Best BBQ Rubs: Top Flavors for Perfect Grilling

Barbecue rubs are an essential part of grilling that can elevate the flavors of meat and vegetables. A BBQ rub is a mix of spices and seasonings that form a crust on the surface of the food when cooked. This crust locks in juices and adds depth to the meat’s flavor. Whether you prefer a sweet, spicy, or savory profile, there’s a rub for every taste.

When choosing a BBQ rub, it’s important to pay attention to the ingredient list. Some rubs contain high amounts of sugar, which can cause burning if you’re cooking at high temperatures. Also, check for any artificial ingredients or preservatives if you prefer natural options. Another key aspect is the salt content, which varies widely among brands and can affect the flavor balance of your dish.

We tested a variety of BBQ rubs to find the ones that bring out the best in your grilled dishes.

Best BBQ Rubs

Let’s fire up the grill and explore our favorite BBQ rubs! We’re excited to share these top picks for adding amazing flavor to your cookout.

Bone Suckin’ BBQ Rub

This rub is a versatile and delicious option that’s easy to use on various meats and more.


  • Great versatility, good on almost anything
  • Health-friendly ingredients, non-GMO, gluten-free, and kosher
  • Comes in a large bottle, offering good value


  • Some might find the flavor too mild
  • Higher price point
  • Might not be available in all local stores

We really enjoyed using the Bone Suckin’ BBQ Rub in our kitchen. The combination of brown sugar, paprika, garlic, and other spices makes it a delightful choice for ribs, pork, beef, and even veggies. The subtle sweetness and balanced spices worked wonders on our grilled chicken, making every bite flavorful and satisfying.

Trying it on seafood and popcorn, we found it added a nice extra kick. It’s rare to see a rub that’s this adaptable, and it quickly became our go-to seasoning for different dishes. The health-conscious will appreciate that it’s non-GMO, gluten-free, and kosher, which makes it a safer choice for those with dietary restrictions.

While some might feel the flavor is a bit mild compared to other stronger rubs, it’s still a fantastic option for those who prefer a more balanced taste. Even though it’s on the pricier side, the large 737g bottle provides plenty of use, making it worth the investment for BBQ lovers.

For anyone who enjoys experimenting with flavors or sticking to the basics, the Bone Suckin’ BBQ Rub is a dependable choice we are happy to recommend.

Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub

This rub is a must-have for anyone looking to elevate their chicken and pork dishes with a perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors.


  • Great balance of apple and honey flavors
  • Versatile and works well with various meats
  • Kosher, GMO-free, and gluten-free


  • Smell can be a bit strong
  • A bit pricey for the quantity
  • Not ideal for those who dislike sweet rubs

We had a fantastic time trying out the Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub. As soon as we opened the tin, we were hit with a delightful aroma of apple and honey mixed with savory notes of paprika and onion. It’s clear that the blend is thoughtfully crafted.

When we used this rub on chicken, the results were outstanding. The seasoning not only stuck well to the meat but also enhanced its natural flavors. We also tried it on pork, and it was equally impressive, making the meat flavorful and juicy.

One thing to keep in mind is that the smell can be a bit overpowering when first opened. Also, for those who aren’t fans of sweeter rubs, this might not be the best choice. Nonetheless, the blend’s versatility makes it a great addition to any grill master’s pantry.

Rufus Teague Variety Pack

A must-have for any BBQ lover, offering a range of award-winning flavors that elevate every meal.


  • Great variety of flavors
  • Made with natural ingredients
  • Perfect for various meats and veggies


  • Slightly pricey
  • Some flavors may not suit everyone
  • Bottles could be bigger

Rufus Teague’s Big Box O’ Rub Variety Pack is a game-changer for our BBQ sessions. With a fantastic blend of herbs and spices, it adds depth to any dish. From the first bite, we noticed the premium quality of these rubs.

We found the range of flavors exciting. Every rub in the pack brought something unique to our meals, be it chicken, pork, or even veggies. These rubs have elevated our BBQ game, making every dish mouthwatering.

Though it is a little on the pricier side, the quality justifies the cost. The smaller bottle sizes were a slight downside, especially for the heavy users among us. Despite this, the Rufus Teague Variety Pack is a staple in our pantry and we can’t imagine BBQ without it now.

Spice Rack Co. BBQ Spices And Rubs Gift Set

This set is perfect for anyone looking to add serious flavor to their grilling.


  • Intense, diverse flavors
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Perfect for gifts


  • Smaller size than expected
  • Some flavors may not suit everyone
  • Pricey for the quantity

We recently got our hands on the Spice Rack Co. BBQ Spices And Rubs Gift Set, and we’ve been thrilled with the results on our grill. The variety of flavors in this set — including Savoury Steak, Better Burger, Backyard BBQ, Cajun Creole, and Jamaican Jerk — has added incredible taste to our grilled meals.

Each blend brings its own unique twist, making it easy to switch up the flavors without needing a dozen different spice jars. The quality of the ingredients really stands out, and it’s clear that these are crafted with care.

Though the packages were smaller than we initially expected, the flavors pack a punch, so a little goes a long way. Ideal for both amateur grillers and seasoned pros, this set also makes a fantastic gift for the barbecue lover in your life. The compact size is a plus for gift giving, fitting neatly into stockings or gift baskets.

BBQ Rub Gift Set

A great choice for anyone who loves American barbeque flavors.


