Homemade seasoning for BBQ

Creating Your Own Unique BBQ Spice Blends at Home

With a few simple ingredients and a bit of creativity, you can customize your spice blends to complement a variety of meats, vegetables, and grilled dishes.


DIY barbecue seasoning blends

Base Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons paprika (sweet, smoked, or a combination)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional, for sweetness)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for heat)

Optional Add-Ins and Variations:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (for a Tex-Mex twist)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (for a smoky flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or rosemary (for herbal notes)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder (for tanginess)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (for warmth)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (for extra smokiness)
  • Zest of 1 lemon or lime (for citrusy freshness)


1. Choose Your Base Ingredients:

  • Start by selecting your base ingredients, such as paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar (for sweetness), salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper (for heat). These form the foundation of your BBQ spice blend.

2. Customize Your Blend:

Homemade BBQ spice recipes

  • Experiment with different combinations and proportions of spices to create your desired flavor profile. Add optional add-ins and variations to tailor the blend to your taste preferences.

3. Mix Your Spice Blend:

  • In a small bowl, combine all the selected spices and mix well until evenly combined. Taste the blend and adjust the seasonings as needed to achieve the desired flavor balance.

4. Store Your Spice Blend:

  • Transfer the BBQ spice blend to an airtight container or spice jar for storage. Label the container with the name of the spice blend and the date it was made.

5. Use Your Spice Blend:

Blending your own BBQ spices

  • Use your homemade BBQ spice blend to season a variety of meats, vegetables, and grilled dishes before cooking. Rub the spice blend onto the surface of the food for maximum flavor impact.

Pro Tip: You should use rubs for low-heat smoking, not grilling.

Pro Spice Tips:

  • Feel free to get creative and experiment with different herbs, spices, and flavorings to create your own signature BBQ spice blends. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!
  • Adjust the level of heat in your spice blend by adding more or less cayenne pepper, chili powder, or other spicy ingredients according to your preference.
  • Store your homemade BBQ spice blends in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to maintain their freshness and flavor for longer.

Popular Combinations:

Spice Variant Description Ingredients Used
Paprika Adds color and mild, sweet flavor. Dried ground red peppers
Garlic Powder Provides savory depth and aroma. Dried, ground garlic cloves
Onion Powder Adds a sweet and savory onion flavor. Dried, ground onions
Brown Sugar Imparts sweetness and caramelization to meats. Granulated brown sugar
Kosher Salt Enhances flavor and helps to tenderize meat. Coarse salt
Black Pepper Adds heat and pungency to spice blends. Ground black peppercorns
Cayenne Pepper Adds spiciness and heat to spice blends. Ground cayenne pepper
Chili Powder Combines spices like chili peppers, cumin, and garlic. Ground chili peppers, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, paprika, and other optional spices
Cumin Adds a smoky, earthy flavor with slight bitterness. Ground cumin seeds
Thyme Provides a subtle, herbal note to spice blends. Dried thyme leaves
Rosemary Adds a pine-like aroma and flavor to meats. Dried rosemary leaves
Mustard Powder Adds tanginess and depth to spice blends. Ground mustard seeds
Ground Ginger Provides warmth and a hint of sweetness. Ground ginger root
Smoked Paprika Adds a smoky flavor to spice blends. Dried, smoked red peppers
Lemon or Lime Zest Adds brightness and citrusy freshness. Zest of fresh lemon or lime


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