Best BBQ Rubs & Spices for Ribs, Brisket, Beef

BBQ rubs can transform ordinary grilled meats into something extraordinary. This aromatic blend of bold spices makes a perfect pairing for beef, poultry, and fish. A little goes a long way – the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, smoky, and pungent flavors will bring out the best in your grilled dishes!

What Are BBQ Rubs?

BBQ rubs are dry seasoning mixes for barbecuing meat. They can be made with a variety of herbs and spices, and often contain salt and sugar as well. Rubs have steadily gained popularity in the past decade as an alternative to marinades or mops.

Rubs are essential to making great BBQ, and they take just a few minutes to prepare. In addition to adding a layer of flavor that can’t be obtained from any other method, rubs helps make the meat fall off the bone during the barbeque. Add some spice to your next bbq with the help of these delicious rubs recipes.

Barbeque rubs are one of the best ways to alter the flavor of your food.

Why We Need BBQ Rubs?

Barbecue is a tasty and fun way to cook food. The process of barbecuing involves cooking the food on a grill or open fire for an extended period of time. This can be done over wood, charcoal, or gas. Since the meat is exposed to direct heat for extended periods of time, it needs to be well seasoned and coated with a rub so it stays moist and flavorful.

A barbecue rub is a spice mixture that is used to season meat before it is cooked. Rubs are mixtures of spices that are dry and not wet or pasty like marinades. They are rubbed onto meat before cooking so they can adhere to the surface and add flavor.

Rubs have three main functions:

1. Flavor

The spices in a rub add flavor to the meat by changing the flavor profile and adding depth and variation to your dish. Spices also give meats a warm color that makes them more appealing on the plate.

2. Texture

Rubs can change the texture of your meal by adding spice dust to the exterior of your dish that adds crunchy flavor while keeping moisture inside your meat as it cooks.

3. Preservation

Rubs help preserve meats because they act as barriers between the meat and bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses such as botulism. While the meat cooks, the rub prevents bacteria from forming a toxin on the surface of the meat.

List of 10 Best BBQ Rubs For Meat

This barbecue season here are 10 of the best bbq rubs, rubs and spice rubs you can buy online. Whether you want to know where the best bbq rubs come from or what is the best meat rub for chicken we’ve got the answers.

1. Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub + AP Seasoning + TX Brisket Bundle Review

This rub is made for brisket, and it’s a thing of beauty. A mix of brown sugar, kosher salt, paprika and spices that can be used on anything you wish to smoke or grill. It doesn’t contain any MSG or fillers and will give your food a deep red color once cooked. The special package includes an award-winning rib rub, AP seasoning (which is perfect for chicken) and Texas style brisket rub. You might not need another meat rub after buying this pack!

We recommend the Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub to anyone who wants consistent results from their meat every time they cook it. This is also a great option if you want to try three different varieties of BBQ rub at one go—the variety pack comes with three high quality options for you to choose from so there’s something for everyone!

What we liked:

  • A great combination of rubs that will give you a new flavor every time you cook.
  • Perfect for all meats (we especially recommend it for beef and chicken) and vegetables.
  • Will give your food a great red color when cooked which is always appetizing.
  • The rub is gluten-free and kosher.
  • No MSG or fillers.

2. Best BBQ Rub For Pork – Kosmos Q Cow Cover BBQ Rub

The Cow Cover is practically a meal in itself. This meat rubs for smokers is the perfect balance of savory and sweet, delivering a mouthwatering explosion of rich red goodness that enhances your BBQ. This award-winning rub will take your cooking to the next level. You’ll be sure to “wow” even the toughest of BBQ critics with its amazing taste!

It’s easy to use, too. Simply sprinkle it on before cooking, let it sit for an hour or so, and then get grilling!

The flavor is so versatile that goes on almost anything. Use it for beef brisket, steak, pork ribs or burgers. Or try it on poultry or vegetables! With just a sprinkle you can enhance the flavor of casseroles or pasta salads as well!

