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Barbecue Spice Rub

Barbecue Spice Rub

Recipe At-A-Glance

Vegan, Gluten-Free

10 minutes

This Barbecue Spice Rub is easy to throw together and adds wonderful flavor to everything. It makes a perfect gift for people who love to cook or grill!

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Barbecue Spice Rub
This recipe was originally published in December 2012. It was retested with reader feedback, rephotographed, rewritten, and republished for your enjoyment in December 2017.

This spice rub is an amazing little stocking stuffer for anyone who loves to grill, and it would also work perfectly in a nice little jar as a small gift for a co-worker or acquaintance. I mean, who doesn’t like flavor? Everyone likes flavor! Give the gift of flavor, friends.

I love this spice mix. Love, love, love it. I’ve been using it on everything from salmon to veggies! I’d consider this a pretty all-purpose spice rub. I mean, I wouldn’t recommend sprinkling it on top of your morning Wheaties, but anything savory is a go. It really does make a ho-hum dinner like baked salmon into something spectacular. In fact, I like this spice mix so much that it’s been living on our kitchen windowsill because I want it close by at all times.

Barbecue Spice Rub Salad with Barbecue Spice Rub

It comes together very quickly and uses spices you probably already have stashed in your spice rack, making this an excellent last-minute gift for when that person who you “accidentally” left off your list gives you a call to say they’re coming over in 10 minutes to give you your gift.

Whoops. I know! Give the gift of flavor!

Barbecue Spice Rub

And even if you don’t use this as a last-minute rescue gift, it would work beautifully done in bulk ahead of time. Head to the bulk section of your local health food store and fill up on all the spices, come home and mix it in a big bowl, dole it out into cute little jars, label it, and put a bow on it, and you’ve got a great little gift.

Of course, this recipe is highly adaptable. Add more red pepper if you want more of a kick. Cut back on the garlic powder if your recipients are garlic-phobes (do those exist?). Cut out almost all the salt if you want to give a low-sodium version to someone watching their salt intake. Make it your spice rub. And once you’ve got the recipe down pat, I promise folks will be asking for it year-after-year.

Barbecue Spice Rub

Barbecue Spice Rub

  • Author: Cassie Johnston
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 10 min
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x


This Barbecue Spice Rub is easy to throw together and adds wonderful flavor to everything. It makes a perfect gift for people who love to cook or grill!



  • 1/3 cup sea salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar or maple sugar
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Use as a spice rub on chicken, fish, beef, or veggies.


Try using smoked paprika if you love smoky flavors.

To add extra flavor to chicken or meat, rub thoroughly with this blend and refrigerate for a few hours or up to a day before cooking.

Download easy printable labels for this gift here.

  • Category: Homemade Gifts

Handmade Gift Ideas

Cassie Johnston

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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