This is the only Dry Rub recipe you will ever need. It’s a great Dry Rub for ribs, for chicken, brisket, chicken wings, and more. Use this dry rub on any meat that you’re grilling, smoking, or cooking in the oven. It’s quick, versatile, tastes amazing and made with a simple ingredients.
Try this rub on some baked chicken wings, when grilling your favorite steak, or even on sided dishes like grilled potatoes.
Dry rubs are a wonderful way to infuse a lot of flavor into the meat. What is a dry rub? It’s very simple, dry rub is a combination of spices, herbs, and sugar. Basically, it’s dry ingredients and spice ingredients mixed together for coating and flavoring meat.
When making a homemade dry rub, it’s best to incorporate all taste elements like sweet, savory, and spicy. All three elements combined together make a flavor explosion for your taste buds.
When it comes to sweet, the best base is brown sugar. I often use dark brown sugar for an additional molasses flavor, which comes out even more when the dry rub starts to caramelize in heat.
For heat, I find cayenne to be the most complimentary of the other spices. If cayenne is not available, you can get the heat from chili powder. The reason I prefer cayenne is that it adds a good amount of heat without overpowering other flavors like chili powder tends to do.
All other ingredients are savory flavor additions. Start with the must-haves like salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Then we add a few more layers of flavor from aromatic herbs like cumin and coriander.
When it comes to paprika, which is a big and important ingredient in a dry rub, I prefer to go with smoked, especially if I’m making meats in the oven. If I’m cooking on a grill or in the smoker, I can easily use regular sweet paprika since there will be plenty of smokey flavor coming from the grill.
HOW TO USE DRY RUB
Dry rub is used on meats to get a lot of flavor into the meat without having any additional sauces or meats. Even though you can always add a glaze or a sauce after the meats have been cooked, it’s absolutely not necessary with a dry rub.
It’s incredibly simple to make and use as well. In just a few minutes and a few shakes, you will have this amazing aromatic combination of spices ready to be applied to the meat.
Once dry rub is mixed, spread it in a rimmed baking sheet or a large bowl, whichever fits the meat you are using best. Add meat and generously rub it all over with the rub, getting every nook and cranny, while massaging the dry rub into the meat.
For many meats, like chicken breasts, brisket, or pork, I prefer to rub it and then refrigerate it overnight or even up to 12 hours. This will give the meat extra time to get as much flavor out of spices as possible.
Refrigerating the meat is not a necessary step, it just adds so much extra flavor. Rubbed meats can be cooked right away if there is no time to let it sit in the refrigerator.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST DRY RUB:
When possible, use the freshest ingredients. Spices tend to lose their aroma and flavor after the jar has been open for 9 months. Use fresh spices and grind some fresh herbs like black pepper and coriander. (If you don’t have a spice grinder, you can also use a small coffee grinder.) Herbs are so much more aromatic when freshly ground.
It’s best to quickly mix fresh dry rub right before using it but it can be prepared ahead of time and used at a later date.
If planning on grilling the meat with dry rub on it, it’s best to not cook it right over direct heat but off to the side from direct heat. Direct heat will burn the dry rub versus caramelizing it.
HOW TO STORE DRY RUB:
For the best way to keep dry rubs fresh, use a zip-lock freezer bag and store it in the freezer. Get as much air out of the bag as you can before sealing it.
You can also store dry rub for up to 6 months in an air-tight jar in a cool dark place or in the refrigerator.
Make sure to date and label the bag or the jar.
SOME MORE GREAT RECIPES TO TRY:
The Ultimate Dry Rub
- 4 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 4 tbsp smoked paprika can substitute regular paprika
- 2 tbsp coarse salt
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- Combine all spices and herbs in a bowl and mix very well. (You can also combine it in a jar with a lid, close the lid and shake well to mix.)
- Dry rub can be used right away or stored for up to 6 months.
- To use: spread mixed dry rub in a rimmed baking sheet or a large bowl, whichever fits the meat you are using best. Add meat and generously rub it all over with the dry rub, getting every nook and cranny, while massaging the dry rub into the meat.
- To store: For the best way to keep dry rubs fresh, use a zip-lock freezer bag and store it in the freezer. Get as much air out of the bag as you can before sealing it.(You can also store dry rub for up to 6-months in air-tight jar in a cool dark place or in the refrigerator.)
I´m from the NEtherlands and saw your recipe!
I would like to try it, but first I really would like to know if the recipe is a little bit sweet?
We do love our Spareribs tasty like sweet and how do I say this… satisfying. Some recipes are not giving that “I am satisfied, I’m full” – feeling but more the upposite or even the “I do have stomach issues” feeling..
