The 12 Best BBQ Rubs to Spice up Your BBQ

As soon as the summer holidays start, you'll see barbecue parties all over your block. There are a lot of barbecue rubs and it can be hard for you to pick the best barbecue rub that suits your style. Rubs typically bring taste and spiciness to your meal. If proper rub is selected, your meal may be the cause for a super hit party during the barbecue season. Enjoy a delicious barbecue with a nice texture by selecting the right rub.

In this article, we analyzed barbecue rubs with various types and tastes. The rubs come in sweet, salty, and spicy flavors, and you can pick any of them to alter your taste. Several of the bbq rubs are dry and dry rubs are easy to carry if you want to enjoy a barbecue at a picnic spot. Most rubs are flexible as they can be used for barbecuing, grilling, salad dressing, vegetables, and popcorn. But make sure that you do not use sweet rubs for grilling, as high heat can burn sugar leaving a burnt texture on the meat. Manufacturers often pay attention to engineering the rub as a gluten-free and keto-friendly product, as consumers are both health-conscious and environmentally friendly.

Best Pick

Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub

Our best pick is the Killer Hogs BBQ Rub as it has a special blend of sugar, salt, and other herbs. This barbecue rub brings out the natural flavor of your chicken, pork, beef, and provides a perfect food texture. It offers a professional pitmaster taste to your barbecue.

Budget Pick

Traeger Pellet Grills SPC170 Chicken Rub

Traeger Pellet Grills Chicken Rub is on our budget pick because it compliments all sorts of foods. This rub is made in the USA and includes ingredients that are gluten-free and GMO-free. This rub can be paired with both meat and vegetables. Just sprinkling the rub gently enhances the taste of the food.

Quick Comparison: Top 12  Best BBQ Rub

1. Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub

Highlighted Features

  • A balanced mix of spices like sugar, salt, chili pepper, etc to intensify the taste.
  • Dry rub creates the application on the meat a bit less messy.
  • Can be applied to chicken, turkey, beef, and any type of meat.
  • Made of gluten-free ingredients so that the majority can try it out.
  • The rub brings out the taste and aroma of the meal that is cooked with.
  • Adds a crispy layer and texture like mahogany bark on poultry.

This rub makes your barbecue taste like a dish cooked by a professional pitmaster because of its perfectly blended herbs and spices. The Bbq rub is dry and has thick granules which make the rubbing easier. Killer Hogs BBQ rub has a mild, rich flavor that compliments all forms of meat and its subtle aromatic flavor does not overshadow the taste of the meat.   

However, the product has MSG on its ingredient which causes neurotoxic effects, metabolic disorders, etc. The rub uses unnatural flavoring to enhance the taste, so make sure you do not have allergies to food additives before buying this rub. This product is great to use on barbecuing but not for grilling as high heat burns all the contents of the rub.

2. Traeger Pellet Grills SPC170 Chicken Rub

Highlighted Features

  • Species like paprika, salt, dried apple powder, etc used to put the rub together
  • Adds citrus flavor due to citrus (orange and lemon peel) ingredients on the rub
  • Dry rub makes it feasible to sprinkle over the meals.
  • Though it’s a chicken rub but compliments all types of meat and vegetables.
  • The rub is kosher certified.
  • Contains gluten and GMO-free elements.

Unlike other bbq rubs, Traeger Chicken rub has citrus flavor on it. The rub is packed in an aluminum container that holds the fragrance and flavor for a longer time.

The brand also assured that the product is GMO-free and gluten-free so that a diverse range of customers can enjoy their barbecue with this item. This rub can be used not only on poultry but also on vegetables, simply by sprinkling on them. This rub will add a sweet tangy taste to your food.

Since the rub has special ingredients, such as dehydrated apple, saline, onions, etc., it makes it difficult to add other species to it. The rub is more responsive on the sweet side. So, it's hard to add other herbs to make it neutralize the flavor. However, there is no mention of the rub being keto-friendly on the bottle.

3. Bad Byron's Butt Rub Barbeque Seasoning BBQ Rubs

Highlighted Features

  • Keto-friendly rub as it does not have corn or high-curb fruits as ingredients.
  • The rub has no sugar and MSG.
  • Serves as a multi-functional rub for making the steak, pork, veggies taste delicious.
  • Includes organic and gluten-free ingredients.
  • Gives a Texas smoky flavor to your barbecue.

