Best BBQ Rubs

The 18 Best BBQ Rubs

As an outdoor grilling enthusiast, I can’t emphasize enough the role that BBQ rubs play in the grilling process. You might ask, “Why should I even bother with rubs?” Well, my friend, BBQ rubs add an explosion of flavor to any meat or vegetable you throw on the grill. With a world full of diverse BBQ rubs, it can be overwhelming to decide which one will elevate your BBQ game. So, here’s my curated list of the 18 best BBQ rubs to guide you on this savory journey.

Why Choosing the Right BBQ Rub Matters


The Importance of BBQ Rubs

Think of BBQ rubs as the secret weapon of grilling. Just as a painter uses different brushes and colors to create a masterpiece, we BBQ enthusiasts use rubs to produce an exquisite symphony of flavors on our grilled goods. And like any art, the quality of your tools—in this case, BBQ rubs—can drastically influence the end result.


Dry Rubs vs Wet Rubs

Not all rubs are created equal. There are dry rubs, consisting of a mix of spices and herbs, and wet rubs, which include some form of liquid, usually oil or sauce. Dry rubs provide a crusty texture and bold flavors, while wet rubs help in creating a moist and tender finish with a subtle hint of flavor.

The Role of Ingredients

Have you ever wondered why certain rubs send your taste buds on a magical journey while others fall flat? The answer lies in the ingredients. Different spices trigger various flavor profiles, from sweet and savory to hot and spicy, and everything in between.

How We Selected the BBQ Rubs

Choosing the right BBQ rub can make a world of difference in the flavor profile of your grilled treats. That’s why I embarked on this delicious journey to bring to you the crème de la crème of BBQ rubs in the market today.

Selection Criteria

Let me share with you the journey behind creating this coveted list. The primary goal was simple – to bring together a selection of top-tier BBQ rubs that cater to an array of taste buds, from the sweet tooth to the spice-lover, from the aficionado of classic flavors to the seeker of new taste adventures.

Each rub was put through a meticulous evaluation process. I considered the complexity of flavor, that is, how well the rub combines its ingredients to create a symphony of taste that’s more than just the sum of its parts. I also assessed the versatility of each rub – how well does it complement different types of meats and veggies? And of course, no selection process is complete without a look at what other BBQ lovers think, which is why customer reviews played a crucial part in the evaluation. Last but not least, I took into account the value for money each rub offers. A great BBQ rub doesn’t necessarily have to burn a hole in your pocket!

Data Collection Methods

Believe you me, picking out the top 18 BBQ rubs from a sea of options was no small task! This list is the culmination of hours of painstaking research. I delved into hundreds, if not thousands, of customer reviews, and pored over expert recommendations from professional pitmasters and chefs.

But the selection process wasn’t limited to just reading and researching. I believe that the best way to understand a BBQ rub is to experience it. So yes, I fired up my grill and did some first-hand testing of many of these rubs. I experienced their flavors, their textures, and their interaction with the meats personally.

This comprehensive approach to data collection, combining online research with personal experience, has allowed me to put together this list of the 18 best BBQ rubs. I sincerely hope this list serves as a valuable guide in your BBQ adventures and helps you discover your new favorite rub. Happy grilling, my friends!

Top 18 BBQ Rubs

1. BBQ Bros Rubs (Southern Style)

BBQ Bros Rubs truly capture the essence of southern-style BBQ with this rub. It boasts a flavorful blend of sweet and spicy that pairs exceptionally well with pork and chicken. And did I mention that it’s gluten-free? 

2. Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub

If you’re looking for a BBQ rub that’s versatile and packs a punch, then Killer Hogs is your best bet. This award-winning rub adds a balanced flavor that doesn’t overpower the natural taste of your meat. It’s perfect for practically any meat you want to throw on the grill.

3. Bad Byron’s Butt Rub Barbeque Seasoning

Don’t be fooled by the humorous name, Bad Byron’s Butt Rub means serious business. This all-purpose seasoning is perfect for those who enjoy a touch of heat in their BBQ. It enhances the flavor of pork (especially pork butt), poultry, and even fish.

4. Plowboys Yardbird Rub

This award-winning rub is a favorite among competition BBQ teams across the country, and it’s not hard to see why. Plowboys Yardbird Rub adds a savory touch with a hint of sweetness that’s just right for chicken and pork.

5. Bone Suckin’ Sauce Rib Rub

Ever wanted to create restaurant-quality ribs at home? Bone Suckin’ Sauce Rib Rub can help you do just that. This rub combines sweet, spicy, and smoky flavors that cling to ribs, creating a tantalizingly delicious crust.

6. Dizzy Pig Dizzy Dust

Dizzy Pig’s Dizzy Dust is the all-purpose BBQ rub to end all others. It’s excellent on anything you want to grill, but it shines most when used on pork and chicken. It’s a balanced mix of savory, sweet, and slightly spicy flavors that enhance the meat without overwhelming it.

7. Traeger Grills SPC171 Pork and Poultry Rub

With a combination of apple and honey flavors, the Traeger Grills Pork and Poultry Rub is an absolute treat for your taste buds. It’s specifically formulated to complement pork and poultry but also works surprisingly well with fish.

Best BBQ Rubs

8. Spiceology – Grill Master BBQ Rub

The Grill Master BBQ Rub by Spiceology is a must-have for anyone looking to master the art of grilling. It’s versatile enough to go well with almost any meat and vegetable. Its balanced blend of smoky, spicy, and sweet flavors is sure to level up your grilling game.

