Last updated: August 13, 2021

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Barbecue rubs, if you like golden crispy crusts on your meat, you will love the ready-made spice mixes. These dry marinades are made from several ingredients and give your meat or vegetables everything you need for a delicious barbecue day.

There are different ways to season your grilled meat. A marinade, a barbecue sauce or a BBQ rub. The differences are mainly in the consistency, because marinades and BBQ sauces are based on liquids such as water, oil, yoghurt or even ketchup. BBQ rubs, on the other hand, consist of dry spice mixtures, which you will learn all about in this article.


  • Contents: BBQ rubs come in many different varieties. In addition to the main ingredients such as salt, sugar and spices, it is always possible to create your own mix or buy various mixes.
  • Meat and vegetable varieties: Each BBQ rub has its own strength. When choosing the flavour and ingredients, make sure it matches the chosen meat or vegetable. This way you will ensure an incredible taste experience.
  • Application: The application is basically very simple. You rub your grilled food with a rub just before use and get an intense taste with juicy meat and crispy crust.

The Best BBQ Rub: Our Picks

We've explained everything you need to know about BBQ rubs for you to decide on your favourite one. Your taste or need should also be included.

Buying and evaluation criteria for a BBQ rub

Anyone who has tried these BBQ rubs knows what it's like when your mouth waters at the thought of pork and brisket. If you're a professional or barbecue lover and are thinking about buying some spice mixes, we'll explain what you need to watch out for. We'll answer all your questions about BBQ rubs.

In this section, we explain what you should look for when making your decision.


Since the spices are applied without oil or other liquids, the risk of burning fat is significantly reduced. Nothing drips into the embers. This is why rubs are also called dry rubs or dry marinades.

The use of these spices creates a spicy crust that keeps the meat juicy and aromatic on the inside. So whether grilling or smocking, the meat always stays juicy! And don't forget the long shelf life. The BBQ-Rubs are excellent for stockpiling.


Only dry ingredients may be used for the rubs, as they are neither sauces nor dips or similar. There are only a few main ingredients such as salt and sugar that can be found in each of the rubs.

Numerous other ingredients, from natural spices to herbs, can be put together yourself or purchased. The right combination and mixture is what makes it.


If a particularly intense and spicy taste is important to you when barbecuing, you should go for a BBQ rub. A crispy crust and extremely intense flavours ranging from sweet and savoury, spicy with a certain smoky aroma to exotic are a decisive purchase criterion.

Often there is not enough time to let the marinade soak in. If you forget to plan this and the food is not marinated, it can take hours to transfer the aromas to the meat. With a rub, however, it is sufficient to sprinkle it on shortly before grilling and massage it in.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about BBQ rub answered in detail

Now we will inform you about the most frequently asked questions so that you have a better overview for your purchase decision.

How do you apply BBQ Rub?

You can translate the word from English. It can be translated as "rub", which indicates how it is used. Any grilled food can be rubbed with the BBQ rubs so that they transfer their intense flavours.


Marinades provide the important flavour to meat when grilling. Well-marinated meat is an important factor for a successful barbecue. (Image source: Emerson Vieira/ Unsplash)

You shouldn't be sparing with the rub. Don't hold back on the quantity, but rub your meat generously with the marinade. Make sure that your meat is completely covered, because too much will crumble off by itself.

What types of BBQ Rub are there?

When applying the BBQ Rub, it is quite different for which meat, fish, fruit or vegetables it is used. Rubs that taste better with fish are less suitable for lamb or steaks.

If you make your own rubs, you should think carefully about whether you prefer them sweet or spicy. There are a few factors to consider if you want to give your dishes a more American, Asian or exotic character. The most important thing, however, is to harmonise the foods so that you find the best flavour for you.

What is the secret of a good rub?

There is one rule of thumb that can make your rub the highlight of your barbecue. When making your own rub, be careful to avoid mistakes.

The 8-3-1-1 rule, which says that the mixing ratio of a little sweet, a little salty, one part spice and one part herb makes your meat delicious. Feel free to season your meat however you like, but with this rule you and your guests will have a magically delicious meal in front of you.


Using a BBQ rub adds a delicious flavour to your meat, whether beef, pork or poultry. It is a delicious balance of sweet and salty.

Besides the practical use, as you hardly need to spend any time rubbing these spice mixtures, they leave the grilled food with a very tasty and crispy crust. Moreover, the crust leaves a juicy piece of meat, which sounds quite tasty.

(Cover photo: foodandmore / 123rf)