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Homemade Dry Rub Seasonings

Add Spice to Summer Barbeques

When I was first introduced to meat rubs years ago, it was because I was searching for a way to season and spice up meat for the smoker after I forgot to marinate it overnight. With a bit of research online, I stumbled upon a recipe for dry rub seasoning. After that initial experience with dry rub seasoning, I have to admit it is my go-to choice for seasoning meat, and even veggies, for quick meal prep.

A simple mix of dry ingredients that can be stored for months in an airtight container, dry rub seasonings are the perfect way to spice up your next meal of chicken, salmon, steak or even tofu or veggies. It’s easy to create your own flavor themes as well, from Mexican to Greek, Indian to Southern Barbeque, the flavor combinations are endless. 

Many of the ingredients you will need to make your own dry rub seasoning you already have on hand in your pantry or spice cabinet. Experiment with flavors and keep a few seasoning mixes of your own on hand for when you need a meal in a pinch. These dry rubs are quick, easy and inexpensive to create, and can be stored for months in any airtight, lidded container in a cool, dry place.

Here we share a basic dry rub seasoning recipe. But, experiment with flavors to create your own personal favorites. For instance, leave out the cayenne pepper if you don’t like the heat, add ground coffee to enhance the flavor of beef (and tenderize it) and add smoked paprika for a smoky sweet flavor. Keep a few of your favorite dry rub seasoning blends on hand for quick meals any day of the week.

Elevate your next weekday meal or your next big weekend barbecue to celebrate Father’s Day or your recent graduate.

Homemade Dry Rub Seasoning

Whether cooking in a smoker, on a grill or in a skillet, dry rub seasoning blends can elevate your dishes to a new level. When grilling over an open flame, this recipe calls for “indirect grilling,” in which you have the open flame on one side of the grill and cook on the other so that the meat is never in direct contact with the flame. This is to ensure that, because of the brown sugar in this recipe, the layers of seasoning melt and caramelize, not burn. The dry rub will create a beautifully caramelized, flavorful crust on the meat (or veggies) and seal in the meat’s juices.


¼ cup Kosher salt

¼ cup freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup brown sugar

⅓ cup smoked paprika

¼ cup chili powder

3 T. garlic powder

2 T. ground cumin

2 T. oregano

2 T. thyme

1 T. dry mustard

1 T. onion powder


  1. Combine the spices and herbs in a medium bowl and mix well.
  2. Transfer the dry rub into an airtight glass jar with a lid (such as a canning jar). The mixture can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to six months. Or, store in a Ziplock freezer bag and freeze for longer storage.
  3. To season meats, generously cover the meat with dry rub mixture and massage the spices into the meat.
  4. To season vegetables or tofu, generously sprinkle with dry rub. If preferred, first toss vegetables in olive oil.
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