How to Use Rubs on Your Meat

How to Use Rubs on Your Meat
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Want a great way to spice up your meats? Try a rub. Rubs can be complex ethnic blends or as simple as garlic salt and pepper. They’re usually placed on meats before grilling to add flavor. Rubs shouldn’t overpower your meats and are usually just a blend of strong and mild flavors.

Dry Rubs
Rubs come in shakers and bags. They contain spices and sometimes sugar blended together Most dry rubs contain such things as paprika, chili powder, garlic, cayenne. Put your rub under thick skins like those on chicken, so it can get to the meat. You can find some of these rubs in your local grocery store, or make your own with a little pepper, garlic salt, salt and sugar. When it’s prepared, just shake or sprinkle your spices evenly to coat your meat.

Wet Rub
Mixing a wet substance like oil with your spices makes a “wet rub.” Adding a little olive oil or Worcestershire also helps the spices stick to your meat. A wet rub can also add moisture to your meat and keep it from sticking. When you mix your spices with oil or things like Worcestershire sauce, make a thick paste and then coat it on your meat evenly.

How Long to Keep the Rub On
Wet rubs are more likely to seep into the meat’s juices than dry rubs. You can leave a dry rub on for as little as 30 minutes and then put it on the grill. And with a wet rub, you can have it marinate for several hours.

How to Cook with a Rub
Once your meat is coated with the rub, just place it right on the grill. Sugars can burn at 275 degrees so be careful with sugar rubs and make sure you spray a little cooking oil on the grates first.

Basic Rub Recipe


  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and use as a wet or dry rub.
  2. Tips: Try not to combine sauces with rubs. Add your sauce in the last five minutes.


One thought on “How to Use Rubs on Your Meat

  1. My family is having a BBQ for the summer and I am in charge of the dry rub seasoning. I’m not much of a cook typically, but I love a good dry rub over my chicken. I think I’ll look at different stores and try some out before the big party day. Thanks for the help.

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