Build Your Own Spice Rub

Make your own spice rub and customize any barbecued or grilled meat to suit your preferences. Start with the basic elements and build from there.

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Photo By: Sarah Copeland ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Sarah Copeland ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Sarah Copeland ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Sarah Copeland ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Sarah Copeland ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Sarah Copeland ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Sarah Copeland ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Sarah Copeland ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Sarah Copeland ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Sarah Copeland ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Sarah Copeland ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Sarah Copeland ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Sarah Copeland ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Sarah Copeland ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Sarah Copeland ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Sarah Copeland ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

How to Make Your Own Spice Rub

When making a spice rub, it's always important to include the usual suspects to add heat, spice and color. But here is a list of other herbs and spices to play around with when building your own spice rub.

Where to Start

For a basic rub, start with some salt and sugar for flavor, balance and caramelization, and work from there. Add a little heat with some black, white or cayenne pepper, or add some smokiness with cumin or chipotle powder. Choose some favorite herbs or spices to match the meat you're cooking, and round it all out with paprika or a mild chili powder to add a little color and substance without too much heat.

Bay Leaf

Used in both fresh and dry forms, bay leaves add a pungent note to barbecue sauces. They have been used as an aromatic element in classical cuisine for centuries.

Cayenne Pepper

Named after the city of Cayenne in French Guiana, this spicy pepper brings a lot of heat and a bit of color to spice rubs. A little goes a long way with this spice whose heat keeps us coming back for more.

Chipotle Pepper

The product of a dried smoked jalapeno, this adds smokiness and heat, giving a deep flavor to any rub.

Cracked Black Pepper

Dried berries of the flowering pepper fruit add a woody, floral note along with some heat. Black pepper is used in most cuisines throughout the world and is the most widely traded spice.

Dried Mustard

Hot and pungent, mustard powder is derived from the ground seed of a pretty little yellow flower. It combines deliciously with many spices.

Dried Onion

The no-tears approach to getting the delicious flavor of onion into a spice blend is with the dried onion. With sweet and savory notes, the flavor is unmistakable and less pungent in its dry form.

Garlic Powder

Garlic is a cousin of the onion family, which means it will bring its own brand of sweet and savory flavor to complement just about any blend of spices.

Ground Ginger

A tropical plant root, ground ginger imparts fragrance as well as a brightness of flavor. The heat it brings envelops everything in a warm gingery blanket.

Dry Minced Garlic

Similar in flavor to the ground garlic powder, dry minced garlic adds little bursts of flavor.

Paprika

Made from an assortment of dried pepper pods, paprika in its mild, sweet, hot and smoked forms gives an earthy layer and a beautiful range of color to spice blends.

Raw Sugar

The rich flavor and color in raw sugar in a spice blend gives us that signature caramelization in roasted meat.

Sea Salt

Sea salt provides a clean and consistent salinity that enhances all of the flavors that it comes in contact with.

Coriander Seeds

Coriander seeds taste sweet and earthy and smell floral and bright. They are commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines, and they pair well with cumin and cinnamon.

Whole Cumin

Warm, earthy and a little nutty, this fragrant spice is an important foundation to many spice blends. It is a key flavor in American chilis.

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