The Ultimate Dry Rub

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 homemade dry rub, it’s best to incorporates all taste elements like sweetsavory, 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 because it adds a good amount of heat without overpowering other flavors, like chili powder tends to do. 

All other ingredients are the 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.

measuring spoons full of the spices for dry rub on a cutting board



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. 

Dry Rub recipe in a white bowl on a wood table



When possible, use the freshest ingredients. Spices tend to loose 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 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. 

dry rub mixed up in a bowl with a fork



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. 

Make sure to date and label the bag or the jar. 

Melbourne Kosher Butchers

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