A simple and delicious, sweet and smoky, homemade BBQ spice rub that can be used on anything from grilled chicken to smoked brisket or ribs! Add it to a grilling gift basket for the perfect Father's Day gift.
My dad is great at grilling, smoking, and barbecuing almost anything. I grew up going to the lake with my family on the weekends, where my dad would almost always smoke a brisket or ribs. At home, he loves to grill out in the backyard during the summer months when it’s nice out. Thanks to him, I have a love for barbecue and all things grilled, so to thank him, a gift with his love of grilling in mind is in order. What better way to thank him for this Father’s Day than with a homemade gift that Dad will use all the time?
Why You'll Love This Homemade BBQ Rub
A homemade BBQ spice rub is an essential kitchen item for any griller. Store-bought spice rubs are fine, but when you make your own, you can control everything that goes into it. No super-high sodium count and no strange preservatives. It also means you can tweak the ingredients to fit your tastes. This rub is smoky and sweet, thanks to smoked paprika, chipotle powder and brown sugar. It gets plenty of savory flavor from garlic, onion, and mustard powders, with a little kick from cayenne. I love mixing up a batch of this rub, then using it for weeks to come on grilled chicken, ribs, pulled pork, and more!
Ingredients In BBQ Spice Rub
- Brown sugar - for signature BBQ sweetness
- Smoked paprika - for a smoky taste and red color. Regular paprika is fine if you can't find smoked, but I highly recommend buying smoked paprika for everyday use in your kitchen!
- Chipotle powder - spicy and smoky! If you can't find it, use regular chili powder.
- Kosher salt - you want big crystals!
- Freshly ground black pepper - essential in a good BBQ rub
- Cayenne pepper - a spicy kick! Use less for a tame rub.
- Onion powder - savory flavor without more salt
- Garlic powder - always a must!
- Mustard powder - savory and just a bit tangy
Customize Your Rub
This rub is the perfect blend of spicy, smoky, and sweet for my family, but you can adjust it to fit your tastes! If you like a super spicy rub, bump up the cayenne and/or chipotle. If you prefer your rub a little sweeter, add some more brown sugar. If you like a mild rub, omit the cayenne and sub regular chili powder for the chipotle. Tweak until you find the perfect blend for you.
Want to make this Homemade BBQ Spice Rub into a complete gift basket?
Here are some fun ideas to include:
- Wood chips or pellets
- Cedar planks
- Grill brush
- Grilling tongs
- Grilling mitt
- Metal skewers
- Grill press
- Beer can chicken tool
- Veggie grilling basket
- Fish grilling basket
- BBQ sauce brush
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating in the comments!Print
Homemade BBQ Spice Rub
A simple and delicious, sweet and smoky, homemade BBQ spice rub that can be used on anything from grilled chicken to smoked brisket or ribs!
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 min
- Yield: about 1 cup 1x
- Category: spices
- Method: no cook
- Cuisine: American
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp chipotle powder
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- Whisk all ingredients together or blend in a blender, breaking up any clumps.
- Pour spice mixture into a jar or airtight container.
Rub will last up to 3 months in a tightly sealed jar. I like Weck jars for storing spices.
Customize Your Rub:
- If you like a super spicy rub, bump up the cayenne and/or chipotle.
- If you prefer your rub a little sweeter, add some more brown sugar.
- If you like a mild rub, omit the cayenne and sub regular chili powder for the chipotle.
- Tweak until you find the perfect blend for you!
Keywords: BBQ spice rub, homemade BBQ rub
How long do you leave the rub on for please
You'll leave it on for cooking.
Twice as much black pepper as salt? This struck me as odd. Making the rub right now.
I tried to make this a lower salt rub, but you can certainly use more if you like!
LOVE the idea of gifting a spice rub, I will be gifting this to my father-in-law!
Btw, your affiliate product links didn't work, except for the wood planks (which are no longer available) and thermometer.
I hope your father in law loves it! Thanks for letting me know about the links, I'll update them!
Used this rub with a homemade sauce. Yum!
I'm so glad you loved it!
I’v been making a rub similar to this one for almost 50 years, but with fewer
ingredients. I’m also a Texan and inherited the one that my mom mainly used for smoking brisket. However, I found I liked this one better than my own! (Even though it just about kills me to say so.) I’ve used it on on large pork butts (shoulder), as well as ribs, with great success! One of my tweaks is adding a tablespoon of ground cumin.
What a compliment! I am so glad you like it. I'll have tot ry it with some cumin next time.
This was my first time making ribs and I came across this rub. While I may still need a little practice with the actually barbecuing part, the flavor made it the best tasting ribs I’ve ever had! You guys knocked if out of the park with this rub!
It takes some practice for sure, but I'm so glad you liked the rub!
Made this rub for pork sliders...perfect amount of spicy...family lived it
Easy to make
Will make it again...
I'm so glad your family enjoyed it!