The rub has a nice combination of herbs like black pepper, onion, chipotle (smoked jalapeno) powder, etc, which offers a quality delicious meal in front of you. Since it doesn't have sugar, there's no risk of burning meat. Sugar containing products needs to be cooked under low pressure since it gets caramelized at high heat.

You can use this item to cook ground beef, brisket, pork, etc. Moreover, it uses microcrystalline cellulose which is a natural anti-caking agent. 

However, the manufacturer has mentioned that the package does not have a protective seal. And therefore when you get the product, the bottle lid can be open and the rub might not have the original flavor. It is not mentioned of the rub being kosher verified or not. Therefore, a certain number of people will second guess this rub before buying it.

4. Bone Suckin Original Seasoning and Rub

Highlighted Features

  • Great mixture of brown sugar, garlic, and other spices that boosts the flavor.
  • Acts as a great seasoning sea-food, beans, pasta, popcorn, etc.
  • The rub is gluten-free and MSG-free.
  • Use this rub to cook wet ribs, dry ribs, and grill.
  • No added flavor, color, or high fructose corn syrup.

This is a flexible rub as it can be used on various products like popcorn, salad, beef, seafood, etc. It’s not on the hot spicy side so it can be consumed by everyone. 

Also Read  The 10 Best Falafel Mix for Your Healthy Snacks or Meals

This rub is versatile that you can add spices to enrich the taste of the meal so you don’t need to bear in mind the taste buds of members when cooking a family meal. It is also kosher certified.

However, the rub can be too sugary for someone, and after taste is not liked by everyone. As this rub contains a lot of sugar, people with diabetes will rule out this product from their list. Moreover, too much does not make the barbecue rub keto-friendly.

5. BBQ BROS RUBS Seasoning Set

Highlighted Features

  • Eligible for cooking, smoking, grilling, and barbecue.
  • Handcrafted seasoning to use in pork, fish, seafood, etc.
  • Comes in three different styles – New Orleans, Memphis and Carolina
  • This southern-style rub is gluten-free and has no MSG.
  • Blends with all other ingredients.

The rub comes in a set of three different seasonings. You can add variation to your meals without hunting for another seasoning. The Memphis rub is sweet whereas the Carolina rub has a spicy kick to it. New Orleans has a regular flavor.

The rub is kosher certified and has no MSG elements on it. As these rubs come in a set, you can enjoy these rubs anywhere you want. You can serve a wide variety of flavored barbecue to your guests. All types of flavoring do not go well with every type of meat. With these rub sets, you can apply the rubs according to your taste.

The rub does not blend well with pork and hides the entire flavor.

6. Plowboys Yardbird Rub

Highlighted Features

  • Creates a subtle flavor on the meat.
  • Made of ingredients like celery powder, mustard flour, sugar, paprika, etc.
  • Gluten-free and no MSG additives on the ingredients.
  • Can be used to season chicken, burgers, and pork.
  • Versatile rub that mixes with other herbs to adjust according to your taste.
  • Add oil or alcohol to use it as a wet barbecue rub.

This rub enhances the taste of your barbecue with its natural ingredients. If you like salty food, you can try this barbecue rub. It is more on the salty side than spicy which brings a different taste. Plowboys Yardbird rub can be used on all types of meat. 

Adding it to your popcorn, it can enhance the taste with its mild salty flavor.

The product is not kosher approved so some people might not be able to enjoy a barbecue with this rub. Also, the item is not keto-friendly as it uses sugar as the main ingredient. Containing salt and sugar as the core ingredients, this rub might not be suitable for people with high blood pressure.

7. Slap Yo Daddy BBQ Rub

Highlighted Features

  • Made of fresh herbs like maple sugar, cane sugar, garlic, etc.
  • Contains silicon dioxide to avoid caking on the barbecue.
  • The rub has a lot of flavors but not spicy hot.
  • Gives a southern taste to your stakes, burgers.
  • Free from gluten and MSG products.
  • Gives a spicy and sweet flavor to your tofu, veggies, and eggs.

This is a handmade rub with a sweet and spicy flavor that can be consumed by all age group people. The rub has maple sugar which adds a unique aroma to your barbecue. The southern blast on the rub tends to boost the flavor of steak, barbecue, and ribs.

Barbecue rubs do not tenderize the meat. So, if you want a tendered meat, mix the Slap Yo Daddy BBQ Rub with oil or vinegar and apply on the meat. Leave it for at least 2 to 3 hours to get the best result. 