So, Is this mix sweet of can I perhaps sweeten it a little bit more by putting some cinnamon in it? How much do you think would be enough?
Hi, Sharron! It is a little sweet but you could add another tablespoon of brown sugar to make it sweeter.
Jake, I don’t think it would hurt anything but I haven’t tried it.
I follow some recipes for baked chicken that calls for the chicken to be tossed in baking powder to draw moisture to give some extra crispiness to it. Can I toss the chicken in a mixture of this dry rub with the baking powder? Or should I toss in the seasoning first and then toss them in baking powder after? Or will baking powder ruin the flavor?
Your article say to put the dry rub on and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. I am in a time crunch. We are cooking our brisket overnight for an afternoon dinner on Saturday: so if we dry rub for up to 12 hours we would need to put our dry rub on the brisket at 10am. Problem is i am working at that time. Can i do the dry rub 24 hours in advance? Will it effect the taste of the meet at all? 24 hours too long for the rub to be on the brisket meat?
Hi, Amanda! You can do it the night before that will be totally fine! I hope you enjoy it!
No, it doesn’t need to leave in the fridge overnight. we put the rub on and cook it.
Frank C Newman says
The dry rub sound GREAT, but . . . .the sodium is way too much. My doctor would have a cow if he saw me eating this!!
What do ya think about reducing the salt. Would it still be GREAT? Maybe there is a lower sodium substitute?
Hi, Frank! You could actually substitute the salt for a sodium free salt there are several brands and it taste pretty good!
I melt 1 stick of unsalted butter in a measuring cup, add 2 TBS of the rub mix into the butter, stir well, and brush on chicken using a good silicone brush. I usually bake the chicken for about 20 minutes, then brush the rub/butter mixture all over the chicken, cook for another 20 minutes, give it another good brushing of the rub mix and continue cooking until done. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on this method. The chicken comes out with this beautiful dark spicy color!
My husband and I are going to have a contest .we’re going to smoke our wings and ribs what temp for smoker
Now that sounds fun! I would smoke them both at 225 degrees, which seems to be the magic number when smoking. You can also check out these recipes and tips from our sister site Grilling Smoking living that I have linked below.
Paul uk says
Hi Lyuba, I’m trying your run for chicken drummers for an in prompt Sunday BBQ. I use a gas bbq and was wondering if I kept the temperature low would this stop the rub from burning?
Hi, Paul! Sorry if I’m late responding, but I would turn it up to 350-400 degrees until the eternal temperature is 165 degrees. A little char is okay, you want the skin to be a little crispy.
The sodium intake correct?
Hi, Jeri! It is for the whole bottle but there might be something wrong with the software. I will double check the nutrition though because it does seem high.
Erika Tillman says
Going to use your dry rub for salmon tonight ! The rub itself is delicious excited to see hi this tatses!
Erika Tillman says
Erika, that sounds so good! I’d love to know how it turns out!
I’m wondering how best to cook the chicken breasts and wings in the oven ? Oven temp, etc. I made the rub last night and the breasts are in the frig all set to go. They smell wonderful!!
Have a great day!
Hi France! I actually have recipes for both!
Chicken breast oven temp – 450° for about 20 minutes, until internal temperature of chicken reads 165°.
Chicken wings – 400° oven temperature for 45-50 minutes.
Here are the links if you want more info:
If you ever need a quick response, message me on the blog’s FB page, it goes straight to my phone.
First of all, love your recipes. When I pick up my email I always read yours before the others.
I have a question. I know you can put marinade on meat in a ziplock before freezing, so then you just need to defrost it when you’re ready and, since it’s already marinaded, you just have to cook it.
Does it work the same way with rubs? Have you ever tried putting the rub on the meat, freezing it, and when ready to cook it, just defrost?
I would assume it would work but I’ve never tried it. In fact, I never even thought about it before.
Thank you SO much, that is so sweet of you to say 🙂
I’ve never dried marinading or freezing with rubs because it’s a dry rub and marinating it will actually add moisture from mixing with the chicken juices. I think it will actually create more of a marinade vs dry rub seasoning since it will mix with chicken juice.
You can definitely try it and it won’t affect the taste. It will affect the outside texture a bit but not the taste.
Larry Gaines says
Need your recipe for Corned Beef please. I have no luck searching Preterist pins
Here is the corned beef in the oven: https://www.willcookforsmiles.com/3-ingredient-oven-baked-corned-beef-brisket/
And here is the corned beef in an Instant pot: https://www.willcookforsmiles.com/instant-pot-corned-beef/
There is also a “search” spot in the menu bar on top of the page, you can use that search to search my site 🙂