8 BBQ Dry Rub Recipes (You Can Make at Home)

What is a barbecue without a dry rub?

Homemade rubs are always better and ensure you produce the best BBQ.

It doesn’t matter whether its pork butt, ribs or beef brisket a good rub will enhance the natural flavor of your meat.

While commercial dry rubs are easy to purchase and use. Why buy something when you can easily make it out of ingredients you already have?

Making your own dry rubs ensures that they match your palette and contain zero artificial ingredients. This is my brisket rub recipe, which I have perfected over the years.

So, save some money and create the perfect DIY dry rubs with these eight recipes from respected pitmasters!

1. Sweet BBQ Rub (Great if your in a hurry)

If you’re short on time and your spice cabinet only contains the bare minimum, then here is the perfect dry rub recipe for you! This Sweet BBQ Rub recipe is something that you can mix together in under 5 minutes, and it’s sure to have tons of flavor.

  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons roasted garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or ancho chili 

The brilliant thing about this dry rub is that you can change up the ratios to tailor it to your specific taste!
Here’s the full sweet barbecue rub recipe.

2. Smoky Sweet Coffee Rub (Indulge your tastebuds)

That’s right. Coffee! Unlike wet marinades, dry rubs don’t usually work as a strong tenderizer. However, coffee is actually quite an acidic ingredient. Hence, the coffee in this rub doesn’t only enhance the charred taste of your piece of meat, but it also makes it more tender!

  • 2 tablespoons ground dark roast coffee
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cayenne

We’ve found that you don’t have to be too particular with the type of coffee you use for this rub. It doesn’t have to be dark roast coffee. Any ground coffee from your kitchen cupboard will work!

Click here to view the full beef and pork coffee rub recipe.

3. BBQ Spice Rub (Quick, easy and tasty)

If you’re looking for a dry rub that works on any type or form of meat, this BBQ Spice Rub is the one for you. Feel free to skip the barbecue sauce because this rub is so quick and easy to make. And you can even use it on any type of meat.

We’ve tried it on everything — steaks, ribs, wings, even pork butt!
It’s so good that you’ll want to make a mason jar full of it and store it in the fridge for easy use, anytime!

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

If combination of spice from the paprika, ground black pepper, and chili powder is hot, feel free to use a ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper. However, we’d strongly recommend a whole teaspoon of it if you’d like that extra kick of flavor!

Here is the link to the full BBQ Spice Rub recipe

4. 3-Ingredient Dry Rub (Super simple!)

If you’re short of spices and ingredients, like white pepper, cayenne powder, chili pepper, ground ginger powder, or even classic salt. Then look no further than this super simple 3-ingredient dry rub!

Combine garlic salt, hot smoked paprika, and brown sugar into a medium-sized bowl for a flavorful blend that’s quick and easy to use straight away!

  • ¼ cup garlic salt
  • ¼ cup hot smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar

Click here to see the full 3-ingredient recipe.

5. Cinnamon Pepper Rib Rub (Perfect for babyback ribs)

This Cinnamon Pepper Rub is perfect for baby back ribs. The dry rub is easy to combine in a prep bowl, and it’s even easier to rub it all over your ribs. After that, you only need to pop everything into the grill for an hour and a half for flavorful ribs.

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder

The savory flavor from this blend of garlic powder, cayenne powder, and smoked paprika is complements the added cinnamon. So, leave your BBQ sauce in the fridge and try out this dry rub today!

Here is the full cinnamon pepper rub recipe.

6. Fall-Off-The-Bone Dry Rub for Ribs

If you’re not a fan of cinnamon, then here’s another dry rub for ribs that you should try! This rub requires quite a vast list of spices and ingredients. As you can see, it even asks for smoked sea salt as well as kosher salt.

Don’t be alarmed or try to skimp on these ingredients (or try to substitute it with common coarse salt). This proportion of salt makes this one of the tastiest dry rubs for ribs. Give it a try, and it might become your favorite recipe to use for ribs!

  • 4 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

There is one wet ingredient that we recommend you add into this rub, and that’s your favorite barbecue sauce! It doesn’t matter which brand because it’ll act as the perfect secret ingredient that’ll tie everything in and give it that classic flavor.

Here is the link to the full rib rub recipe.

7. Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub

Make your BBQ pork chop or beef steak even more flavorful with this sweet and spicy BBQ rub! Sure, you can always purchase the commercial rubs they sell at the store, but this rub allows you to tailor it to your specific taste. If it’s too sweet, cut back on the sugar. If it’s too spicy, cut back on the spice. It’s all up to you!

  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon granulated onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

If you want some extra flavor, we’d recommend adding in ¼ or ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper for that extra hint of spice.

Click this link to view the fully customizable sweet and spicy BBQ rub recipe.

8. Meathead’s World Famous Memphis Dust Rub

Out of the many Memphis rub recipes out there, we loved Meathead’s World Famous Memphis Dust Rub recipe the most.
It’s sweet, it’s spicy, and the extra punch of flavor from the ginger and rosemary powder is extraordinary! We hope that you’ll love it as much as we did.

  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¾ white sugar
  • ½ cup American paprika
  • ¼ cup garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary powder

Here is the link to the full Memphis Dust Rub recipe.

Wrapping It Up

A great DIY dry rub is the perfect addition to any kinds of meat. It doesn’t matter whether you’re cooking a pork roast using your grill master to seer cuts of beef. A simple blend of spices, salt, and sugar can do wonders to elevate the natural flavor of the meat.

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in nature with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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