- 1 Best Seasonings for General Purpose – Plowboys Yardbird Rub
- 2 2. Bad Byron’s Butt Rub Barbeque Seasoning
- 3 3. Best Seasonings for Pork – Killer Hogs – The BBQ Rub
- 4 4. The Salt Lick BBQ Original Dry Rub
- 5 5. Best Seasonings for Beef – Oakridge BBQ Santa Maria Steak Seasoning
- 6 6. John Henry’s Texas Brisket Rub
- 7 7. Best Seasonings for Chicken – Kosmos Q Honey Killer Bee BBQ Rub
- 8 8. Lawry’s Perfect Blend Chicken & Poultry Rub
- 9 9. Best Seasonings for Lamb – USimplySeason Za’atar Spice
- 10 10. Colorado Spice Colorado Lamb Rub
A BBQ seasoning or rub is a mixture of various herbs and spices, and it can enhance the flavor of the meat. As such, these products have become a staple for a lot of BBQ recipes.
If you don’t have time to make your own seasoning, you can always opt for high-quality BBQ rubs pre-mixed. There are a lot of choices, though, and finding your favorite could take a lot of time and cooking as you try each product. To give you a head start, here are what we’ve found to be the best seasonings to make your BBQ recipes more delicious. We’ve also included some general information you’ll want to know and tips on how to use your favorite BBQ seasoning.
Types of BBQ Seasonings
There are two types of BBQ seasonings, and each type has its own purpose.
• Dry Rub – This type of seasoning comes in bags and shakers. They contain dry ingredients, such as garlic powder, paprika, and chili powder. The purpose of a dry rub is to create a crust for the meat without making it moist. Furthermore, this type of seasoning can add controlled flavor to the meat without overpowering its natural flavor. It is best used for meat or fish that will not spend a long time on the grill.
• Wet Rub – This type of seasoning contains the same ingredients as the dry rub. The difference is that they contain a liquid base, like vinegar or oil, to create a paste consistency. Wet rubs are meant to soak into the meat, tenderizing it and giving it a richer flavor. It is best used on meat that you plan to cook slowly at a low temperature.
The Plowboys was established in 2001 when Todd Johns and Randy Hicks created their competition team named Pork Pullin Plowboys. Since its inception, Todd and Randy traveled around the country and participated in various competitions to perfect their craft.
If you’re looking for a BBQ seasoning with a simple yet delicious taste, the Plowboys Yardbird Rub is a great choice. Although it has fewer ingredients, it can bring forth a mild flavor with a hint of sweetness and a touch spiciness. However, it does contain a lot of salt, so you need to be careful when using this seasoning.
The key ingredients in this mixture are salt, sugar, chili pepper, paprika, dehydrated onion and garlic, celery powder, and mustard flour.
• Has the right balance of flavor
• Recommended by BBQ professionals
• Can be used on all sorts of meat
• Has high salt content
Bad Byron’s was created by Byron Chism, and it sells flavorful BBQ sauces and seasonings. This company’s award-winning product is the Butt Rub.
The Bad Byron’s Butt Rub BBQ Seasoning is an authentic Texas-style seasoning that imparts a smoky flavor to your steak, pork, and chicken. Aside from that, you can also use this product to add flavor to your vegetables, making it a great all-purpose seasoning. The best part is that it does not contain MSG. Instead, it has a balanced blend of salt, garlic, onion, pepper, paprika, and chipotle. One downside for this product is it is a bit salty.
• Can be used to season seafood and vegetables
• Has well-balanced flavor
• Does not contain MSG or gluten
• A bit salty
Killer Hogs BBQ was founded by two brothers, Malcom and Waylon Reed. Over the years, these two gentlemen have won many BBQ competitions using their popular seasoning – The BBQ Rub.
The Killer Hogs – The BBQ Rubs has a balanced blend of salt, sugar, and spices. It can bring out the natural flavor of meat and create a beautiful mahogany bark on pork, beef, and poultry. Aside from salt and sugar, it also contains paprika, turmeric, chili pepper, onion powder, MSG, dill weed, evaporated cane juice, dehydrated garlic and orange peel, and mustard flour.
• Consistent and balanced flavor
• Can be used on various types of meat
• Not as salty as most BBQ seasonings on the market
• Contains MSG
Salt Lick is a well-recognized brand of BBQ seasonings and sauces. The BBQ Original Dry Rub is a popular product from this brand. This is not surprising because this seasoning can make your meat mouth-watering. Also, this product is 100% Texas-style, and it has a mild peppery taste that works well with pork. The main ingredients of this BBQ seasoning are salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and spices.
• Has a bold flavor
• Can be used on all kinds of food
• Authentic Texas-style rub
• A bit spicy
Oakridge BBQ was founded by Michael Trump. It offers world-class BBQ rubs and spice blends with uncompromising quality.
The Oakridge BBQ Santa Maria Steak Seasoning is an excellent product for those who are looking for a seasoning that has a rich garlic flavor with a hint of pepper, salt, and spice. Also, it is 100% natural, and it does not contain MSG, fillers, and artificial flavorings. Aside from beef, you can also use this seasoning on various food products, including pork, chicken, seafood, and vegetables.
• Imparts a mouth-watering flavor
• Can be used on all sorts of food
• 100% natural
• Does not contain MSG
• Too spicy for some
John Henry, the owner of John Henry’s, grew up in East Texas with wonderful memories of summer picnics and great barbeque. Those memories inspired him to create his award-winning BBQ rubs, sauces, and spices. In everything he does, he strives for perfection and superb taste, so you are guaranteed that his products are not only flavorful but made with superior quality as well.
