The Best homemade BBQ seasoning

Part of the fun of cooking is experimenting with different flavors and seasonings to create something unique. If you’re a BBQ fan, you’ve likely tried countless store-bought rubs, but they sometimes lack that special ‘something’ that makes BBQ truly delicious.

This homemade BBQ seasoning is surprisingly easy to make even if you don’t have a lot of experience in the kitchen. The best thing? You can tweak this dry rub recipe to your own taste so you get the flavor profile you want every time. Quick, easy, and made from simple ingredients, it also makes for a great gift—make a big batch today and give it away to friends and family!

Why make homemade BBQ seasoning?

  • Way cheaper: Store-bought mixes and blends often come in large containers that don’t always get used up before they expire. By making your own spice mixes, you can use the exact amount you need and end up spending less in the long run.
  • More control: With store-bought rubs, you don’t always know how much of each ingredient is actually in there. Plus, they are often filled with preservatives and other ingredients that you can’t pronounce (some of which aren’t exactly good for your health).
  • Fresher: Seasonings can quickly lose their freshness when stored for too long. Making the mix from scratch ensures that you get a fresh, delicious spice blend every time.
  • Flavorful: Store-bought blends tend to lack the complexity and depth of flavor that you can get from making your own. And you can play around with different spices and herbs until you find the best flavor combination!

Ingredients you need to make homemade BBQ rub

Smoked paprika

Brown sugar

Kosher salt

Black pepper

Chili powder 

Ground cumin

Mustard powder

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Cayenne pepper

How to make homemade BBQ seasoning

The ingredients for this homemade BBQ rub recipe are easy to find at any grocery store. Make sure to get the freshest ingredients since they will make a huge difference in the flavor of your rub. The combination of spices depends entirely on your preference, but you can use mine as a starting point!

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and mix together well using a fork or whisk. Pinch off a little and taste it to see if you need to adjust the flavor. Once you have the perfect mix, store it in an airtight container or glass jar.

How to store homemade BBQ seasoning

To ensure your homemade spice rub stays fresh for months on end, keep it in an airtight container like a mason jar and store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If you plan on using the seasoning over several months, consider storing it in the refrigerator.

If you’re making a smaller batch, you can also store it in a resealable bag, but make sure to remove as much air as possible before completely sealing it. Most importantly, label the containers with the date and ingredients to help you keep track of their shelf life.

What can you use homemade BBQ seasoning on? 

From smoked beef brisket to roasted vegetables, this homemade BBQ seasoning recipe is versatile enough to use on almost anything. Beef, pork, poultry, and even fish can all benefit from a good rub of this flavorful blend before cooking. It works on all your favorite meats like steaks, ribs, ground beef, pork chops, chicken wings, and grilled fish.

Surprisingly, it also makes for an excellent flavoring in grilled vegetables and even potato wedges.

Try it with these recipes:

Smoked atomic buffalo turds

Smoked pork butt burnt ends

Candied bacon crackers

Bacon jam burgers

You can also make a BBQ sauce by mixing your own BBQ seasoning with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and some vinegar.


  • Sweet: Make it heavy on the brown sugar and add a pinch of cinnamon to give your barbecue rub a sweeter flavor.
  • Spicy: Add in extra chili powder or cayenne pepper to bring up the heat.
  • Smoky: Aside from smoked paprika, add a little bit of chipotle powder for those extra smoky notes.
  • More savory: Add a bit more garlic and onion powder to make it super flavorful.
  • Herby: Dried herbs like oregano and thyme pack a nice earthy flavor.


What is BBQ seasoning made of?

A BBQ seasoning mix is typically made up of a few pantry staples like smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, chili powder, ground cumin, and black pepper. The perfect blend of spices creates the classic smoky-sweet flavor that makes BBQ heavenly!

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The Best homemade BBQ seasoning

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  • Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 6 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and mix together well to combine.
  2. Store in an airtight container like a mason jar.
  • Author: Jordan Hanger
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes

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