5 Best BBQ Rubs

Barbecue rubs, or BBQ rubs, as they are popularly known among the general population are simply a seasoning or flavor which are created by a mix of spices and herbs and is used to apply as a coat of flavor outside the meat of any kind that is put for barbecue and grill. There is no fixed flavor profile for BBQ rubs. They can either be sweet or salty. Although it has several popular ingredients, most rubs are made or chosen according to the personal taste of the user. Numerous BBQ rubs are available in the market and some of the best BBQ rubs are available on e-commerce platforms like Amazon too. As there are numerous products available in the online and offline market, it is important to know a bit deep about what to look for in a BBQ rub and the buying guide for the best BBQ rubs below will be an ideal starting point for that.

             Product

            Features

Traeger Grills SPC 174

  • All-purpose Rub

  • Great flavor from a small quantity

  • Anti-tamper package

Pork Barrel BBQ Dry Rub

  • Preservative-free

  • Compatible with multiple products

Traeger Grills SPC 176

  •  Blend of sweet and savory

  • Kosher product

  • Gluten-free


Happy Belly BBQ Rub

  • Long shelf life

  • Natural smoky flavor

  • One-year refund guarantee

Traeger Grills SPC 178 BBQ Rub

  • 100% natural preparation

  • No preservatives

  • Compatible with multiple products

Best BBQ rubs – Buying Guide

BBQ rubs are more than just a flavoring agent. They decide and determine the fate of a barbecue night. Although many families and individuals prefer to make their recipes for BBQ rubs, there is a huge share of the population who depend on store-bought BBQ rubs. An increase in the number of people who use cooktops like grills increased the demand for ready-made BBQ rubs. The sheer convenience and the variety of flavors present in them are what attracts a large number of people to the store-brought BBQ rubs. There are certain things that have to be paid enough attention to make a better deal out of a BBQ purchase.

Factors to consider while buying the best bbq rubs

  1. Dry rub or wet rub: There are two options available in the BBQ rub market and they are the dry rub and the wet rub. As the name itself points out, they are different from each other in the texture of the mixture. Dry rub has a moisture-locking mechanism that keeps them dry and enables them to last for a long time whereas wet rubs are short on shelf life but great on the flavor profile.
  2. Shelf life: The shelf life of a product means the maximum time for which it can be stored without losing its quality. When it comes to a BBQ rub, shelf life is important, as barbecuing is not a daily event for most customers and thus, the rubs are supposed to stay intact for a reasonable amount of time. There are products available in the market that offer up to one year of shelf life. But any product that offers a shelf life from three months to six months is desirable too.
  3. Compatibility: The compatibility of a BBQ rub indicates the possibility of using the rub on a maximum number of products. Several rubs can only be used on meats, but not seafood. Likewise, several others cannot be used in vegetables. An ideal BBQ rub should be flexible enough to be used on all kinds of meats, seafood, and vegetables. Such all-purpose rubs can only be much worthier than the limited compatible ones.
  4. Ingredients: It is advisable to always check the ingredients list before buying a BBQ rub from the market. There are numerous products available in the market that use artificial flavors to enhance the appeal of the rub and such products could cause innumerable ailments on repeated consumption. Instead, choose products that contain natural ingredients and flavors. Natural products may run low on the shelf life but still, experts advise the usage of natural products.
  5. Package: The package of the BBQ rub may seem like the last thing to check closely, but they are very crucial in maintaining the quality of the rub. As most rubs are not used up in one session, chances are high for the user to keep the remaining product for the next use. So, if the package is not an anti-tampering one or an airtight one, chances are high for the remaining product to get exposed to air or sunlight and to turn bitter or go bad. So, rather than buying products in transparent bottles or simpleton covers, make sure to buy the ones with good containers or else buy a separate container to keep the residue of the rub.

Best BBQ Rubs – Reviews

1. Traeger Grills SPC174

best bbq rubs

Description:

  • Brand: Traeger
  • Weight: 0.71 pounds
  • Package: Can
  • Item: Powder

Performance:

The Traeger rub with the flavors of garlic and chili pepper is sold in cans of 0.71 pounds. It is compatible with almost all kinds of meats like beef, poultry, pork, and even seafood and vegetables. The flavor profile of the product is extremely versatile and flexible to be used in all kinds of cuts of meats. The creators claim the product to be one of the best blends of sweet and savory flavors and the numerous customer feedback stands as validation for their claim.

