Our favourite homemade spice rub
I’ve been making this homemade spice rub for ages. I use this stuff on almost everything! Well… maybe not on desserts. 😂 Hmm… that gives me an idea! Just kidding. Even I have limits!
In today’s main photo, you’ll see I used the rub on grilled pork rib chops, roasted chicken, seared salmon fillets and roasted Parisian potatoes.
Because of the different flavour profiles of each protein and vegetable, and the way these meals were cooked, even though I used the same spice rub on everything, the foods don’t taste the same. Even when they’re all on the table at the same time, like today’s dinner, each item is different and delicious in its own right.
What’s wrong with store-bought spice rub?
Nothing. It’s more and more common these days to find smaller batch spice rubs by your favourite chefs or well-known YouTube pit masters. In many case these smaller batch spice rubs are delicious and don’t have preservatives. You can even find some great rubs at farmer’s markets.
Our recipe is one more option out of the many great options out there. I like making my own because it gives me full control over what’s in it, plus I save money by making it at home.
How long should I leave the dry spice rub on meats and veg before cooking?
Spice rubs can eventually start drying out your foods, so the duration of time you leave on the rub before cooking the food mainly depends on the type of meat/veg and its size.
I always recommend a more immediate cook, after application, for more delicate meats like chicken breast or fish, and for vegetables. For these, I tend to season then cook right away, or within no more than 30 minutes after application.
For pork chops or whole chickens I’ll season them, refrigerate, and cook up to 4 hours later. A brisket, on the other hand, can be seasoned and left in the fridge over night without loosing moisture.
For a quick weeknight meal, you can season and cook right away with amazing results. All the foods you see in our picture were seasoned with this same spice rub, and cooked right away. They all tasted delicious! Perfect for quick weeknight dinners, right!
Do other spice rubs have sugar?
Many do, and there’s a reason for that. Sugars help caramelize foods. Personally I think rubs without sugar are equally delicious. Plus, I’m a diabetic, so anytime I can eat something delicious without added sugar and with zero compromise on flavour, it’s definitely a bonus.
Shake it on!
You can, of course, use your favourite method of seasoning foods. I want to share mine. A couple of years ago I was watching a Master Class video from Aaron Franklin. He’s one of America’s best pit masters and has a lot of great advice for grilling and smoking.
The class I was watching was on smoking brisket. He talked about the importance of seasoning your food evenly so that every bite tastes the same. He shared a tip to wash out and re-use an old large spice container to use your own spice rub.
This style of container has a few bonuses. The beauty of using a large container is that you can simply add in all the ingredients and then shake it up to mix all the spices.
Also, most of these larger containers have a lid with two openings. One side has large holes – perfect for when you want to shake out large quantities of the spice rub, usually over a large cut of meat. The other side has smaller holes – giving you more control. This side is perfect for distributing the spice rub over your food more evenly as you shake it back and forth. This side gives you more control.
I bought a large container of granulated garlic from Costco two years ago. Once I was done with the garlic (didn’t take long… we love our garlic too), I washed the container and dried it completely before adding my spices and dried herbs for this spice rub. I’ve used the same container ever since. Nothing fancy required.
Making a big batch of homemade spice rub
Our recipe yields 1.5 cups of spice rub. This seems like a lot, but trust me, when you start using it on a variety of foods, you’ll understand why it’s worth making a large batch.
Double the recipe, or cut it in half. Whatever suits your needs best. Just make sure to mix up the contents really well before using it so that all the individual granules are evenly distributed for perfectly-flavoured meals.
In addition to tasting great, this spice rub recipe is super simple and ready in less than 5 minutes. Chances are you already have all these individual spices and herbs sitting in your spice rack anyway. Follow the steps in the instructions. Toss all the ingredients into a container, close the lid and shake, shake, shake! Super easy… and ready when you need it in a pinch.
Go on… shake on some flavour and make today yummy!
A damn good homemade spice rub (sugar free)
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/3 cup ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup granulated garlic
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp dried oregano leaves
- Pour all the ingredients into a large container with a lid.
- Close the lid and shake for a couple of minutes until all the spices are well combined.
- Time to season and enjoy delicious food!