What we liked:

  • Amazing flavor.
  • Versatile—use it on just about anything.
  • Gives your food a great red color when cooked.
  • Can be used as seasoning or as a marinade.
  • No MSG and gluten free.
  • Each bottle contains 3 pounds of rub.

3. Best Spices For Smoking Meat – Meat Church Holy Gospel BBQ Rub 14oz Shaker

With this blend, you’ll be able to take any BBQ to the next level.

The rub is great for ribs, chicken and beef. However, it can also be used for other meats like pork and seafood. If you decide to try it out, you’ll get 14 ounces of rub in a shaker bottle that makes it easy to sprinkle on the meat and still keep the rest ready for later use. There are no artificial ingredients or preservatives in there either. This means that while it adds flavor, it isn’t going to change the texture or taste of your food all that much. These rubs are perfect if you want basic flavors which enhance rather than dominate your meal.

What we liked:

  • Versatile.
  • A great rub for chicken, beef and pork ribs.
  • Easy to use; just sprinkle it on before cooking.
  • No MSG or preservatives.
  • A good option for smokers who don’t use a lot of spices.
  • Original Recipe makes this ideal for grilling.

4. Best Commercial Rub For Ribs – Bad Byron’s Butt Rub Barbeque Seasoning BBQ Rubs

A professional chef’s concoction that has achieved remarkable popularity with barbeque aficionados, Bad Byron’s Butt Rub Barbeque Seasoning is a balanced blend of garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and chipotle (smoked jalapeno). With its redolent combination of onion and garlic powders along with the peppery heat from the smoked jalapenos, this seasoning is great for adding flavor to steaks, burgers, ribs and poultry. For vegetarians who prefer to eat tofu or soy protein chunks on the grill, this rub is also an excellent choice.

This seasoning will make your steak or salmon burst with flavor without being overwhelmed by the dominant taste of oregano or tomato. If you are into grilling beef (or chicken), then this product has got your back in terms of giving it a unique smoky-sweet taste that many have come to love. It also makes a fantastic addition to potato salad and baked beans.

What we liked:

  • Lacks overwhelming spices.
  • Smells really good and gives that beautiful color to your food.
  • Makes your food taste pretty amazing!
  • Great for chicken, beef and pork.
  • Especially good for grilling veggies.
  • It’s available in different flavors like Original, Garlic, Chipotle, Paprika and more!

5. Best Smoking Rubs – Cattlemen’s Cowboy Dry Rub, 27.25 oz

Cattlemen’s Cowboy Rub delivers a bold flavor profile with a blend of hickory smoke, molasses and coffee, infusing your favorite dishes with an irresistibly robust taste. Made using premium ingredients, this versatile seasoning pairs well with steak, chicken, pork or ribs, especially when cooking low ‘n slow.

Versatile enough to be used as either a dry rub or to create signature sauces and marinades your friends and family will love. Crafted with food service in mind, this cowboy rub suits numerous dishes to deliver optimal performance and meet your flavor needs in the kitchen. Non-GMO Project Verified and kosher; contains no added MSG for flavor you can feel good about

What we liked:

  • 20% less salt than other rubs.
  • A perfect blend of spices that sets it apart from the rest.
  • The taste is very robust, yet not overpowering.
  • Ideal for chicken and beef.
  • Great for making any kind of BBQ sauce.

6. Killer Hogs BBQ Rub – Championship Rub for Barbecue

The Killer Hogs Barbecue Team has won numerous barbecue and grilling awards including the American Royal Invitational and Memphis in May World Championship. The Killer Hogs rubs are used in competition BBQ and by backyard cooks who want to get the best results from their grill or smoker.

This championship rub is the perfect balance of sweet and heat. Just the right amount of brown sugar, chiles, spices, salt and pepper combined to perfection in this award winning blend.

