This BBQ rub is the perfect sweet and savory rub for pork and chicken. It’s easy to make with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Don’t grill without it!
‘Tis the season for BBQ and I could not be happier about it! I’m the proud new owner of a Traeger grill (more about that soon!) and I’ve been having so much fun experimenting with it. The first thing I smoked was ribs (obviously!), and the next thing I did was a pork butt with this sweet and delicious BBQ rub.
It was such a hit with our company – I even heard some people say it was the best pulled pork they had ever had. EVER! Needless to say, this BBQ rub is a keeper.
It was absolutely perfect for our pulled pork, but it’s great for chicken, for ribs (try it on slow cooker ribs or Instant Pot ribs), or basically anything you can get your hands on. If you’re a vegetarian, throw this mixture on portobella mushrooms, grill them, and you’ll be in hog heaven. Is “hog heaven” a poor choice of words for a vegetarian?
You’ll also want to make my homemade BBQ sauce to go along with your smoked or slow cooked meat. It’s kind of like the frosting on cake, don’t you think? The more the better!
In this BBQ Rub
This BBQ rub is a really simple sweet and savory mix, and I’m guessing you may already have all the ingredients on hand.
- Dark Brown Sugar – you could use light brown sugar if you’re in a pinch, but dark brown has a richer, more molasses-like flavor that is great in this spice rub.
- Kosher Salt – always need salt!
- Cracked Black Pepper – obviously.
- Chili Powder – this adds so much flavor!
- Smoked Paprika – again, you could use regular paprika, but I’d highly recommend smoked. You’ll be obsessed with the smoked flavor it add to this mixture.
- Garlic Powder – gotta have the basics!
- Onion Powder – again, a basic flavor addition!
- Ground Mustard – mustard is in many barbecue sauce recipes and it’s a great component of this rub, adding another layer of flavor.
- Celery Seed – like the mustard, the celery seed adds another layer of savory flavor that makes this rub completely irresistible.
- Cayenne Pepper – adds a little bit of heat and complexity to this rub. You could leave this out, but it’s a very small amount that doesn’t make this rub spicy at all. On the other hand, if you like things a little hotter, I’d recommend bumping this up a bit to bring some more heat to the mixture.
I’ve become quite the homemade spice mix addict (hit that link to see them all!), but this might just be one of my favorites. Homemade taco seasoning is far and away the one I use the most, and I do love homemade fajita seasoning for my sheet pan chicken fajitas, but this BBQ rub is a game changer for grilling.
I hope you guys try it and report back – can’t wait to hear what you think! Remember to tag me on Instagram with #RachelCooks so I can see your delicious creations!
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons coarse cracked black pepper (halve this if using a finer grind)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- In a small bowl or jar, mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
- When ready to use, rub onto desired choice of meat - I recommend pork or chicken for this spice rub.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.