Dry bbq rub

If you’re the proud owner of a Big Green Egg, you probably already use all kinds of rubs, like a rub for beef, a rub for pork and a rub for chicken. Of course, you can always buy ready-made rubs, but it’s much more fun to make them yourself! A rub is quick and easy to make, you don’t need much for it, and you’ll probably already have most of the ingredients at hand. Read more about the ins and outs and putting together and making your own dry rubs.

Seasoning a chicken with a dry bbq rub

Rub = flavour!

Rubs add great flavour! You can’t make spare ribs without a delicious pork rub, beef rub is essential for a brisket in your Big Green Egg and what is a Beer Can Chicken without a tasty chicken rub? But you can also use rubs to give other types of meat and poultry a great flavour boost. You can even add extra flavour to vegetables and fish by sprinkling on a bit of rub. After all, a rub is nothing more or less than a mix of spices, often paired with dried herbs, salt and/or a bit of sugar.

Seasoning brisket with a dry bbq rub

Properly dosing your rub

Rubs are usually used to rub on meat or poultry before preparation. The easiest way to do so is by putting your (homemade) rub in a shaker, evenly sprinkling the ingredients and softly pressing the rub into your food. You can also, if you wish, coat the meat in a little bit of mild olive oil first, to make the rub stick. However, do take the thickness of your base ingredient into account beforehand. You should put a generous amount of rub on a big pork neck, but you’ll need a lot less rub for a steak, chicken wings, vegetables or fish, for example. When dosing your rub, it’s important for the taste of the rub not to dominate the taste of your base ingredient.

Dry bbq rub

Every spice serves its own function

What’s great about a homemade rub is that you can create one to suit your own personal taste. Think about it: each ingredient that goes into a rub serves its own function. Herbs and spices add flavour and – in the case of paprika powder – colour. Sugar is added not only for the taste, but mainly for the caramelisation, and creates that nice crispy layer.

Salt is added as a natural flavour intensifier. Do remember that, if you want to let a rub that contains salt to work its magic, the salt will initially draw the moisture out of the ingredients. After about half an hour, the meat will reabsorb the moisture that was taken out, including the flavours. So, start preparing the dish on your Big Green Egg right after putting on the rub, or wait at least hours, at which point most of the moisture will have been reabsorbed.

Making a dry bbq rub with a mortar and pestle

Combining rubs and ingredients

It’s very easy to make your own rubs. All you need are the ingredients and a spice grinder, coffee grinder or mortar and pestle to mix and grind the ingredients. If you’re creating your own rub, consider the fact that meat that has a more intense flavour can handle stronger flavourings in the rub, like cloves and juniper berries. White meat, which has a more subtle flavour, makes for a better match with elegant flavourings like curry or garlic.

To be sure, always taste your homemade rub on its own before using it on the base ingredient you’re going to prepare in your Big Green Egg. That way, you’ll still be able to tweak the flavour by adding extra ingredients.

Signature rub

There’s also an easier way to make your own rub: by using an existing rub recipe as a starting point. If you like the rub, great! You can start cooking. But you can also use your own taste to make your own signature rub. If you like spicy, add some extra strong spices to create the ultimate rub for you.


If you’re interested in making your own rubs for dishes to make in your Big Green Egg, these 4 recipes offer a great base for you to add your own touch.


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