Killer Hogs Championship Rub is great on chicken, pork, beef or when you’re cooking wild game. Sprinkle it on ribs, pork tenderloin or brisket for a taste sensation that will leave your mouth watering for more. With this 2-pack bundle deal you’ll get 2 bottles of Killer Hogs dry rub totaling 32 oz!

What we liked:

  • Perfect balance of sweet and heat.
  • A great choice for smoking meats, chicken or beef.
  • Great for barbecuing, grilling, smoking and baking.
  • Works great on fish, eggs and vegetables as well.
  • Compatible with most gas and charcoal smokers including kettle, offset and vertical smokers.
  • Contains no MSG or chemicals.
  • No preservatives or artificial ingredients meaning you can use it time after time without worries about spoilage.

7. Best Pork Shoulder Rub – Pork Barrel BBQ Rub All American Seasoning Mix

This is a great seasoning for chicken, fish, beef and pork. It’s gluten-free, MSG-free and preservative-free and has no artificial flavors. This seasoning can be used on pretty much anything you want to BBQ. The ingredients are mostly spices like paprika, sea salt and black pepper. There’s also dehydrated garlic in there as well as some sugar for sweetness.

It’s also easy to make your own dry rub with this blend: just mix it with vegetable oil in equal parts and add some apple cider vinegar if you like the tangy taste of vinegar in your BBQ sauce. You should also add some water to thin out the mixture since it’s pretty thick already (I use about 2 cups of this blend mixed with 3 tablespoons each of vegetable oil and apple cider vinegar)

What we liked:

  • Great for savory, but can be used for sweet as well.
  • Gluten free and MSG-free.
  • Contains no preservatives or artificial ingredients.
  • Lots of savory flavors from the spices it has in it.
  • Has no ingredients you’d have to look up on a label to make sure it’s OK to eat like high fructose corn syrup and soy protein isolate.

8. Best BBQ Seasonings – Slaps BBQ Squeal Like a Pig BBQ Rub 5.8 Ounce

For those of you who enjoy a good BBQ, and I’m talking about real BBQ, not the burnt things on your grill that you eat before you get to the burgers and hot dogs. I’m talking about the tender slow cooked meats, dripping with sauce and falling off of your fork when you try to pick them up. We’re talking real BBQ! When it comes to preparing these fall-off-the-bone morsels, having a solid rub can make or break your meat. A good rub will bring out all of the flavor hiding in that slab of animal flesh.

Slap’s Squeal Like a Pig is a great rub for all things pork, although it’s also decent on chicken if you like spicy food. The rust colored rub is a perfect balance of sweet, spicy and savory. If you are looking for an easy way to make some great ribs on a budget or want to take your pulled pork sandwiches from good to great then this is one product I would highly recommend trying out!

What we liked:

  • The perfect balance of sweet, spicy and savory.
  • The color of the rub looks like meat when you put it on so it really makes the food look good in your photos.
  • Allows you to prepare pork and chicken in a very flavorful way.
  • Great for those who like spicy food, but can be toned down for those who don’t.
  • Makes food taste amazing!
  • A little bit goes a long way when mixing it with your favorite foods.

9. Best Brisket Rubs – Lillie’s Q – Carolina Dirt BBQ Rub

You know a rub is good when it’s named after the famous red dirt of the Carolinas. Not only is this concoction all you’ll need for slow-cooked ribs and pork—this unbeatable flavor is perfect for fries too.

The South is known for its barbecue, and Lillie’s Q rub deserves to be on your table if you’re making any kind of pulled pork, chicken or even fries. This traditional sugar-based North Carolina blend has a nice balance between sweet and heat: It has a noticeable onion flavor with a little bit of paprika spice tossed in. If you’re looking for your next homemade spice blend, try it out.

What we liked:

  • Works well on pork, chicken and fries.
  • Comes from the South and has a southern BBQ flavor to it.
  • It won’t ruin your furniture like most rubs do.
  • It’s versatile enough to use on pretty much anything you want bbq’d.
  • Makes everything taste better when you use this pork butt rub!