The seasoning can be too sweet for the beef barbecue as it has a lot of sugar in it. It is not suitable for those who wish to avoid sugar in their diet. In addition, the rub is not entirely natural, since it uses BHA to preserve flavors and silicone dioxide in order to prevent caking. If you are on a keto diet, you might want to avoid this rub.

8. Lambert's Sweet Rub O' Mine

Highlighted Features

  • Gives a sweet taste to your barbecue as it is not spicy at all.
  • Children will enjoy the rub as it is not spicy.
  • Salmon, chicken, pork, etc tastes much better with this rub
  • Gives a nice mahogany colored outer layer to your meal.
  • Adapts with other ingredients if you like to spice up your barbecue.

For those who do not like spicy rub, Lambert's Sweet rub is the rub for you. The rub has a perfect balance of flavors as it consists of ingredients like sugar, paprika, evaporated cane juice, etc. The rub has thick granules and its durability makes it ideal for use on fruit, fish, and vegetables.

Since this rub is sweet in flavor, the ingredients contain a lot of sugar. As a result, this will increase the level of sugar if it is eaten on a regular basis. Also, the rub is not free of MSG and gluten elements. There is no mention that the rub is kosher approved. Read the instructions on the bottle carefully if you do not want to waste your money on a rub that might not be useful to you.

9. Rudy's Texas Bar-B-Q Dry Rub

Highlighted Features

  • Dry rub containing paprika, chili pepper, corn starch, etc elements.
  • No added high fructose corn syrup to keep you healthy.
  • One barbecue rub that goes both with meat and vegetables.
  • Has no MSG, gluten, or additive flavors enhancing ingredients.

Anywhere you go, experience the Texan punch with Rudy's Texas bbq Rub in your barbecue. This 12 oz dry rub adds a peppery flavor to your vegetables, meat, and eggs. If you're a spicy food lover, this rub will give a spicy kick to your taste bud leaving your mouth watering for more. Peppers on the rub spice up the barbecue while the paprika adds a pleasant texture and flavor to the barbecue.

Nonetheless, some might find this rub a bit spicy for their children. No mention of the rub being kosher certified on the bottle. Though rub has no harmful additives, it is not produced in a keto-friendly surrounding. So, the manufacturers can not guarantee the barbecue to be keto-friendly.

10. Rufus Teague Premium BBQ Rub

Rufus Teague bbq rub has different blends for different types of dishes. Meat rub does not go well if it’s cooked with fish. There are five different rubs focusing on five different meals such as steak, spicy meat rub, bbq rub, etc. Each rub has some unique organic species which elevates the taste of the dish.

You will get the American taste on your meal with this rub. For all those who are intolerant of gluten, this product is manufactured focusing on your case. This kosher certified barbecue rub might not be keto-friendly as there is no direct mention of it.

11. FreshJax Seasoning Spice Rosy Cheeks Organic Maple Bourbon BBQ Rub

Highlighted Features

  • The rub contains ingredients like dried maple syrup, cherrywood smoked sea salt, chipotle pepper, etc.
  • Rub the ingredients on the chicken, beef, or vegetables to enjoy the mildly sweet flavor.
  • It works great as a popcorn seasoning.
  • It is kosher certified so that a wide range of people can make use of it.
  • This rub is made of organic, gluten-free, GMO-free elements.

Who likes the hassle of carrying ten different herbs for outdoor bbq? FreshJax rosy cheeks’ seasoning is the element that will eliminate the struggle of carrying spices. Made with paprika, maple syrup, brown sugar, peppercorns, etc., this rub offers the southern taste to your ribs. This rub is made of not only organic herbs but also unprocessed Himalayan pink salt. 

This handcrafted rub mixes with anything including pork, beef, vegetables, etc. If you want an organic and different flavor on your popcorn, FreshJax rub is going to deliver it to you with its non-GMO ingredients.

This rub can also be used on sea-food and can be stored anywhere. Some rubs need to be stored in the freezer after opening. With this rub, you don't have to bother about storage.

12. The Salt Lick BBQ Original Dry Rub

Highlighted Features

  • Texas-based seasoning with ingredients like pepper, salt, cayenne, etc.
  • Rich in taste and flavor makes it a great option for barbecue lovers.
  • 12 oz dry rub is the signature creation of Salt Lick restaurant.
  • Compatible with all types of meals.
  • Doesn't have MSG or any other taste stimulator.

