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Make Your Own Smoky Dry Rub & FREE Printable Label

This smoky dry rub is a staple in our house. We use it at least once a week. It’s great on steaks or any hearty meat.

I love to BBQ. Well, truth be told, I love it when my husband barbeques.  I spend so much time cooking and perfecting recipes that it is nice to have a night off.

This happens all year long on Saturday. Normally, my husband barbeques steaks on the grill, and he is good at it.  Funny actually.

If we settle down to a glass of wine and talk while he is tending the grill, he often forgets about the cooking. When this happens, he is just like a housewife if it does not come out just so – perfectionist that he is.

Make Your Own Smoky BBQ Dry Rub

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It is always fine, but when he does NOT forget the grill, it really is something else.  He is a master of the grill when you put some BBQ Grill Sets within reach. 

My favorite “go to” spice for steaks, pork chops, chicken or just about anything else on the grill is this smoky dry rub.  I got the inspiration for the recipe from Emeril’s essence, but have tweaked it here and there to make it my own.

And, my version is much much cheaper than his!

Trust me, everything that gets grilled with this rub tastes good.  I even use it in the oven on roast beef (with a splash of wine) and it is fabulous that way too.

To make the rub, you will need this impressive array of spices.

Smoky Dry Rub IngredientsIt looks like a lot but you only need a few tablespoons of each.  Combined together they make a wonderful, smoky rub with so much flavor.  It brings out the best of any protein choice.

The rub is so easy to make, the hardest part is grinding the Kosher salt and cracked black pepper.  (I tore a tendon in my wrist gardening a few weeks ago, so this was a chore for me today!) 

ust dump them all into a mixing bowl.  It will look something like this:

Dry rub ready to mixNext step is just get out a whisk and combine them all together. That’s it.  There will be some fine ground particles in the rub and some larger ones. 

Don’t worry about that.  It gives the meat a nice crusty outside when grilled.  The rub takes on the color of the paprika when mixed.

Smoky BBQ dry rubThe rub is a wonderful blend of spices. Cumin gives it the smokiness, paprika the rich color and taste, and red pepper gives it a bit of a kick but not too much.

Combined with the other spices in the recipe and it’s a must have on hand for all BBQ nights.

It looks like a fairly small bowl but I filled a very large salt grinder and an old reused normal sized spice jar. 

If you have priced rubs at the grocery store lately, you know that they are pricy – $5.99 is a typical price or more.  This recipe makes about 3-4 times the amount at a fraction of the cost.


And just for fun, and because I am such a visual person, I made a free printable label for the jar.

Just click on the image, print it out on glossy photo paper (4 x 4″), cut and use a glue stick to attach it to your jar. 

(**Feel free to share the label but please link to this page if you do so.**)

Free Printable Dry Rub LabelHere is my jar, all dressed up and ready for tonight’s BBQ!  (the perfect BBQ chicken.)Smoky BBQ Dry RubEnough of the fun stuff… on to the recipe!

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Make Your Own Smoky Dry Rub

Make Your Own Smoky Dry Rub

This smoky dry rub is great on all types of meat. Make your next grilling session something that the guests will rave about!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1/4 cup of Spanish paprika
  • 2 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 cup of garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/4 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp onion flakes
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp of ground cumin seed


  1. Measure out all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Combine with a whisk and store in an air tight jar.
  2. I keep mine in a large salt grinder with a closed top. It is easy to pour the mix in, and the grinder gives an extra punch when it's time to use the rub to release the flavor a bit more.
  3. This makes about the amount of 3-4 normal spice jars and lasts for months. Use it on steaks, ribs, chicken and pork chops. It is also great sprinkled on roast beef before cooking (add some wine for extra flavor and roast.)

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 17Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 701mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g

Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.

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Friday 20th of March 2020

Sounds interesting but can't go out because of this virus. Can I use smoked paprika instead of spanish? Don't know the difference. I usually use the Spice and Tea Exchange 'Backwoods' @12.95 or approx 5oz...

Carol Speake

Friday 20th of March 2020

Hi Dotti. Hope you stay well during this time. Yes, smoked paprika will work fine.


Wednesday 25th of June 2014

I was just thinking last night when I was grilling pork chops that I needed a new seasoning. I'll try this out! Thank you. Visiting from Blogtalk. ;)


Wednesday 25th of June 2014

I hope you like it Michelle. We use it for all sorts of protein and love the flavor. ~Carol

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