9. McCormick Grill Mates Sweet & Smoky Rub

McCormick has long been a trusted name in the world of seasonings, and this Sweet & Smoky Rub is no exception. It delivers exactly what it promises – a delightful balance of sweet and smoky that works wonders on ribs, chicken, and even salmon.

10. Oakridge BBQ Secret Weapon Pork & Chicken Rub

Looking to add a new secret weapon to your BBQ arsenal? Try the Oakridge BBQ Secret Weapon Rub. It’s a unique, savory rub that’s specially designed to bring out the best in your pork and chicken.

Best BBQ Rubs

11. John Henry’s Pecan Rub

This award-winning Pecan Rub from John Henry is a must-try for any BBQ enthusiast. It carries a subtle, nutty sweetness that works exceptionally well with poultry and pork. This rub can add an interesting flavor twist to your regular BBQ sessions.

12. Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning

If you’re after a kick of heat and a burst of flavor, Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning is the way to go. This Louisiana-based rub offers a delicious blend of spices that work great on just about anything you throw on the grill. It’s especially effective on chicken and shrimp.

13. Meat Church Holy Gospel BBQ Rub

The Holy Gospel BBQ Rub from Meat Church offers a well-balanced blend of sweet and spicy, making it an excellent all-purpose rub. It’s particularly fantastic on brisket, chicken, and ribs. The unique flavor profile of this rub is sure to win you over.

14. Lillie’s Q – Carolina Dirt BBQ Rub

This Carolina Dirt BBQ Rub from Lillie’s Q is inspired by the classic barbecue flavors of the Carolinas. It’s specially crafted for slow-cooked ribs and brings an authentic, smoky, and slightly sweet flavor that’s truly unique.

15. The Salt Lick Original Dry Rub

The Salt Lick Original Dry Rub is a legendary rub from the famous Salt Lick BBQ restaurant in Driftwood, Texas. This dry rub carries a perfect balance of salty, sweet, and smoky flavors that goes well with any meat.

16. Rufus Teague: Meat Rub

This meat rub by Rufus Teague adds a kick of flavor to anything you put on the grill. It carries a robust blend of spices and is sugar-free, making it a great choice for those watching their sugar intake.

17. Kosmos Q Cow Cover Rub

For a truly unique BBQ rub that adds a great color and flavor to your beef, try the Cow Cover Rub from Kosmos Q. The blend of spices in this rub enhances the natural flavors of the meat without overpowering it, making it a great choice for everything from steaks to burgers.

18. Three Little Pigs Kansas City Championship BBQ Rub

End your BBQ rub exploration with the Three Little Pigs Kansas City Championship BBQ Rub. This rub has won numerous BBQ championships for its balanced sweet-and-spicy flavor profile, making it an excellent choice for virtually any meat you’re grilling.

Best BBQ Rubs


And there you have it, my fellow BBQ enthusiasts! These 18 BBQ rubs that I’ve shared with you are truly the crème de la crème of the BBQ world this year. Each one of them is a masterstroke, a unique blend of flavors carefully curated to bring out the best in your barbecued meats.

If you’re a seasoned griller, a pitmaster in your own right, these rubs offer a chance to expand your grilling horizons. They bring a taste of different BBQ traditions from all around the world right to your grill.

For those just starting their BBQ journey, don’t feel daunted. These rubs are your secret weapon! They pack so much flavor and character, making it easier for you to serve mouthwatering, crowd-pleasing BBQ right out the gate.

From the backyards of the Deep South to the bustling streets of Kansas City, these rubs encapsulate a wide range of BBQ styles and traditions. They bring the soul of the BBQ world to you, letting you explore and enjoy the rich diversity of this incredible culinary art form.

wet and dry rubs

I hope that you try them all, one sizzling cookout after another. Each rub, each flavor, will tell its own story and create a new experience for you and your lucky guests.

But remember, BBQ is as personal as it is communal. The best BBQ isn’t the one that wins awards or gets the most likes on social media. It’s the one that you love the most, the one that satisfies your taste buds and makes you smile. So go forth, light up that grill, and discover your own BBQ bliss. Here’s to many happy cookouts and your best BBQ yet!


1. Can BBQ rubs be used in an oven?

Absolutely, you bet! Even if you don’t have access to a grill, you can still relish the flavoursome delight of BBQ rubs. When you’re roasting or baking meats in an oven, a good BBQ rub can transport you straight to a summertime backyard BBQ party. It’s all about that smokey, hearty flavour that a BBQ rub imparts.

2. Are there organic BBQ rubs available?

Sure thing! In this day and age, where health consciousness is at an all-time high, many manufacturers have stepped up their game by offering organic BBQ rubs. These rubs are free from pesticides and any other potentially harmful chemicals. They not only make your grilling healthier but also keep the earth healthy by promoting sustainable farming practices.

3. Can BBQ rubs be used on vegetables like potatoes?

Indeed! The beauty of BBQ rubs lies in their versatility. They can add a robust and smoky flavour to grilled vegetables or roasted potatoes, making them a star side dish on their own. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even sprinkle some of your favourite BBQ rub into soups or stews for that added oomph of flavour.

4. How much BBQ rub should I use?

Well, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this one as it largely depends on your personal preference. I prefer to coat the meat lightly but evenly, making sure every inch gets a good dusting. It shouldn’t be too thick to overpower the meat’s natural flavours, yet enough to ensure a bold and tasteful result.

5. Can BBQ rubs be used on fish?

Yes, BBQ rubs can indeed be used on fish. However, remember that fish is a delicate protein and can easily be overwhelmed by strong flavours. Therefore, a gentle application just before grilling is your best bet. That way, you get the BBQ flavour without compromising the fish’s inherent taste.

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