Comparison:

The product comes in stackable containers made of Aluminum, which makes storage of the product extremely easy, unlike its counterparts. It comes in a gluten-free version and is the reason why it is considered one of the best BBQ rubs on the market. it is also a kosher product. This inclusivity is one of the major reasons it is being positively stands out from the rest of the lot in the market.

Usage:

This product is one of the best BBQ rubs presently available in the market, if you enjoy spice. It is a perfect blend of mild spice and sweetness and the user is expected to sprinkle only a small quantity of the rub to invoke a great flavor profile. A small amount of the rub should be rubbed onto the meat to let the flavor fuse into the meat. It is said to work even better with BBQ sauce from the same manufacturer.

Pros:

  • Only requires a small amount to create larger flavors
  • Versatile to be used on meats, poultry, seafood, and vegetables
  • Anti-tamper packaging

Cons:

  • Price seems to be higher than many of its counterparts

What’s new?

The product is milder than what it was before, which offers to offer more inclusivity to people who have less spice tolerance. The packaging of the product also improved into unbreakable, anti-damageable, aluminum containers that are ideal to be stacked one above the other.

Why you should buy it?

The BBQ rub from Traeger Grills exhibits compatibility with almost all kinds of foods and thus, could be a great addition to all BBQ needs, irrespective of the type of protein. It is a kosher product that is both gluten-free and GMO-free, and thus, can easily pick for public BBQs and BBQs for groups without having to worry about affecting anyone negatively.

2. Pork Barrel BBQ Dry Rub

best bbq rubs

Description:

  • Brand: Pork Barrel BBQ
  • Weight: 19 Ounces
  • Flavor: Classic American BBQ
  • Package: Shaker Jar

Performance:

The BBQ rub from the Pork Barrel BBQ brand is known for its preservative-free content. This all-purpose spice is ideal to cook meat, seafood, vegetables, etc. It incorporates a taste and smell of gourmet smoky flavor. It comes in a Classy American flavor.

Comparison:

It significantly saves cooking time as the flavor present in it provides a slow-cooked and smoky effect to what is being cooked. So, the user need not leave the meat for long hours in hope of gaining a smoky flavor.

Usage:

This dry rub can be used to cook almost all kinds of food. The meat or vegetable should be applied with a generous amount of olive oil at first, and then the Pork Barrel BBQ dry rub can be rubbed evenly onto it. Once well marinated, the meat can be cooked on either a barbecue grill or even on the stovetop.

Pros:

  • Dry rub
  • Preservative-free
  • Keto friendly
  • No sugar

Cons:

  • Low consistency of flavor

What’s new?

The updated version of the dry rub sports higher versatility. Along with grilling, the dry rub is now ideal to be used for various other cooking methods like steaming, baking, and boiling.

Why you should buy it?

It is one of the best options as far as health is concerned. It is preservative-free, gluten-free, and MSG-free. It is also an ideal choice for a low-carb diet as it is made with keto-friendly ingredients.

3. Traeger Grills SPC 176 BBQ Rub

best bbq rubs

Description:

  • Brand: Traeger Grills
  • Weight: 0.23 Kilograms
  • Flavor: Garlic and Paprika (Fin and Feather)
  • Package: Aluminum Tin container

Performance:

The BBQ rub from Traeger Grills flavored Fin and Feather features garlic and paprika. They are ideal for being used in grilling various meats and poultry. They are extremely easy to store as the Aluminum containers that they come in feature a stackable design. 

Comparison:

Most of the similar products available in the market feature savory taste for the BBQ rubs, whereas the Traeger Grills BBQ rub features a perfect blend of sweet and savory flavor and is ideal for people of every taste.

Usage:

The rub should be lightly sprinkled onto the concerned poultry or chicken and should be thoroughly rubbed in to fuse the flavors inside the meat. It is also advised to use sparingly for better flavor.

Pros:

  • Kosher
  • Versatile
  • Gluten-free
  • GMO-free

Cons:

  • Inconsistent flavor

What’s new?

The flavor range of this BBQ rub is improved and updated. It has retained the popular ingredients and incorporated novel ingredients to appeal to the maximum population.

Why you should buy it?

It offers numerous possibilities to the user or the person who cooks the meat. The flavor profile of this BBQ rub compliments numerous sauces and thus can be creatively combined to produce countless flavors and tastes.

4. Happy Belly BBQ Rub, Smoked

best bbq rubs

Description:

  • Brand: Happy Belly
  • Weight: 1.57 Pounds
  • Flavor: Smoky Barbeque
  • Package: 25 Ounce Plastic Container

Performance:

The smoke BBQ rub from Amazon’s brand Happy Belly is undoubtedly one of the best BBQ rubs presently available on the market. it provides a smart and perfect blend of sweet and spice and features the flavors of paprika, onion, garlic, brown sugar, and salt.

