Homemade BBQ Seasoning

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Crafting your own Homemade BBQ Seasoning is a breeze using the spices in your pantry. This distinctive spice mix works wonders for elevating burgers, steaks, ribs, or pulled pork and serves as a versatile BBQ dry rub for all your grilling adventures.

Today’s Pantry Essentials: Homemade Spice Mixes

Whether a recipe calls for Italian seasoning, Cajun seasoning, pumpkin pie spice, or poultry seasoning, you don’t need to run out to the store to buy it! Spice mixes can be made with what you already have in your cabinet, saving you money and giving you control over the flavors.

Ditch the Mystery: Make Your Own Spice Mixes

Have you ever looked at the back of a store-bought seasoning packet and stumbled upon a list of unpronounceable ingredients? When you make your own seasonings and spice mixes at home, you decide what goes into it!

Creating your own spice mixes is a game-changer for busy moms like us. You know exactly what’s in those little jars, which means no hidden additives, preservatives, or extra salt. It’s like having a superpower to keep your pantry healthier.

But here’s where it gets even better: you’ve got the reins. You can adjust the flavors to match your family’s taste buds. More smokiness, a bit of a spicy kick, or that aromatic twist you love – it’s all on the table. The kitchen becomes your playground, and your dishes, well, they become uniquely yours.

Plus, think about those moments when you want a specific cuisine or dish. You can create custom blends that match your family’s favorite flavors. Maybe it’s a mouthwatering BBQ seasoning for those weekend grilling sessions, or a taco seasoning for Taco Tuesdays. Whatever you choose, it’s all about catering to your crew’s cravings.

Ingredients Needed

Exact measurements can be found in the printable recipe card below.

  • Dark Brown Sugar: Substitute with any other sugar you prefer, but keep in mind it won’t have the rich caramel flavor. You can also cut back on the sugar if you prefer a less sweet seasoning.
  • Salt: Enhances the overall flavor of the seasoning and helps tenderize meat. You can reduce the salt or use a low-sodium alternative if you prefer.
  • Pepper: Adjust the amount to control the spiciness to your liking.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Brings a fiery kick to the blend. Use less if you prefer a milder seasoning.
  • Smoked Paprika: Regular paprika can be used as a substitute.
  • Chili Powder: Adds a warm, smoky, and spicy depth to the mix.
  • Garlic Powder: Imparts a savory and robust garlic flavor.
  • Onion Powder: Enhances the seasoning with a sweet and mild onion taste.
  • Sage Powder: You can substitute thyme or rosemary if you prefer.
  • Cinnamon: Nutmeg or allspice can work as a replacement if you prefer.

Recipe Variations

  • For those who love extra heat, increase the red pepper flakes and chili powder for a spicier version.
  • Boost the smoky flavor by adding a bit more smoked paprika or incorporating a touch of chipotle powder.
  • Mix in a tablespoon of cocoa powder or cocoa nibs to add a rich chocolatey undertone.
  • Add a punch of freshness with some dried orange or lemon zest for a citrusy twist.

Tips for good food on a budget!

Use good quality seasonings. While buying in bulk can sometimes save you money, buying better quality seasonings often means you need to use less in your recipes.

Spice Up Your Cooking Game

Creating your BBQ seasoning at home isn’t just about saving money; it’s a journey to becoming a culinary expert. You’ll learn about the unique qualities of various spices and herbs, from the smokiness of paprika to the fiery kick of cayenne pepper. You’ll understand how to balance flavors to create the perfect blend for your family’s taste buds.


That’s right, there’s only one step in this easy recipe!

  1. Mix all seasonings together and store in an airtight container.

How to store and love your leftovers

  • Airtight Containers: Use airtight containers to store your spice mix. Glass jars with rubber-sealed lids or small plastic containers with secure closures work well. The goal is to prevent moisture, air, and light from entering.
  • Cool, Dark Place: Store your spice mixes in a cool, dark, and dry place. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause the spices to deteriorate.
  • Labeling: Always label your containers with the name of the spice mix and the date it was prepared. This makes it easier to identify and use the mix.
  • Refrigeration or Freezing: For long-term storage, especially if you’ve made a large batch, consider refrigerating or freezing the mix. While this is not always necessary, it can help extend the shelf life. Make sure the container is airtight to prevent any moisture from affecting the spices.
  • Use Desiccant Packs: To prevent moisture from causing clumps in your spice mix, consider placing a small desiccant pack inside the container. These are often found in vitamin bottles and can help maintain the dryness of your mix.

If you find that you won’t use all of your seasoning mix within a reasonable time, consider gifting some to friends and family.


What can I use BBQ seasoning mix for?

BBQ seasoning mix is a versatile blend that works well as a dry rub for meats, a seasoning for grilled or roasted vegetables, and even as a flavor enhancer for snacks like popcorn or nuts.

Can I use BBQ seasoning mix as a marinade?

While it’s primarily designed as a dry rub, you can create a wet marinade by mixing it with oil, vinegar, or your preferred liquid. However, the sugar might caramelize faster on the grill, so watch your cooking time.

What’s the best way to apply the seasoning to meat or vegetables?

To apply the seasoning, sprinkle it evenly over the food, then rub it in for a balanced flavor. Allow it to rest for about 20 minutes before cooking for the best results. The rest time will help the dry rub adhere to the meat before sautéing or grilling.

BBQ Seasoning Dry Rub goes great on…

  • Grilled Meats
  • Burgers
  • Roasted Vegetables
  • Homemade French Fries

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Homemade BBQ Seasoning Dry Rub

Quick, easy, and big batch possible! Create your own custom BBQ spice blend with this flavorful dry rub recipe.
Katie Chase
Recipe Cost $0.97


  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar packed
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1.5 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons sage powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon


  • Mix all seasonings together and store in an airtight container. Makes about 1 cup of seasoning.
Disclaimer: Please note all serving sizes, pricing, and nutrition is an estimate based on 2023-2024 pricing and nutrition guides. For accuracy please do your own calculations.

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