The John Henry’s Texas Brisket Rub is a popular seasoning. This is not only due to its smoky flavor with a subtle taste of sweetness and spiciness. This seasoning is also designed to hold juices while penetrating and spreading its smoky flavor throughout the meat. Moreover, this seasoning also works well with chicken, pork, and fish. Its main ingredients are salt, sugar, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon oil, and natural smoke flavor.
• Has a classic Texas flavor
• Reasonably priced
• Contains no MSG
• Small quantity
• Not everyone’s flavor
Aside from winning multiple championships, Kosmo’s Q also sells various products that will enhance the flavor of your BBQ recipes. Its products have become a staple among competition BBQ masters all over the world.
If you’re looking for a BBQ seasoning that does not contain MSG, the Kosmos Q Honey Killer Bee is an excellent choice. It has a unique flavor, and it can transform ordinary meat into a mouth-watering dish. Furthermore, it imparts a delicate balance between honey and savory spices, which works well with chicken.
The main ingredients of this delicious seasoning are honey powder, sugar, salt, dextrose, paprika, dehydrated garlic, and celery.
• Has a balanced flavor
• Can be used on any meat
• A bit expensive compared to other BBQ seasonings on the market
8. Lawry’s Perfect Blend Chicken & Poultry Rub
Owned by McCormick, Lawry’s is a popular brand of quality seasoning mixes, spice blends, and marinades.
Lawry’s Perfect Blend Chicken & Poultry Rub features a blend of natural flavors, and it can bring forth a bold flavor to a variety of dishes. Also, this BBQ rub can be used to season large quantities of food. Best of all, this seasoning is versatile. Aside from chicken, you can also use this product to season beef and vegetables. The main ingredients of this BBQ seasoning are garlic, rosemary, turmeric, parsley, paprika, thyme, onion, chili pepper, red bell pepper, and sea salt.
• A versatile seasoning
• Reasonably priced
• Can also be used for baking, broiling, and roasting
• A bit salty
USimplySeason offers various kinds of high-quality spices from across the world. Its most popular product is the Za’atar Spice. This seasoning imparts a distinct nutty flavor that matches the taste of lamb. Furthermore, it contains healthy ingredients, making it a great product for those on a Mediterranean, Paleo, or Keto diet. Lastly, this product is hand-blended from fresh ingredients, such as thyme, oregano, marjoram, sumac, and sesame seeds. These herbs and spices have been carefully roasted to unleash its full flavor.
• 100% natural
• Does not contain salt, MSG, or artificial flavorings
• Great for people on a Mediterranean, Paleo, or Keto diet.
• Flavor is not for everyone
Founded by Rodney Smith, Colorado Spice is one of the most respected spice companies in the USA. This company is passionate about helping their customers prepare unique meals using their flavorful spices.
Lamb is a bit expensive, and you don’t want to ruin it by mixing the wrong spice. Fortunately, the Colorado Lamb Rub is designed to make your lamb recipes more delicious. It has spearmint, which is a perfect match for lamb. Aside from that, it also contains salt, fructose, sesame seeds, lemon peel, black pepper, and basil. Also, it is Kosher certified, and it does not contain MSG, dyes, and artificial colors.
• Kosher Certified
• Does not contain MSG, dyes, or artificial colors
• Has a strong flavor that not everyone will like
• A bit salty
What to Look for in a BBQ Seasoning
It is vital to know and understand the ingredients in a BBQ seasoning. This is especially true if you have allergies. If you’re concerned about what goes inside your body, a seasoning that has natural ingredients is an excellent choice. Moreover, if you’re allergic to gluten, then be sure to look for gluten-free products.
BBQ Seasonings contain salt to enhance its flavor. However, some seasonings contain high amounts of salt. As such, you need to check the salt content to avoid ruining your recipe. Plus, if you know the salt content, you’ll have an idea on how much salt you should use.
To understand a seasoning’s flavor profile, you have to check its ingredients. For example, if you have a fondness for sweets, then you can opt for a BBQ seasoning with honey or brown sugar.
Kind of Meat
It is not ideal to use a single seasoning for all your BBQ recipes. Remember, there are different kinds of seasoning for various recipes. Plus, there are seasonings that you can only use for certain types of meat. Thus, it is vital to consider this info before buying any BBQ seasonings.
How to Apply a BBQ Seasoning
As you know, raw meat contains bacteria, so you need to be careful when handling raw meat. The best way to avoid spreading the bacteria is to use the two-handed method. To do this, you can use one hand to scoop and sprinkle the seasoning and the other hand to massage the seasoning into the meat. As much as possible, keep your massaging hand away from the bag or bowl of seasoning to prevent contamination.
When applying BBQ seasoning, you can start by sprinkling it on all parts of the meat, including the sides. Afterward, you have to rub the seasoning into the meat using your other hand. You can use a kneading-type of motion to make sure that the seasoning gets into the meat.
After you’ve applied the seasoning, you can store or cook the meat. You can also apply a second layer depending on your preferences.
Temperature and Cooking with BBQ Seasonings
When cooking with BBQ seasonings, you must consider the temperature. For example, sugar tends to burn at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, a BBQ seasoning with lots of sugar will burn and turn bitter when you grill the meat for a long period or at a high temperature.