How to Make Your Own BBQ Spice Rubs

Whether it’s a rainy day or you just want to make your own barbecue, here are some homemade spice rubs that will help take your grilling experience up a notch. This is the perfect time of year for spicing things up outside.

If you want to make your own BBQ spice rubs, the “bbq spice rub recipe” is a good place to start. The article will teach you how to make your own BBQ spice rubs.

Bottle of BBQ.

A excellent spice rub is the foundation of many wonderful meats. While you can purchase a variety of mixes at the market, why not try making your own?

DIY BBQ rubs are a great place to start when it comes to making your own spice mixes. BBQ rub has a variety of applications and can improve many of your summer grilling favorites, whether you’re kneading it into ribs, pig butt, or brisket. A rub leaves a black, crusty “bark” on the meat, which provides a delectable layer of texture over the soft flesh. Depending on the flavor and texture you’re aiming for, you may either add BBQ sauce to this bark or leave it alone.  

We polled our BBQ and spice gurus for their best recipes, and we’ve included a few suggestions below based on what you’re cooking. The rubs are particularly good for pork butt and pork ribs; you can also use a spice rub on beef cuts, but most chefs, including AoM’s resident food expert Matt Moore and award-winning barbecuer Karl Engel, prefer to keep the seasoning for beef very simple to allow the meat’s robust flavor to take center stage. They both advocate using just salt and pepper, while Karl likes to add garlic and cayenne pepper sometimes.

Of course, you don’t have to adhere to these recipes; play with with your own ingredients. The sole absolute need is that both salt and sugar be present. The first adds taste, while the second creates a lovely caramelized coating on the meat’s surface. With so many smoked sugars, fancily flavored salts, and other gourmet ingredients on hand these days, the possibilities for small-batch, customized spice mixes are boundless. Experiment, mix, and match!  

Rub for pork buttocks 

Matt Moore, an AoM food writer, received this tip from Skip Steele. :

“I like a good dry rub, so I was delighted to get this tried-and-true recipe from Skip Steele, which he lovingly refers to as his Old-School Butt Rub.

This all-purpose rub is sweet and savory, with lots of aromatics, and it’s the ideal spice for any pig butt. Season generously, working the spices into every crevice of the cut with your hands.”

  • 2 tbsp sugar (granulated)
  • kosher salt, 2 tbsp
  • smoked paprika, 2 tsp
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp allspice powder
  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon MSG

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and keep in an airtight container for up to one year.

Rub for Pork and Beef Ribs 

Spice Master Tim Ziegler (yep, that’s a real title!) provides the following recipe:

“Paint a thick coat of rub on. To make a paste, combine the whole rub with 1/2 cup olive oil and apply generously to both sides of the ribs. This dish may be made with either beef or pork ribs, but pork is my favorite.”


  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika (smoked)
  • 1 tbsp sugar (brown)
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon salt (kosher salt is optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (toasting is optional)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander (toasting is optional)
  • 1 teaspoon powdered mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp (optional)

Rub for Smoked Ribs 

This 1 cup dish comes from our post on smoking ribs on a gas barbecue. In a mixing dish, combine all of the ingredients and stir with a fork or whisk. Use a generous amount on the ribs and save the rest of the rub in an airtight container. 

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • paprika, 1/4 cup (hot paprika for an extra kick)
  • 1 tablespoon of salt (preferably coarse salt) 
  • 3 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp powdered garlic
  • 2 tablespoons celery seeds (optional) 
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper



The “bbq pork rub recipe” is a simple and easy to follow BBQ spice rub. The ingredients are easily accessible and can be found at any grocery store.

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