Perfectly-Balanced Homemade Dry Rub

dry rib rub for meats and veggies
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The key to adding intense flavor to meat is in the rub. A perfectly balanced dry rub does wonders for the flavor, but also seals in the juices and keeps the meat from drying out.

I swear by this bbq rib rub. It’s great on all types of meat, from ribs to wings to pork tenderloin. It adds just the right amount of spice to the meat, without overwhelming the flavor or becoming the star of the show.

bbq rub for ribs and chicken

We use this dry spice rub on everything, because it’s packed with flavor and adds a perfectly balanced punch of spice to every bite. The spices that go into this rub all work together to create a great flavor profile.

Grilling meat and veggies for a barbecue? Adding this spice rub will give both the veggies and the meat the right amount of flavor, with or without sauce. It’s really all you need to dress up your food.

perfect dry rub for pork or beef ribs

This rub is extremely versatile. You can put it on just about anything – from baby back ribs to chicken, steak, prime rib, or veggies. I mix up a double batch and put it in a spice container to use throughout the month as I cook various dishes.

dry rub on chicken wings

It adds an extra kick to veggies that would otherwise likely be served with just salt and pepper. Just a little sprinkle of this rub on your veggies will really bring out the flavor and make them irresistible.

Why Use a Dry Rub

If you’re wondering why you might want to use a dry rub instead of marinade, there are actually quite a few reasons. If you’ve ever seared a piece of meat before, you know that the liquid from the meat has to dry up or evaporate before you can get a good sear. That means, the wetter the meat, the longer it will take to evaporate.

With a dry rub, you’re avoiding adding extra moisture to the surface of the meat, so a nice caramelized sear will form on the meat quicker.

A dry rub also has more concentrated flavor.

Preparing the Dry Rub

If you have a robust spice rack, like I do, you’ll probably always have the right spices to mix this up. If you don’t keep a lot of spices at home, the best way to stock up for this rub is to get your spices from a bulk spice counter, like the ones they have at Whole Foods. You won’t have to buy large quantities of each spice in order to make this rub.

Most people don’t have dried mustard if their spice rack. You can leave it out if you don’t have it. It won’t affect the flavor of the rub too much. I do recommend getting it though. It has a lot of uses. I use it in my stovetop mac and cheese recipe too.

spices for dry rub

Add all of the spices to a bowl and mix them thoroughly. I sometimes put them all in a ziplock bag instead, so it’s easier to mix it all together. Then you can sprinkle the rub onto your meat or veggies without contaminating it with your fingers. And you can keep the leftover rub in the plastic bag until you use it again.

Oven Baked Baby Back Ribs

If you’re looking for a recipe to try this with, my favorite use for this dry rub is pork baby back ribs. Try our recipe for baby back ribs using this dry rub. It adds so much extra flavor that you’ll be convinced never to make ribs without it again. You’ll always want to try our homemade Bourbon BBQ sauce with these ribs.

I mean, doesn’t that rack of ribs below look tasty?

Oven Baked Baby Back Ribs

If you need a large batch of this rub, the recipe is scale-able. You can make as much rub as you need just by adjusting the quantities. If you’re making many racks of ribs for a party, just double or triple the dry rub recipe.

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bbq rub for ribs and chicken

Perfectly-Balanced Homemade Dry Rub

We use this dry spice rub on everything, because it's packed with flavor and adds a perfectly balanced punch of spice to ever bite.
3.06 from 17 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 29kcal
Author: Laura


  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder you can leave this out if you don't have it


  • Mix all spices together until well combined. Rub liberally on ribs, chicken, or veggies.


Calories: 29kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 602mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1171IU | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

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