Homemade BBQ spice blend that is smokey, salty, spicy, and so easy to make. This fragrant BBQ dry rub is perfect for grilling, smoking, and crockpot recipes. It is Whole30, paleo, and sugar-free.

Living in the south means plenty of BBQ, and every place has its own BBQ spice blend and special sauce. And so can you! 

With a little bit of experimenting, I have come up with the perfect mix of smokey, salty, and spicy BBQ seasoning that’s perfect for chicken, pork, and even beef.

And best of all, it is gluten-free, Paleo, and Keto-friendly.

This homemade BBQ seasoning is perfect for my Instant Pot BBQ Chicken and these Slow Cooker BBQ ribs, or any of your favorite BBQ recipes.


This homemade BBQ seasoning is healthy

Spices mixed together on a counter-top

When it comes to store-bought BBQ spice rubs there are usually tons of sugar and other additives.

And for no good reason.

This homemade BBQ rub is simply just a mix of delicious spices that you most likely already have at home. And with only clean and simple ingredients, this BBQ spice mix is Paleo, Keto, gluten-free, and sugar-free! 

Now, one of the reasons there is sugar in most spice mixes, both store-bought and homemade, is because sugar is a flavor enhancer.

Sugar simply makes other flavors pop. Only a little bit is needed and it doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to make the food taste sweet.

You can read more about sugar as an additive here.

Spices mixed together on a counter-top
Spices mixed together on a counter-top

For this BBQ seasoning recipe, there is no sugar needed. The spices will do really well on their own. However, if you want to elevate the BBQ spice rub you can add a little bit of sugar to it. 

If you are not following any specific diet, I would recommend brown sugar. The flavor is perfect for this BBQ rub.

However, if you want to keep this recipe Paleo-friendly coconut sugar is your best friend, and it also has a very similar flavor profile to brown sugar.

To keep this BBQ spice blend Whole30, keto, and sugar-free, simply omit the sugar altogether. 


How to make the best homemade BBQ spice blend

Piles of onion powder, garlic powder, salt, smoked paprika, and chili powder

This recipe is so easy to make and the ingredients for this flavor bomb are so simple.

The amount of BBQ rub this recipe makes is good for about 2-2.5 pounds of meat. Double, triple, or quadruple the recipe and save for the next time you are craving really good BBQ.


  • Salt
  • Smoked paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Nutmeg (optional)
  • Brown sugar / Coconut sugar (optional)


Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix it up using a fork. Yup, that’s it!

Use immediately or store for later. 

How to use the BBQ spice

A rack of ribs covered in spices

This BBQ seasoning recipe is so versatile and can be used in so many ways.

I, personally, love using it for pulled BBQ chicken or pulled BBQ pork. It’s also amazing as a flavoring for BBQ ribs

The best thing is that this homemade BBQ spice blend can be used both in the crockpot, instant pot, and in a pressure cooker.

It’s also great as a BBQ dry rub for the grill, or even on the stovetop.

If you have a smoker, this BBQ spice mix would be perfect as well. 

Another great thing with this homemade BBQ seasoning is that it can be adjusted to your preferred preference. 

If you like it spicy, add more chili powder, if you love garlic, add more garlic powder, if… you get it. Add more of what you like. 

You can also add additional spices like cumin, chipotle chili powder, and black pepper to the BBQ spice mix. Don’t be afraid to experiment with whatever you like, or have a home.


How to store homemade BBQ spice 

A bowl with BBQ spices mixed togeter with a spoon that's laying next to the bowl

If you make a large batch of BBQ seasoning make sure you store it in an air-tight container, either in glass or in plastic.

My best hack is to repurpose an old spice jar. Simple clean it out and make sure it is completely dry before adding your freshly made BBQ spice. 

Now you can store your BBQ spice rub for pork and chicken with style, and with a built-in shaker. 


What’s your favorite kind of BBQ? Leave me a comment below and inspire each other.


A bowl with a homemade BBQ spice mix that's easy to make and Whole30

Try these sides dishes with your favorite BBQ

1. Honey Jalapeno Healthy Cornbread

2. Easy Mango Avocado Salsa

3. Airfryer Potato Fries

A bowl with BBQ spices mixed togeter with a spoon that's laying next to the bowl

Get the recipe:BBQ Spice {Homemade}

Easy BBQ spice mix that's smokey, spicy, and so flavorful. Whole30 and Keto friendly, this blend is perfect for grilling and crockpot recipes.
5 stars (1 review)


  • 2 – 3 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1.5 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • A pinch of nutmeg, optional


  • Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix together with a fork.
  • Use immediately or save in an air-tight container for later.


  • This is enough BBQ spice mix for 2-2.5 lb of meat.
  • Optional: Add 1 – 1.5 tbsp of brown sugar, or coconut sugar for a Paleo option (not whole30)
Serving: 1g, Calories: 15kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Sodium: 785mg, Fiber: 1g

The Nutrition Facts above are specific to the ingredients I chose to use for this recipe, which may vary.

Piles of onion powder, garlic powder, salt, smoked paprika, and chili powder