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Spice Combinations

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I am new to smoking and was just wondering if anyone has favorite spice combinations for rubs. I make a couple of different kinds of sauce and have mastered those, but I am struggling with finding good spice combinations for rubs. What are some spices that just go well with each other that make a good base for rubs?

post #2 of 8

it seams a good base


Black pepper

Salt(sea salt for me)

Garlic powder(granulated to me)

Onion(again i like granulated)


paprika for color a little flavor if you have Spanish or Hungarian

Sugar(brown most times)


there is some food guru guy that has a ratio of 8:3:3:3:1. below is something i copied somewhere





8:3:1:1 rubYou then add spices...

8:3:1:1 rub

You then add spices at a ratio known as the 8:3:1:1 rub. It works! Like this:

  • 8 tablespoons light brown sugar tightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme (crushed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

You can add or subtract spices/herbs to your liking, and if you stay with just the "competitor's ratio" for rubs, you'll always have a winner! For more fun, experiment with adding one or more of the following:

And much, much more!



Sometimes when time is a factor, or we feel just a little lazy, we'll use nothing more than lemon pepper as a rub for our birds. It's great!


it's all personal taste but it's a start. good luck


post #3 of 8

Seems like a good base that Dewtha posted and it's all a matter of personal taste. 

post #4 of 8

The link from dewetha's post-


Alton Brown also uses the same ratio formula.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help. I like having the ratio as a basic guide to how much and being able to match the spices to the meat or flavor.

post #6 of 8

Thanks Cliffcarter it is a good link

post #7 of 8

The only thing with cumin it has a chili flavor. Not my taste for a rub to smoke with. I keep mine basic with dark brown sugar, little sea salt, fresh ground pepper, onion, and garlic powder. Also paprika. 

post #8 of 8

That is some great info...I post this recipe as a good start...It is good as is but is easily adjusted to your taste...JJ


Try this... It is Mild and compliments different style sauces well...Anything else, just ask...


Mild Bubba Q Rub


1/2C Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado)

2T Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)

1T Kosher Salt

1T Chili Powder (contains some Cumin and Oregano) Ancho Chile is same without cumin, oregano etc.

1T Granulated Garlic

1T Granulated Onion

1tsp Black Pepper, more if you like

1/2tsp Grnd Allspice


Cayenne or Chipotle Pwd to taste, start with 1/2tsp and go from there.


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