Best BBQ rub | Get these top 5 favorites for the best flavor

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  August 18, 2021

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While salt and pepper are the ‘original’ flavorings, there’s no question that a good BBQ rub that includes some additional spices and herbs can take your meal from average to absolutely fantastic!

Many professional grill masters and smokers formulate their own secret rub recipes with a wide range of conventional and exotic ingredients.

Sadly, we don’t all have the time to try and test our own combinations, but there are some delicious pre-made BBQ rub recipes on the market that will ensure your next meal is a resounding success.

Best BBQ rub | Get these top 5 favorites for the best flavor

My go-to rub is Bad Byron’s Butt Rub Barbeque Seasoning. It is so versatile that it can be used on almost anything from meat to fish to vegetables. I’m always certain that my meal will be delicious and hassle-free with this seasoning.

There’s a lot of great brands on the market, which is why I have picked what I believe to be the best five BBQ rubs that you can order online with home delivery today.

Best BBQ rubs Image
Best overall BBQ rub: Bad Byron’s Butt Rub Barbeque Seasoning Best overall BBQ rub- Bad Byron's Butt Rub Barbeque Seasoning

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Best BBQ rub for pork: Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub Best BBQ rub for pork- Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub

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Best BBQ rub for baby back ribs: Plowboys Yardbird Rub Best BBQ rub for baby back ribs- Plowboys Yardbird Rub

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Best gluten-free BBQ seasoning: Pork Barrel BBQ All American Seasoning Mix Best gluten-free BBQ seasoning- Pork Barrel BBQ All American Seasoning Mix

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Best set of BBQ rubs: BBQ Bros Rubs (Southern Style) Best set of BBQ rubs- BBQ Bros Rubs (Southern Style)

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The 5 best barbecue rubs reviewed

The amount of BBQ rubs is truly impressive, which is good news to those who like to experiment and discover new, interesting flavors.

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Below you will find my favorite options, I have tried each of them personally and I know what you can expect.

They are all in a very similar price range, so I’ve focused on their flavors and uses to help you decide which ones you’d like most.

Best overall BBQ rub: Bad Byron’s Butt Rub Barbeque Seasoning

Best overall BBQ rub- Bad Byron's Butt Rub Barbeque Seasoning

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Made in the USA, Bad Byron’s Butt Rub Barbeque Seasoning is one of the best BBQ rubs on the market. It is a favorite for barbecue enthusiasts and professional chefs.

This rub is available in three flavors – authentic, mild, and smoky. It offers a perfect mix of salt, onion, paprika, pepper, and chipotle. You can use Bad Byron’s Butt Rub on virtually everything, even with vegetables.

Bad Byron’s Butt Rub Barbeque Seasoning doesn’t pose any adverse effects on health. It is gluten-free.

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Wondering what’s the difference between Pork Shoulder vs Pork Butt?

Best BBQ rub for pork: Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub

Best BBQ rub for pork- Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub

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If you’ve always dreamed of becoming as good at barbecuing as a professional pitmaster, Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub will help you realize your dream.

This rub includes a balanced blend of brown sugar, salt, paprika, mustard, onion powder, chili pepper, turmeric, dill weed, garlic, MSG, evaporated cane juice, and dehydrated orange peel. It helps to bring out the natural flavors in the meat.

The Killer Hogs team has invested loads of time and resources into perfecting this rub, and you can really taste the results. It is suitable for beef, steak, burgers, pork, and chicken, but highly recommended for pork.

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Wondering how Killer Hogs compares to Bad Byron’s Butt Rub? These guys have done the test on a Pit Boss:

Best BBQ rub for baby back ribs: Plowboys Yardbird Rub

Best BBQ rub for baby back ribs- Plowboys Yardbird Rub

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Plowboys BBQ created the Yardbird rub after winning the 2009 American Royal World Series of Barbecue competition.