Comparison:

When compared to other products, the shelf life of the product is extremely high. They can be stored for more than one year without having to compromise on the quality or the flavor.

Usage:

The product is extremely flexible and can be used in products like various meats, shrimp and other seafood, poultry, and vegetables. As it is a dry rub, the user is expected to pour oil on the meat before adding the BBQ rub to have a better margination.

Pros:

  • Kosher-certified
  • One-year refund guarantee
  • Natural smoky flavor

Cons:

  • The flavor comes off as quite strong

What’s new?

The packaging of the product is better and updated with a closing lid that contains a layer of pores to sprinkle the rub.

Why you should buy it?

The product is worthy of its price and can be used and stored for a very long time. The smoke paprika flavor that may appear as strong and pungent in the raw form will turn into quite a flavorful element once cooked. If you intend to have a reliable BBQ rub that would not go bad after a while, then the Happy Belly BBQ rub is undoubtedly the best.

5. Traeger Grills SPC 178 BBQ Rub

best bbq rubs

Description:

  • Brand: Traeger Grills
  • Flavor: Blackened Saskatchewan
  • Weight: 0.29 Kilograms
  • Package: Aluminum Tin containers

Performance:

The Blackened Saskatchewan BBQ rub from the brand Traeger Grills features the manufacturers’ signature spices and garlic. It is flexible enough to be compatible with all kinds of meats, seafood, and vegetables.

Comparison:

The storage of this product is highly convenient and easy when compared to the other products in the market. it features an anti-breakable Aluminum container that can be reused and also can be stacked conveniently.

Usage:

It is advisable to apply the dry rub with oil to the meats or seafood. A thorough rub should be given to enhance and infuse the flavor of the rub into the product. For best results, can be used with BBQ sauce. The rub can be sprinkled on the meat while it is being grilled too.

Pros:

  • Kosher
  • No preservatives
  • Premium taste
  • Built-in fire-grilled flavor

Cons:

  • Low shelf life

What’s new?

The new and improved formula of this BBQ rub ensures that a 100% natural preparation is made possible. It has no preservatives and flavor enhancers and is also gluten-free, GMO-free, and kosher.

Why you should buy it?

Unlike the many other similar products available in the market, this one follows a 100% natural policy and does not contain any kind of preservatives that may increase the shelf life and things like that. It is made of natural ingredients like paprika, honey, onion, spices, cane sugar, chili pepper, etc.

FAQs

1. How long can we keep BBQ rubs?

The shelf life of BBQ rubs is different for different products. Generally, the best BBQ rubs can last as long as six months. But many products offer a shelf life of up to one year. One of the chief tips to make the BBQ rub last long is to store it in a place away from sunlight and air. It is advisable to keep the rub in an air-tight container and place it in a dark space.

2. How are rubs and seasonings different from each other?

A rub and a seasoning are extremely different flavorings. Although they both are used in cooking, it is the process and application that are different. A rub is a combination of various spices which is applied to meat or seafood before them being grilled. The rub is used to marinate the product and to infuse maximum flavor into it. Rubs are generally not applied to the food after cooking. But seasonings are combinations of ingredients that can be used in the food even while and after cooking. 

3. Can you leave the rub on the meat overnight?

Definitely. The rub can be applied, marinated onto the meat, and can be kept overnight to incorporate maximum flavors. It is observed that marinating for around 10 hours could help the meat absorb the flavors of the rub perfectly. But, it is to be remembered that it is not advisable to keep a dry rub on the meat for more than 12-14 hours. The dry rubs have a moisture-locking tendency and leaving it on the meat for a very long time could turn the meat dry.

4. How to prevent a dry rub from burning on the grill?

Dry rubs pose a high possibility of turning on the grill and thus, a close eye should be kept on the grill once the product is up for grilling. It is preferable to create a good crust on both sides of the meat by placing it on the hottest part of the grill, and on achieving it, the meat can be shifted to a comparatively cooler place on the grill to let the meat cook slowly. This way, the meat, and the dry rub can be prevented from burning, without having to compromise on a crispy crust.

5. When should the BBQ rub be applied to the meat?

It is totally up to the user and their liking. Dry rubs can be applied just before grilling the meat or even half a day before grilling. Giving a reasonable time for the rub to infuse into the meat is advisable for a juicy and tasty output. It is generally agreed that marinating the meat for at least two to three hours will be ideal.