Simple Homemade Dry Rub

A simple blend of spices that pairs perfectly with chicken, and pork. It’s great for grilled, roasted or smoked meats and you can even use it on veggies and potatoes.

Simple Homemade Dry Rub

A great sweet BBQ Rub is ESSENTIAL to have in your grilling arsenal. This is a great base recipe that can easily be customized to suit your taste whether you like yours a bit spicier or sweeter.

Simple Homemade Dry Rub

What is a dry rub?

A dry rub is a combination of spices, herbs, and sugar. It’s basically dry ingredients and spice ingredients mixed together for coating and flavoring meat and a wonderful way to infuse a lot of flavor into them. It’s more than salt and pepper and can take a plain cut of meat from just ok to mouthwatering. Most often then not it’s a combination of dried spices of choice, salt and sugar. Sweet savoury and spice. Let’s break it down.


When it comes to the sweet component of a dry rub it’s usually brown sugar yet some recipes call for granulated sugar. I almost always use dark brown sugar for an additional molasses flavor, which comes out even more when the dry rub starts to caramelize and gives the meat that crusty exterior. Sweet dry rubs tend to pair better with pork or chicken and not as much with beef but that is definitely up to your taste. It’s something to keep in mind if you are experimenting with amounts of sugar in your dry rub.


The savoury components include salt and aromatic dry ingredients like onion powder and garlic powder. Further additions include dry mustard, cumin, paprika which adds a nice smokiness, or ancho powder. Feel free to experiment with other dry spices to create your own signature flavour.

Spice (heat)

When it comes to the heat feel free to add or remove more of the heat inducing spices like cayenne pepper and chili powder. Some other spices that really kick up the heat are, red chili flakes, or even dried chipotle. Test the heat as you add it to ensure it’s tolerable.

Simple Homemade Dry Rub

Sprinkle it on just before you put your meat on the grill or in the oven to roast or rub it on your meat and let it marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Enjoy and feel free to experiment with different spices and flavours.

Simple Homemade Dry Rub


Makes approx 9 tbsp of dry rub or just over half a cup, 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

To use: Spread mixed dry rub in a rimmed baking sheet or a large bowl, whichever fits the meat you are using best. Add meat and generously rub it all over with the dry rub, massaging it into the meat.

To store: For the best way to keep dry rubs fresh, store in an air-tight container or keep in the freezer in a sealable plastic bag. It can also be stored up to 6-months in air-tight jar in a cool dark place or in the refrigerator.

Simple Homemade Dry Rub