10. Lane’s BBQ Signature Rub 4.6oz

Lane’s BBQ Signature Rub is a unique all-purpose seasoning that goes best with high quality ingredients. It’s great for marinating and dry rubs, or by adding it to ketchup to spice up chicken and burgers. Add some Soul to your food!

This best rub for ribs is an all-purpose seasoning formulated to enhance and complement the flavor of meat.  A unique blend of spices and ingredients, it goes best with high quality meat cooked slowly over low heat for tenderness, flavor and moisture retention. Take the balanced flavors of a juicy steak cooked on a cedar plank on the grill to creamy barbecue sauce on pork shoulder by tossing this special rub on.

What we liked:

  • Has a nice flavor of the south.
  • Works well on pork, chicken and veggies.
  • The uses are versatile so it works in pretty much any type of kitchen.
  • Has a really great flavor that enhances the food you’re cooking with it.
  • It’s not hard to find like other organic rub brands are.
  • Comes in a resealable bag so you don’t need to worry about wasting any of it after opening the seal.

How To Choose The Best BBQ Rubs

There are several factors to consider when choosing a dry rub for your grilling needs. Here are some of the most important ones:

1. What type of meat you’re cooking

Chicken and fish will have very different flavor profiles, so you should pick a rub that’s appropriate for the type of meat you’re cooking.

2. The size of the particles

The size of the particles in a meat rub will determine how it coats your meat. Finer particles will stick better, but coarser ones give you more control over placement and can be used to create interesting patterns on your food.

3. The ingredients

The ingredients in a meat rub will determine its flavor profile and whether or not it contains any allergens.

4. The number of servings per container

The larger the container, the more it will cost initially, but it may also offer a better value overall if you cook meat frequently.

Tips to Make Your BBQ Rubs Work Harder

Whether you’re making your own or buying a pre-made blend, here are some tips to get more out of your bbq rubs:

  • Use kosher salt instead of table salt. Kosher salt dissolves better on dry meats.
  • Prepare your meat by removing excess fat or skin before applying the bbq rubs. Salt won’t penetrate through these layers very well.
  • Pat meat dry before applying meat rub. Most rub recipes include some type of sugar or salt to help the flavors permeate. You want inhibiting any moisture.
  • Don’t stand at your grill for long periods of time. Heat up one side of the meat first, then turn over and apply the spices to other side. It’s easier to apply the rub this way than trying to spread it evenly all over a steak or other large cut of meat.

If possible, don’t marinate meats overnight . Under-marinating your favorite bbq has been a longtime gripe among grill masters.


1. How do I select the right dry rub?

When selecting a dry rub, it’s important to know what type of meat you will be using it on. Different types of meat pair well with different flavors and textures of frub. This is especially true when it comes to poultry, pork, and beef.

There are also different types of BBQ dry rubs, including traditional BBQ seasonings and other blends that aren’t necessarily associated with BBQ but still work well with grilled meats.

2. What is the difference between dry rubs & wet rubs?

Meat rub are a mixture of spices, herbs and sugars. They are applied to the meat before cooking and then form a crust. Wet rubs are usually made from combining dry rubs with marinades or sauces. The result is a combination of a spice crust and tenderness from the marinade or sauce.

3. How long should I let my rib sit in the rub before cooking?

You can apply your rub to your BBQrub an hour before cooking, or as late as 20 minutes prior.

4. Is it safe to leave meat sitting overnight in a rub?

That is not recommended because most of the ingredients used in BBQ Rubs have a high salt content that would draw moisture out of the meat and may even cause the meat to become dehydrated.


In conclusion, there are a lot of BBQ rubs to choose from on the market, but we feel that our natural smoky dry rub mix is an ideal choice. It comes in not one, but two options (original and hot) while incorporating familiar savory flavors like salt, paprika, pepper, garlic, smoked sea salt and others. Our product is unique because it uses only natural ingredients without any artificial additives or preservative.

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