Do you enjoy spicy food? If you do, Salt Lick Bbq is the rub that provides you an extra spicy kick along with some bold flavors in your food. As the brand is from Texas, you can enjoy the Texan flavor in your barbecue. 

This seasoning is great for preparing chicken wings, wet or dry ribs, briskets, etc. It’s a gluten-free product made from fresh herbs that give your barbecue a stronger flavor. You can use this rub as wet rub just by adding vinegar and oil to the dry ingredients. 

If you're intolerant to spicy dishes, it may not be for you. Some may find it extremely spicy due to the use of cayenne pepper. It is not suited for children to enjoy a barbecue with this rub.

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Bbq Rub

Are you planning a barbecue party for your anniversary? But you're not sure which rub is going to be perfect to celebrate the day. In our article, we listed the 12 best barbecue rubs you can use on any kind of occasion. However, before buying the rubs, you need to keep some things in mind so that guests do not face any kind of trouble. Guests may be intolerant to gluten or may have elevated blood pressure that prevents them from eating salty items. You need to make sure that the food doesn't make your guests sick.

Types of BBQ Rub

You can find versatile rubs on the market that can be used for cooking meats, fish, and vegetables. For outdoor barbecue, multipurpose rubs are better than single purposed as they can be used on anything and reduce the need to carry other herbs. Therefore, check the instructions on the bottle before ordering the BBQ rubs. 

In addition, there are different rubs for barbecuing and grilling. Grilling involves direct heat that can burn the ingredients whereas barbecue is cooked in medium heat. So, if the barbecue rub is used on grilling, high heat can destroy the flavor of the food.

In our article, you can see that some rubs can be used for popcorn, sea-food, and salad seasoning. Multi-purpose rubs make life simpler. But they will give the same flavor to your chicken, beef, and pork which might appear as boring food to your guest.                                                                                                              


In our article, you can see that there are seasonings based on different regions. There are spicy Texan flavor, sweet Memphis flavor, New Orleans regular flavor, etc. 

According to your taste preferences, choose the spicy, savory, or salty rub. The Texan rubs are spicy and rich in flavor. On the other hand, children and old cannot handle spicy food. So read the label on the rub to find the best barbecue rub for your family gathering. 

Some of the rubs are compatible with other herbs. If the spiciness is not up to your level, you can apply spices to your meat. But the rubs that include citrus extracts, maple syrup, or some other special ingredients, it might be hard to add other herbs to them, since they leave them unpleasant after taste. 

Regional Style

Texas is famous for its barbecue seasoning. They have a wide variety of rubs from tangy to sweet and spicy. The rubs give a thick bold-colored outer layer on the meat and enhance the taste of your meal.

Carolina rubs bring a spicy, vinegary taste to the barbecue. Made of Californian paprika, cumin, mustard, cayenne, and so on, you can get a fiery kick with this rub, leaving your mouth water for more.

New Orleans rubs are not too spicy or too sweet. It has a regular flavor, but it improves the taste of normal foods. In our article, BBQ BROS rubs have a New Orleans style barbecue rub that is enjoyed by everyone.

Memphis rubs have a constant element which is sugar. This sweet-tangy flavored seasoning has molasses, a variety of sugar with a balanced mixture of paprika, pepper, and cayenne. Enjoy a deeper flavor in your beef, lamb, or salad in Memphis style but bear in mind that this rub can raise the sugar level of a diabetic person.


If you check the label on the rub, you'll see some of the traditional ingredients, such as paprika, salt, dehydrated garlic, and onion, and pepper are present in all the rubs. White and brown sugars are added to make sweeter rubs, while savory rubs include cumin, mustard, chili pepper, etc.

  • Salt Content: It is an essential organic ingredient that enhances the flavor of any meal. The barbecue rubs include a certain amount of salt, but sometimes they're not salty enough for everybody. On the other side, you may find the rub too salty that takes away the flavor of your barbecue. Until ordering, check the quantity of salt used in the rub.
  • Spice content: Smoked paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and black pepper are added to make your barbecue spicy. Some rubs are too hot to handle, but it gives a great punch to your taste bud.  
  • Sugar: Sugar is used to add sweetness to your barbecue. You can add peppers if your rub is too sweet. The sugary rub cannot be kept on the heat for a long time as sugars will start to caramelize. Your barbecue may taste bitter if the sugar is over caramelized. 
  • Paprika: Made from dried capsicum, paprika adds color to your barbecue. It produces an intense flavor and a smoky texture for your food that makes you crave for more. 
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Health Implications

The rubs come with various tastes, like salty, spicy and sweet. To make it spicy, the manufacturers add a high amount of salt to the barbecue rub. High salt intake is bad for health, as it could lead to a rise in blood pressure.

