of chili powder.
3. Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Pork Rub
This wonderfully balanced pork rub has just the right mix of sweetness, spice, and salt.
We designed it for pork, but you could just as easily use it on chicken.
But what we like about this rub is that it gives you room to ‘customize’. Adjust the quantities to create a rub with just the combination of flavors you like.
Check out the pork rub recipe.
4. Classic BBQ Turkey and Chicken Rub
We originally came up with this rub to use on smoked turkey but after much testing, we can confirm it works brilliantly on chicken too.
The blend of smoked paprika, brown sugar, cumin, mustard and onion powders and salt and black pepper and all classic bbq flavors.
This rub has been perfectly balanced to keep everyone happy. There isn’t too much spice so you can safely serve this to kids (or fussy eaters).
If you like a little more kick just add a little cayenne pepper.
See the full rub and suggestions for how to customize it here.
5. Coffee Dry Rub (Amazing on beef, surprisingly great on chicken and pork)
This coffee rub goes perfectly on beef thanks to its big bold flavors. The coffee helps to tenderize the meat, enhances the savory flavors, and also helps you get a great bark on the outside of your meat.
For best results grind your own coffee fresh, but the actual type of coffee isn’t super important.
Check out the full recipe.
A perfectly cooked prime rib is the perfect centerpiece for any holiday meal. While you can stick with the basics and use a simple salt and pepper rub, I would recommend our prime rib rub that amps up the flavor with smoked paprika, mustard, garlic powder and some fresh herbs.
You will find the recipe here.
7. Meathead Goldwyn’s Memphis Dust Rub (Formulated for Ultimate Flavor, Color and Crust Formation)
Grilled and smoked meats engage all the senses, not just our taste buds. The sight of the dark, glistening surface and the texture as you bite through that perfectly formed bark are all part of the experience.
This rub has been formulated to guarantee the formation of a bark that not only tastes great but looks amazing and has a great texture to boot.
This rub was originally created for ribs but has proved to be a hit on pork butt as well.
This rub doesn’t have salt included, but you can read more about why, and when to add it to your meat.
Grab the full recipe here.
8. Rib Rub (this one has scored some awards too!)
I’m sure we have all heard someone claim they have the ‘best rib rub recipe’. But this recipe has won its creator awards – so you can take his word for it.
While this is called a ‘rib rub’, you can actually use it on fish, pork and even veggies! There are no hard and fast rules as to how this rub can be used as it is so well balanced.
Have a look for yourself by following this link.
9. Memphis Style Baby Back Ribs Rub
If easy to eat, dry rubbed Memphis style ribs are your thing, then this is the rub you are after.
There is so much flavor packed into this rub that there is no need for sauce. However, a vinegar wash and an extra sprinkling of rub can be added if you want to turbo charge your ribs.
This rub creates a great savory crust on the meat.
Make up a good batch to have at the ready using this recipe, and enjoy chowing down on some Memphis style ribs on balmy summer evenings.
10. Beef Rub (with a healthy dose of pepper)
Beef tastes best when paired with pepper. So slapping a pork rub on your beef isn’t going to yield optimum results. You really need a dedicated beef rub.
Many barbecue houses will use a basic salt and pepper rub. While this tastes great, sometimes you want a little more.
This rub is made specifically to complement beef, and offers a little more than classic salt and pepper.
Check out the recipe here.
11. Steven Raichlen’s Memphis Style Rub for Ribs
This recipe includes the ingredients needed for a rub and a mopping sauce.
With great step by instructions that you can follow whether using a gas grill, charcoal grill, mopping sauce, or the rub alone, tap into Stevens’s years of grilling experience to create some great Memphis style ribs.
Get the recipe and all the instructions here.
Wrapping it up
Next time the mood strikes you to whip up some ribs, there is no need to trawl the supermarket aisles for a tasty rub. Everything you need is most likely sitting there in your pantry.
Why not raid your cupboards now and see what you have in stock, and start making plans with your family and friends.
We hope you enjoyed this round-up of barbecue rubs you can make at home. Let us know what you think of the list in the comments section below. If you found this list helpful, please share.