How to Make Your Own Spice Rub

Mr. T and I love meat. He was actually a vegetarian for several years and I don't know how he did it. If there wasn't steak in my world I would be a very sad gal. And obviously now that we're back in the midwest we love grilling out some tasty pieces of meats. Side note: if you live in the Mishawaka area, check out DC Meats. We discovered them at the farmer's market in South Bend and they are amazing.

The only problem with grilled meats is that it can get boring really fast. We actually found this to be true in NYC when we were cooking stuff in the oven as well. So, really, that's the problem with cooking meat in general. But sometimes seasoning meat with a lot of flavor can be too fancy or too time consuming. That is, until we discovered the art of the meat rub. It's a super easy way to add a ton of flavor to your meat. You can even still slather on the BBQ sauce if you want. The best part is the fact that it's so incredibly easy to make your own spice rub. And it involves my favorite method of cooking -- throwing a bunch of stuff in a bowl until it tastes good.

Homemade spice rub

Here's how to make your own spice rub:

(scroll down for recipe)

Disclaimer: I am not a chef nor do I claim to be. So I am not sure if this is the proper way to make a rub. However, I am totally an eater and I can tell you that we've been doing it like this for over a year and we've made tasty meat every single time.

1. Grab all of your favorite seasonings, a bowl, and a measuring spoon (A tsp. works very well). Make sure to also include salt/seasoned salt and pepper. I recommend a blend of sweet and savory so you get a good balance. 2. Add seasonings one by one to the bowl with the measuring spoon. I usually start with equal parts, adding a bit more of the ones I really like. 3. Taste. If it tastes good then you're good to do. If not then continue to add more seasonings. I've found that things like paprika and onion powder balance out the saltiness. And if it's too powerful add some of the lesser intense seasonings. 4. Rub liberally all over your favorite meat. 5. It's a good idea to write down what you're adding as you go so you can recreate it if you want. We only managed to do this one time. It's also a good idea to make more than what you need. It keeps in a little spice jar for quite some time.

Homemade Spice Rub Recipe


1 tbsp seasoned salt 3/4 tbsp coarse ground black pepper 1 1/2 tbsp paprika 1 tsp chili powder 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper 3/4 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp nutmeg 3/4 tsp cardamom 3/4 tsp onion powder 1/8 tsp garlic powder

Sprinkle on the meat and rub it in with your hand. Apply liberally. There's such thing as too much spice rub. (That's a tip from Mr. T y'all)

Spice rub for pork tenderloin

We used this on a pork tenderloin that we then grilled and slathered in a brown sugar bourbon BBQ sauce. It was amazing.

In terms of how much meat this will work for, we had quite a bit of the rub left over so this will cover a good bit of meat. I totally fail as I don't know how big the thing was. I can tell you that it was enough to feed three people for dinner and two lunches for Mr. T.