All Purpose BBQ Dry Rub

5 from 4 votes

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My all-purpose BBQ dry rub will set your barbecues apart! Made with spices like black pepper and smoked paprika, as well as brown sugar, you can use it on both meat and poultry.

All Purpose BBQ Dry Rub in glass bowl with whisk

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to barbecue! I’ve already shared recipes like my homemade Carolina mustard BBQ sauce, this BBQ smoked meatloaf, and I can’t forget about this unique raspberry peach chipotle barbecue sauce. As soon as the weather gets nicer, you can catch me outside in front of my grill. Heck, I like to get my barbecue on even in the colder months now that I’m up in the Pacific Northwest. I just love that charred flavor.

I wanted to share this recipe for an all-purpose BBQ dry rub that I love slathering on ribs, pork chops, chicken, and even fish. Marinades that feature some type of liquid (usually oil or lemon juice) also hold a special place in my heart, but there’s something so easy about a dry rub. There’s no moisture involved which means a lot less clean-up! And, you don’t have to give up anything when it comes to flavor. 

Keep this recipe on hand for your next cookout!

Kansas City Style Dry Rub


  • Salt – An essential ingredient for any BBQ dry rub!
  • Brown Sugar – A touch of sweetness goes a long way — and works wonderfully with the rest of the flavors.
  • Black Pepper – For some spice! 
  • Smoked Paprika – Make sure to opt for smoked instead of sweet here. It makes all the difference.
  • Onion Powder – For a bit more savory sweetness.
  • Garlic Powder – Garlic goes great in most savory dishes.
  • Dry Mustard – The mustard flavor will work well with most meats and poultry.
  • Celery Salt – Adds a bit more saltiness with a pop of peppery celery.
  • Red Chili Flakes – For even more added heat.


  1. Prepare The Rub. Add all of the ingredients for your BBQ dry rub to a small mixing bowl. Use a whisk to combine, and if there are any clumps, break them up with a spoon or your fingers — just make sure to wear gloves as some of the spices may irritate your hands!
  2. Store or Use Immediately. You can store your spice mix in an airtight container. I recommend a small glass jar! Keep it in a cool and dry location (like your pantry) for up to 6 months.
  3. How to Use: Use this rub on any type of meat, poultry, and some seafood (like fish or shrimp) before you grill, smoke, or roast it. The possibilities are endless!
2 racks of baby back ribs rubbed with seasoning on baking sheet

What Is BBQ Dry Rub Good For?

BBQ dry rub is typically used to add more flavor to meat, poultry, or seafood without the addition of a sauce or marinade. Don’t let the name fool you — it won’t dry out whatever you use it on! It simply refers to the fact that there is no added liquid. You can add a glaze or sauce once your food done cooking if you like, but it’s often not needed!

Can You Use Dry Rub And BBQ Sauce?

As mentioned above, the great thing about this spice mix recipe is that you don’t need to add any additional sauces to it. However, you can use both if you’re a big BBQ sauce fan — I feel you! Apply the rub to whatever you’re cooking before you put it on the grill or in the oven. Then, in the last 5 minutes of cook time, glaze on a bit of sauce. The results are saucy and delicious!

How Long Should A Dry Rub Sit On Meat?

Like any good marinade, the longer you let your dry spice mix sit, the better. As you apply it, make sure to rub it into the meat with your fingers. Think of it like giving your food a deep tissue massage. Before cooking, make sure to let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Longer is always better, so if you have the time, let your dry-rubbed meat sit for several hours. When you let your meat soak in the rub overnight, the flavors will be at their strongest!

How Do You Get Rub To Stick To Meat?

Some chefs may be concerned that a dry rub won’t stick to meat very well. While it’s true that a marinade with liquid seeps into the meat a bit more easily, that doesn’t mean dry varieties won’t stick. Be careful to apply yours with your fingers and don’t be afraid to massage it in. And, remember: the longer you massage your rub and the longer you let it sit before cooking, the better.

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All Purpose BBQ Dry Rub in glass bowl with whisk

All Purpose BBQ Dry Rub

5 from 4 votes
This all-purpose BBQ dry rub is filled with warm, sweet, and spicy flavors, and is perfect for any type of meat or poultry!
Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes



  • To a small mixing bowl, add and whisk to combine salt, brown sugar, pepper, paprika, onion and garlic powders, dry mustard, celery salt and red pepper flakes. Use a spoon or gloved fingers to break up any clumps, if necessary.
  • Use to season any type of meat or poultry before grilling, smoking, or roasting in the oven.
  • Store the bbq dry rub in an airtight container and keep in a cool dry location for up to 6 months.


Calories: 33kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Sodium: 397mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1260IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.8mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Pantry Staples, spice blends
Cuisine: American, Grilling/Smoking
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
dry rub on top of pork ribs on table


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. 5 stars
    Hi Kevin

    I tried out the BBQ rub. I didn’t have smoked paprika so I used sweet paprika instead & I added a bit of cayenne pepper to it. It was delicious 😋 my family enjoyed it.

    Thank you once again.

  2. 5 stars


    Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing your expertise and wonderful recipes. My husband and I love touring the world through the many cuisines special to each country and ethnic group. 👍

  3. 5 stars
    Great news, Kevin, every recipe you send is spot on. Now the rub, can’t wait to try. Thanks so much. Doc – Thailand.

  4. 5 stars
    I love this rub, I did not have celery salt but it was still good. Taste just like bbq sauce. Thanks so much for the recipe.