Burn Pit's Basic Barbecue Rub

Following up from a recent post on how to rub your meat, there were great questions on what a good rub to make at home is.  If you are like me, you don’t like all of the extra fillers and preservatives in most store-bought brands.  I prefer to use simple ingredients that go well with multiple types of meats. Here I will break down the most basic barbecue rub to get you started on your journey to flavor town!

This is it!  If you master any homemade rub, let it be this one. This barbecue rub is good on just about anything – ribs, pork shoulders, chicken – heck, even put it on your vegetables.

Basic Barbecue Rub

  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar (I prefer light brown sugar vs dark*)

  • ¼ cup sweet paprika

  • 3 tablespoons coarse ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon hickory-smoked salt or more coarse sea salt

  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder


  • 2 teaspoons celery seeds

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Use smoked paprika instead of sweet

*A note about brown sugar: what’s the difference?

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to mix. Make sure to break up any lumps of brown sugar. This recipe makes about 1 cup. Use 2 to 3 teaspoons per pound of meat. Store the rub in an airtight jar and it will keep for months (up to 6). Make sure to write the date on the jar if you won’t be using it within a short period of time.

Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments!

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