  • Diverse flavor options
  • Fresh and aromatic
  • Multi-use packets


  • Some might find it too sugary
  • Packets can get crushed
  • Limited shelf life

We’ve tried the BBQ Rub Gift Set, and it’s a delight for BBQ enthusiasts. The set includes Tangy Memphis, Sweet Kansas City, Spicy Carolina, and Savory Texas Rubs. Each packet packs a punch, and you can tell the spices are fresh. The aromas hit you right when you open them.

The versatility of these rubs is a big win. You can use them as a rub for meats, add them to vegetables, or even mix them into a marinade. We found the recipes included to be super helpful and a great source of inspiration for our grilling sessions.

One downside is that the packets can get a little crushed, which makes storage tricky sometimes. Also, some might find the rubs a bit too sugary. Lastly, be mindful of the shelf life—it’s best to use them sooner rather than later.

Heath Riles BBQ Pecan Rub

If you’re looking to shake up your BBQ game, this pecan rub might just be the secret weapon you need.


  • Awesome pecan flavor
  • Versatile on various meats
  • Made in the USA


  • Might be too unique for some
  • Slightly higher price point
  • Limited availability in stores

The Heath Riles BBQ Pecan Rub is a game-changer. We tried it on everything from burgers to chicken and were always pleased with the results. The nutty pecan flavor really stands out and makes every bite memorable. We even got compliments from friends who couldn’t quite figure out what made the taste so special.

We love that this rub has pure ingredients, so we don’t have to worry about harmful additives. It’s clear that Heath Riles knows what he’s doing, as the award-winning flavor speaks volumes. The rub performs exceptionally well on pork, ribs, and even sweet potatoes.

It’s also worth noting that this rub is made right here in the USA. We take pride in supporting American-made products. While the price is a bit on the higher side, considering the quality and flavor it delivers, it’s worth every penny.

Cattlemen’s Cowboy Rub

A fantastic rub for meat lovers who want to add a bold, smoky flavor to their dishes.


  • Rich, smoky taste
  • Versatile use
  • Premium ingredients


  • Coarse texture
  • Strong molasses flavor
  • Large container

We loved using Cattlemen’s Cowboy Rub. The blend of hickory smoke, molasses, and coffee gave our meats a rich, smoky flavor. It’s perfect for steak, brisket, and even chicken. The coarsely ground spices create a visually appealing dish with an intense flavor profile.

This rub’s versatility is impressive. You can use it as a dry rub, mix it into a marinade, or even make a new sauce. We’ve tried it both ways and every time the flavors came out amazing. Plus, it’s great on vegetables too, so it’s perfect for a whole meal.

One thing to watch out for is the coarse texture. It might not mix as smoothly into all dishes. Also, the molasses flavor is strong, which might not be for everyone. And, the container is quite large, so make sure you have space to store it. Overall, it’s a fantastic addition to our BBQ arsenal.

Spice Guru BBQ Rub Set

This rub set is perfect for anyone looking to elevate their grilling game with a variety of flavors.


  • Delicious variety of flavors
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Versatile uses for different meats and veggies


  • Some packaging issues reported
  • Bottles may arrive unsealed
  • Not everyone likes all the flavors

We tried the Spice Guru BBQ Rub Set and were impressed with the variety it offers. Each blend – Sweet Heat Spicy BBQ Rub, Pit Perfection Peachy BBQ Rub, Prime Time Steak and Veg Seasoning, and Hickory Haze Smoky BBQ Rub – brings something unique to the table. They’ve really nailed the balance of flavors, making our meats turn out amazing.

Using the Prime Time seasoning on steak was a hit. It gave the meat a savory and rich taste, which everyone loved. The Sweet Heat added a perfect kick to our roasted veggies, making them stand out without being overpowering.

While the spices are top-notch, there were a few issues with the packaging. Some bottles arrived unsealed, which was a bit disappointing, especially if you’re looking to gift this set. Nonetheless, the overall quality of the spices makes it a worthwhile addition to any BBQ enthusiast’s collection.

Buying Guide

When shopping for the best BBQ rubs, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Let’s look at some key features.


The ingredients make a big difference in how a rub tastes. We should look for natural ingredients like spices, herbs, and salts. Avoid rubs with too many artificial additives or preservatives.

Flavor Profile

Think about what flavors we enjoy. Do we prefer sweet, spicy, or a mix? Look at the main ingredients. Sugar gives sweetness, while chili powder adds heat.


Some rubs are good for more than one type of meat. We can look for ones that work with chicken, beef, pork, and even vegetables. This versatility can save money and kitchen space.


Rubs come in different textures, from fine powders to coarse blends. A finer texture sticks better to meats, while a coarser one adds a crunchy crust.


Budget can be an important factor. Prices can vary widely. We should compare prices per ounce to get the best deal. Sometimes buying in bulk can be cheaper.


Good packaging keeps the rub fresh. Airtight containers are best. We might find jars, bags, or shakers. Think about what’s easiest for us to use.

Feature Considerations
Ingredients Natural, fewer additives
Flavor Profile Sweet, spicy, or a mix
Versatility Works with various meats and vegetables
Texture Fine or coarse
Price Compare prices per ounce
Packaging Airtight, easy to use

By focusing on these features, we can find a BBQ rub that matches our needs and tastes. Happy grilling!

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