The Definitive Guide to Dry Rubs

The Definitive Guide to Dry Rubs

We here at Grill Daddy want to elevate your grilling experience and help YOU make great meals every time! 

So this week we thought we would focus on the art and science of dry rubs.

We will explain what dry rubs are and how to use them along with sharing some delicious recipes for you to make at home. 

We also found some great places to purchase fantastic rubs already made for you.


By the time you have read this post, we bet you will be excited to create your own concoctions!

What Exactly IS a Dry Rub?

Dry rubs are simply a mix of dry seasonings such as salt, spices or sugar that is applied to the surface of meat or fish before cooking. The purpose is to enhance the flavor of the meat itself while adding complementary flavors.

It really is that easy. 

Using a flavor-packed rub can add a light, crusty deliciousness to your meat while locking in that juicy goodness.

When to Use Dry Rubs

Actually, you can use them almost anytime. There is no general consensus as to when to use a dry rub, it really is an individual preference.

You don’t have to be a great planner and remember to prepare it and rub it on way ahead of time.  The beauty of rubs is they are primarily applied shortly before you are ready to begin cooking.

 You can use a dry rub on any type of meat but the best results are going to be from thicker cuts of meat that are naturally juicier.  Think steaks, ribs, brisket, pork loin and even chicken breasts.

Rubs work great for both grilling AND smoking!

How to Apply Dry Rubs

First you will want to blot your meat with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.

Then, use one hand for sprinkling the rub on the meat and the other to vigorously rub it in. 

Be sure to coat both sides and don’t be afraid to be generous with the rub, the more rub the more flavor, keeping in mind you don’t use rubs that are loaded with salt!

Then toss on the grill or smoker and cook as you normally would. Be prepared to be WOWED!

Dry Rubs We Enjoy

Dry rubs are easy to make and easy to find already made for you.  It simply comes down to preference. 

Here are a few prepared rubs that we love:

  • Founded by an executive chef, this company offers so many flavorful blends it will be hard to choose!  Also, on their website they have tons of recipes and tips. Spiceology

  • Traeger has some great rubs on their website to check out, but this one is our favorite! Traeger Coffee Rub

  • This is a great place to not only buy rub blends but when you are adventurous enough it’s also a great place to shop for high quality spices. The Spice House

Dry Rub Recipes

So now that you get the idea of what a dry rub is and how to use it, maybe you will want to try a few recipes and make your own at home. Trust us, it is really easy and fun!

Here a few of our favorites:

  • Here are some basic recipes to get your started based on what kind of meat you are planning to grill. 5 Basic Dry Rub Recipes

  • For a unique twist, this recipe uses it all... salt, sugar, spices AND some coffee grounds for a delicious and unique flavor.   You will LOVE the results. Homemade Coffee Rub

  • We don’t want to forget about how good rubs can be on seafood.  Here is a great recipe that will work on just about anything from trout to swordfish steaks or salmon! Dry Rub for Fish

Wet Rubs

We just wanted to add a quick thought on wet rubs- they are simply dry rubs that have liquid added to them like olive oil, vinegar or even beer.

Since adding the liquid to the rub creates more of a paste, we have found it great for rubbing on delicate meats like fish, or brushing on chicken and veggie kabobs.

So which is best when it comes to rubs?  It really is a personal preference, the rubs themselves will deliver that flavor punch you are looking for either way so experiment, have fun and let us know your favorite techniques and recipes!

Don’t forget that a clean grill is a happy grill and Grill Daddy’s brushes are #1 for a reason! Get yours here.