On another side, sugars are used to make the barbecue rub taste sweet and that can be hazardous to health. Too much consumption of sugar contributes to a number of diseases.

So, before you buy the best barbecue rub for your meal, ensure if it contains any additives that may be harmful to your health. 


Barbecue rubs also contain GMO herbs. People who wish to consume organic food typically avoid food containing GMO ingredients. GMO stands for the genetically modified organism and most of the mentioned rubs in our article are GMO-free. 


People with the celiac disorder cannot eat food containing gluten ingredients, such as wheat, barley, etc. If you're intolerant to gluten, make sure you pick a rub that has gluten-free ingredients. In our list, Slap Yo Daddy, Killer Hogs, and several more barbecue rubs are free of gluten.


In our article, you can find some barbecue rubs containing MSG. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used to boost the flavor of your food. People have had adverse effects such as headache, chest pain, nausea, etc. due to MSG consumption. So, check it out before buying a barbecue rub.

Kosher certified

Rubs from Traeger Pellet Grills, Bone Suckin, Rufus Teague rub are kosher certified. A number of people belonging to a certain religion may not consume any food unless it is certified kosher. Check the guest list before ordering the barbecue rub so that everybody can enjoy it.

FDA approved

Make sure that the barbecue rub you bought is approved by the FDA. If the rub is approved by the FDA, you don't have to wonder whether or not the additives are harmful for your health. Manufacturers usually label on the front of the bottle so that you do not have to face trouble after using the barbecue rub.

Storage options

All types of barbecue rubs come in a convenient plastic bottle. If you use the rub frequently, you don't need to store the rub in another airtight jar. Also, the dry barbecue rubs do not need to be refrigerated. But it is recommended to store the dry rubs in an airtight jar so that the rub does not lose its flavor easily. Storing in an airtight container will minimize the deterioration of the spices and will help to preserve their initial flavor for 6 months or more.

However, it is better to refrigerate wet rubs as it is in liquid form and can grow mold. Always check the expiration date before purchasing the rub. It is better to throw away the rub if it has no smell after opening the jar.


What Is The Difference Between Wet And Dry Rub?

Dry rub is a powdered form of mixed herbs, while wet rub is a liquid form obtained by mixing herbs with oil or vinegar.

Dry rub can be converted into wet rub by adding liquids such as oils, mustard, etc. Dry rubs are better to manage, since they do not make a mess when adding to the meat.

How to Apply Rub on a slice of meat? 

Barbecue rubs are easy to apply. However, you need to find out if you want to use a dry rub or wet.

If you use a dry rub, just sprinkle the rub on If you use a dry rub, just sprinkle the rub on You can add more later if the taste is not up to the mark.

With wet rub, spread the rub on the meat or fish with your hand or a spatula. Wet rub helps to tenderize the beef. Marinate the meat and leave it for the night to enjoy a tasty barbecue.

What is the difference between barbecue rub and barbecue sauce?

In comparison to barbecue rubs, barbecue sauce is applied right after the meat has been properly grilled. Some like to use barbecue sauces as a dipping sauce. If you're cooking with barbecue sauce, make sure to keep the heat down as the sugars will get burned.

At what temperature, the sugar on the rub starts to melt?

The sugar starts to melt at 320°F or 160°C temperature. Always check the temperature to avoid burnt meat.


If you are bored with your last barbecue rub and don't feel confident enough about which rub to purchase next, we hope our review on the best barbecue rubs will be valuable. Now, that you know what you're looking for before ordering a barbecue rub. You will conveniently find a new barbecue rub that will add a new flavor to your meals.

A great barbecue rub that enhances the taste of your barbecue makes every social gathering delightful. Yet, you need to check on the spice level of the rub so that children, pregnant women, and elderly people can enjoy it. Some barbecue rubs are too sweet, and some are too salty. Texan rubs are typically at a higher spice level. Choose a barbecue that can adapt to other ingredients without worsening the flavor. We hope this guide will help you choose the rub that will keep you satisfied for a longer period.

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