5 Delicious Dry Rub Recipes

Sensational Seasonings to Up Your Grill Game

Looking to up your grill game? An expertly blended dry rub can do just that – transforming everyday meals into a festive feast the whole family will rave about. The following five men have been refining their signature dry rub recipes for years, using a combination of unique spices and their own culinary cultures to create something memorable. Here, they’re sharing the secrets behind their sensational seasonings.

By Mary Beth Wallace / Photography by Rich Smith

Steve Ray headshotThe Texas Trinity Rub

Yields: Enough for 1 whole brisket 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coarse kosher salt
  • 1 cup black pepper (18 mesh)
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

Directions 

  1. Combine seasonings in a bowl.
  2. Coat a whole brisket, commonly called a packer, with olive oil. Using your hands, coat the brisket with the dry rub – making sure to get the front, back, and sides. Then place the brisket on a smoker and cook. 

“Salt, pepper, and garlic are staples when smoking brisket. The simplicity of this rub lends an unbelievable taste and texture to every brisket. By using this rub recipe and giving yourself plenty of time to smoke the brisket, you’re guaranteed to have one of the most flavor-filled meats you’ll ever eat.” – Steve Ray – The Brisket Whisperer, Ooltewah

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William T Wright IIIWright Chicken Rub

Yields: Enough for 2 lbs. of wings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp. pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Directions 

  1. Mix seasonings together in a bowl.
  2. Sprinkle the rub over a pack of chicken wings. Smoke the wings for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then bake in a 325° oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. 

“This is a very versatile rub that works well if you want to incorporate different flavors – like Caribbean, Latin, or Mediterranean – by adding a tablespoon of those seasonings. I like using granulated over powdered garlic because it gives the chicken a more even, non-cakey coating.” – William T. Wright III, Ooltewah

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Taylor Bruce and his sonHerbes de Provence Rub

Yields: Enough for 4-6 racks of beef ribs

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. fennel
  • 1 Tbsp. lavender
  • 1 Tbsp. tarragon
  • 1 Tbsp. marjoram
  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. basil
  • 1 Tbsp. thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. savory
  • 1 Tbsp. rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp. bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup coarse black pepper

Directions 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Apply the spice mixture liberally to the beef ribs, covering each side of the ribs. Smoke them all day before serving.

“This blend of herbs is common in French cuisine and often found in a lot of Southern cooking as well. Using herbes de Provence will lighten the beefiness of the ribs, creating a lovely savory flavor that isn’t overpowering.” – Taylor Bruce, Red Bank

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Jesse RosalesLittle Jack’s Dry Rub Seasoning

Yields: Enough for 6-8 lbs. of meat

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 3 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard powder
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. dried onion flakes
  • 1/2 Tbsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. celery salt
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. annatto 
  • 1 tsp. Tajín
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Directions 

  1. In a bowl, mix the ingredients together.
  2. Store in an air-tight container until ready to use. This rub pairs well with pork or chicken.

“My fondest memories include a wood fire paired with food that is seasoned perfectly to complement a good cut of meat. What makes this dry rub special is the combination of traditional barbecue spices with a hint of my Latin roots.” – Jesse Rosales, East Brainerd

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Darren HowardItalian-Style Rib Rub

Yields: Enough for 6 lbs. of pork spareribs

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 2 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice

Directions 

  1. In a small bowl, combine all the herbs and seasonings and mix well.
  2. When ready to use, combine dry rub with 2-3 Tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil until it has the consistency of a thick paste. Rub the spice paste all over 6 Ibs. (about 2 racks) of pork spareribs and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, or wrap and refrigerate overnight. 
  3. The ribs can be roasted in a 325° oven for 2-3 hours. Once the meat is pliable and tender, brush with 3-4 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar that has been aged for at least 5 years. Broil ribs for another 2 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then cut between the ribs and serve.

“Baby back ribs can also be used with this rub, but my preference is spareribs. This recipe makes the perfect football food – just make sure to ‘spring’ for fresh herbs and a high-end aged balsamic vinegar for the best results.” – Darren Howard, Chattanooga

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