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How to Make Your Own BBQ Barbecue Rub

Nearly everyone you talk to during grilling season has “secrets” to their success. For some it’s the marinade, for another it’s sauce yet another will say it’s the barbecue rub (or a combination of any or all of these three!). If you have been pondering making your own, home made barbecue rub – there’s great news, it’s pretty easy. And, there are a lot of flavor profiles from which to choose.

One of the beauties of rub is that you can send it to friends without worrying about liquid jars breaking or excessive postage costs, they’re way lighter.

Then again, you might not want to share it’s so good?!

Where do you start?

If you already have a Favorite Rub, like, lets say Killer Hogs THE BBQ Rub , just turn over the bottle, read the ingredients and write them down.

Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub

How to Make Your Own BBQ Rubs

Then, you can either:

  • Add your favorite powdered flavor spices to the Base Rub

Next consider-is there anything you’d like added to what you already taste? Less of a particular overpowering flavor?

More garlic perhaps or onion powder? Maybe some type of tenderizer or gourmet salt? Write those things down too.

It is perfectly OK to use your favorite rub as a foundation to what you’re creating now. It’s like a barbecue-made- easy kick starter. You can worry about getting fancy, from the ground up later. Right now you want to have a little fun.

Pour that foundation into a mixing bowl. Start out adding ¼ tsp of each additional ingredient at a time. Mix and pinch just a bit for taste. Still not strong enough on any one ingredient, continue the process. Remember, you can always add but you cannot take away.

For heat lovers, this is the time for Chipotle or Cayenne powder. For a smokier profile, use Smoked Paprika or maybe a bit of Cumin. Here are other ideas for powdered or dried additions that you might not think of beyond your spice cabinet () or even know about:

Tip: There are numerous culinary websites that offer dehydrated ingredients, which are perfect for your rub. Do a little exploring in order to find the companies that offer the product size you want.

  • Brown or Hawaiian Sugar
  • Fruit Powder: True® Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit and Orange are all fantastic for that citrus element with no additives. You can also find powdered apple, pomegranate, strawberry, mango and many other fruits at organic and cultural outlets.
  • Garlic: Dried or toasted mince size, or traditional garlic powder.
  • Ginger: Minced freeze-dried or candied.
  • Honey: Yes, really! Powdered honey is lovely in tea too (and less messy).
  • Maple: Syrup that’s been dehydrated and pulverized, both sweet and surprising.
  • Onion: Dried mince size or powder.
  • Savory Salt: An all-purpose addition, just be careful with the amount.
  • Sea Salt: Too many to list, but this is a great supplier.
  • Tea: An amazing change in tastes with all kinds of flavors from which to choose.
  • Worcestershire powder: Great savory addition.

  • Or, Create your own using 1 tsp each of the ingredients listed in your Base Rub Flavor Profile. 

Follow the same process as above, adjusting as you go. Make sure to keep records of your findings, so as you experiment with other styles of cuisine, you remember what you favored. You can do this for Traditional BBQ, Asian, Mexican, Southern, Creole, Cajun, etc.

Write your final recipes down and make a file or book for your kids for later down the line. They’ll treasure that!

Now, this article really only scrapes the tip of the iceberg. In this series you’ll get tips, helps and hints on more specific barbecue rub profiles from around the world along with fantastic marinades and sauces. Eventually we’ll get to the meat and potatoes but this is a starting point that allows even inexperienced Grillers to find success.

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