If you’re looking for a mouth-watering rub that is perfect for chicken, pork, or ribs, you can’t go wrong with Plowboys Yardbird Rub.

It is highly recommended for succulent and flavorful baby back ribs.

The rub offers a balanced blend of sweet and spicy. It comprises mainly sugar, salt, paprika, chili pepper, onion, garlic, and mustard flour.

However, some reviewers have pointed out that the rub gives a somewhat salty flavor if you add too much of it, so don’t be overly generous with your application.

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Also read: How to use flavor Infusing Grilling Wraps & top choices to buy

Best gluten-free BBQ seasoning: Pork Barrel BBQ All American Seasoning Mix

Best gluten-free BBQ seasoning- Pork Barrel BBQ All American Seasoning Mix

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This rub from Pork Barrel BBQ is an all-natural, savory blend with a selection of coarse and fine ground spices. It is gluten-free and doesn’t contain MSG or any preservatives.

The All American Seasoning Mix offers a savory blend of chipotle chile, ancho chile, garlic, smoked paprika, onion, salt, and spices. Its flavor and aroma are very earthy and smoky.

The ancho chiles and smoked paprika give it a unique twist that you may not find in any other rub out there.

What’s more, this rub is versatile enough to use on virtually anything, including grilled meats, slow-roasted meats, and vegetables.

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Best set of BBQ rubs: BBQ Bros Rubs (Southern Style)

Best set of BBQ rubs- BBQ Bros Rubs (Southern Style)

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I don’t know about you, but I prefer to change up my flavors every now and then. I get bored if my meat tastes the same every single time I grill it!

A good way to diversify your flavors is this collection of rubs from BBQ Bros Rubs.

This Ultimate BBQ spices seasoning set comprises:

It is 100% handcrafted from premium ingredients, which include fresh herbs and spices. All three rubs are MSG-free and contain no preservatives.

The California-style blend contains classic ingredients such as black pepper, garlic, paprika, and salt.

The mixture makes it ideal for pork, chicken, salmon, and big game meats. You could also use it on smoked jerky, pork shoulder, ribs, and brisket.

The Kansas City-style blend, on the other hand, is ideal for seafood boils. It comprises garlic, brown sugar, paprika, onion, salt, red pepper, and spice. It also contains silicon dioxide, which serves as an anti-caking agent.

You can use this seasoning blend on briskets, ribs, and hot wings. However, if you love sweet barbecues, you should go for the Texas-style blend.

The main ingredients of the Texas rub are garlic, red pepper, salt, sugar, and spices. It is perfect for honey-glazed ribs and sweet-crusted beef steaks.

The BBQ Bros Rubs Ultimate Barbecue Spices Seasoning Set is an excellent choice for family gatherings and gifts.

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Rather make your own rub? Here’s a perfect smoked lamb shoulder & rub recipe you can make yourself

BBQ rubs FAQs

How should you apply a dry rub?

There are two ways to apply dry rubs:

  1. Use them dry as their name suggests – Rub and press the spices on your meat to create a nice crust on top
  2. Mix the rub with some oil – This creates a paste that you can easily spread over your meat. While the result will be flavorful, your meat won’t have a crusty bark on the outside. It’s up to you to choose which you prefer most

What is the right amount of rub to use?

The professionals recommend using a tablespoon of dry herb for every pound of meat. For wet rubs, a 1:1 ratio of dry rub and liquid is a good place to start.

What is the best way to apply dry rubs?

Follow the method below:

  1. Using a paper towel, pat your meat dry. The meat surface should have as little moisture as possible
  2. Sprinkle your dry rub onto the meat
  3. Rub the spices onto the meat with your hands. For a thicker coat, press the spices onto the meat

Takeaway

While many of us like to make our own rubs, these five options are a fantastic alternative if you just don’t have the time to put together your own mix. These rubs are perfectly formulated by professionals to enhance the flavor of your meat, so you can enjoy a delicious meal for a little less effort. I hope you enjoy trying these new flavors!

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.