Home Recipe Roundup 10 Best BBQ Rub Recipes to Add Flavor to Your Meat

10 Best BBQ Rub Recipes to Add Flavor to Your Meat

Elevate your barbecue game with these BBQ rub recipes!

Creating your own rubs can take you from barbecue amateur to grill master. And all it takes is that effortless extra step.

When it comes to barbecue, there are four dominant regions you need to know: Carolina, Memphis, Kansas City, and Texas. 

Dry BBBQ Rub Poured from a Glass Jar
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So to perfect your barbecue, start with a dry rub from one of these regions, then explore from there. 

From chicken to pork to salmon, these BBQ rub recipes are all you need to enhance your grilled, roasted, and smoked meats.

1. BBQ Dry Rub

From white to dark meats, this BBQ dry rub is the only seasoning you need. Pork chops, chicken thighs, ribs, you name it!

It’s the all-rounder rub that you can put on just about anything you grill, roast, or smoke. That includes veggies too. 

The flavors are a well-balanced blend of sweet, smoky, and garlicky with some bite. 

It’s not super complicated and doesn’t call for anything unusual.

In fact, I have a pretty good feeling the ingredients you need are in your pantry right now.

2. Best Sweet Rub for Pork and Chicken

Cook a lot of chicken or pork? You need to add this rub to your spice arsenal. 

While this rub certainly has sweet notes, it’s more complex than just that. 

With eight ingredients in total, it’s also got a little heat, garlic, and smokiness in the undertones. 

If you want to up the fire, add more cayenne to the blend. You can adjust the other ratios as you see fit. 

Pair it with pulled pork to make sliders or rub down a chicken and toss it on the grill. 

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3. Sweet and Smoky Pork Rub

Nothing creates quite the commotion like what region has the best barbecue. 

Whether you like Texan, Southern, or barbecue from somewhere else, I can tell you one thing.

If you’re doing pork, you’d better nail your spice rub down. 

This sweet and smoky rub is here to help you out.

The brown sugar gives you that nice caramelized layer.

For the heat, cayenne and chili seasoning helps up the ante. 

Calling for eight ingredients in total, you can throw this together in just 5 minutes. 

From pork chops to tenderloin, all your pork cuts just got a whole lot better.

4. Memphis Dry Rub

Spices aren’t the only trick to creating a good barbecue rub. Dried herbs are too. 

So take a hint from Memphis and learn how to combine the two.

Sweet, savory, smoky, and earthy, this Memphis dry rub is particularly exquisite on smoked meats. 

Keep in mind, Memphis has a reputation for doing some legit pork barbecue.

So if you’re using this on anything, start with a rack of ribs.

While you’re at it, call up your pals, and let’s get the cookout going! 

You need some BBQ side dishes like macaroni salad and baked beans to go with those ribs.

5. Kansas City-Style Dry Rub

Another barbecue capital hailed for its signature take is Kansas City. 

The fundamental element in mimicking their style is balancing brown sugar with paprika. 

From there, you want all the other spices that act as the backbone of a good dry rub.

Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to be precise. 

But what’s a good rub without a spicy kick? 

You want to also dial in the ratios of cayenne and chili seasoning. 

6. Brisket Rub

Want to know the pit master’s secret to drool-worthy brisket? It’s this incredible recipe.

This Texas-inspired rub takes nine different spices and blends them all together for the perfect brisket pairing. 

It has the standard dry rub base of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.

Then, it adds cayenne, smoked paprika, cumin, and oregano for more depth.

Sprinkle it on both sides of the brisket and give it a good rub. How long you let it sit is up to you. 

If you’re smoking it, I’d let it rest overnight.

Otherwise, at least let it rest for an hour so those yummy flavors have a chance to seep into the meat.

7. BBQ Coffee Dry Rub

Once you try coffee in your dry rub, you’ll be addicted.

Coffee enhances the juices of red meat while imparting a more robust flavor.

If you have a grinder, fresh is best. Otherwise, any fine grounds will do. 

Starting with two tablespoons of coffee, add brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt, pepper, and several other spices to the blend.  

Also, be sure to look at the flavor profile of your coffee beans.

You want to be sure it matches the spices in the rub.  

8. Best Dry Rub for Ribs

Slather this all over your rack of ribs and you won’t long for any other spice rub again.

It’s so flavorful, you might not even want barbecue sauce!

It’s a sweet and savory mix that uses many of the same base ingredients you see in the other rubs.

What sets it apart is the use of brown sugar with allspice. 

Those two ingredients right there let you know you’re in for a wonderful caramelized layer. 

When using it on ribs, be sure to let it rest for at least an hour.

Then cook them low and slow. Greatness can’t be rushed.

9. Easy Barbecue Chicken Rub

Whenever I barbecue chicken, I always get asked about what’s my secret.

So I’ll cave and let you know, it’s this easy rub. 

Making this rub takes virtually no time at all.

All you need to do is add brown sugar to a bowl with cumin, paprika, chili powder, and a few other spices. 

Be sure it’s well incorporated. You don’t want to get a mouthful of just one flavor!

It’s particularly good on drumsticks. So if you’re in the mood, coat your chicken and let it rest while you fire up the grill. 

10. Sweet and Smoky Salmon Seasoning

If you’ve been here before, you know how much I love a good salmon recipe

Sometimes, I trade in all the extra accouterments for this rub instead.

Sweet, smoky, and a little zesty, it’s all you need to accentuate the flavor of salmon. 

Coat the salmon with it and toss it on the grill just until the flesh gets flaky.

It’s seriously some of the most enticing salmon I’ve ever had!

10 Best BBQ Rub Recipes to Add Flavor to Your Meat

These tasty BBQ rub recipes are perfect for grilling season! Enjoy sweet and smoky rubs, and also tempting mixes from places like Memphis, Kansas City, and more!


  • BBQ Dry Rub

  • Best Sweet Rub for Pork and Chicken

  • Sweet and Smoky Pork Rub

  • Memphis Dry Rub

  • Kansas City-Style Dry Rub

  • Brisket Rub

  • BBQ Coffee Dry Rub

  • Best Dry Rub for Ribs

  • Easy Barbecue Chicken Rub

  • Sweet and Smoky Salmon Seasoning


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a BBQ rub recipe in 30 minutes or less!
BBQ Rub Recipes

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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