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posted December 05, 2019

The BEST Sweet Rub for Grilled Pork and Chicken

A good Sweet BBQ Rub for Chicken and Pork is ESSENTIAL to have in your grilling arsenal, and buying them from the store gets expensive. Increase the flavor and lower the cost for seasoning your favorite grilled meats by making my signature sweet rub at home!

spice jar full of bbq sweet rub for chicken pork and more.


Some pitmasters go to the grave protecting their signature spice rub recipes. I’m not that kind of person. I’m all about the love and want to share this complete deliciousness with all of you! I seriously love making my own rubs and spice mixtures for the grill and this sweet BBQ rub for grilled pork and chicken is my all time go-to favorite.

This sweet rub is good on everything, I swear. (And believe me, I’ve tried it on just about everything!) From pork ribs to simple grilled chicken breasts, this sweet rub will enhance whatever you sprinkle it on.

small bowl containing all ingredients to make bbq rub.

Dry Rub for Chicken and Pork

Making this dry rub is a cinch. Once you have all the ingredients on hand, I suggest making a batch (or two!) and bottling some up for later use. You can also make these to give to your friends and neighbors as gifts. If you have extra rub leftover, no worries. I can go through one batch just on a couple of pork butts, so don’t be worried that you won’t use it all. In fact, if you’re cooking a lot, just double it to be safe and save the rest for later.

Quick Note: This recipes calls for smoked paprika. This is a pretty big deal and adds quite a bit of flavor. There are a TON of varieties of paprika at all different price points, but for the best flavor I always choose smoked paprika that is a rich red color. Sometimes paprika will also be labeled hot or sweet, you can pick the spice level you prefer! If it’s not labeled with anything but “paprika” it is likely mild and pretty bland and won’t add anything to your spice mixture other than color.

Ingredients for BBQ Sweet Rub

Here’s what you’ll need to pull out of the pantry (or pick up from the store) prior to mixing this sweet rub. Only 8 ingredients stand between you and the best sweet rub in the history of BBQ:

  1. Dark brown sugar
  2. Coarse sea salt
  3. Cracked black pepper
  4. Smoked paprika
  5. Garlic powder
  6. Onion powder
  7. Ground mustard
  8. Cayenne pepper

small white bowl full of mixed bbq rub for chicken and pork.

How to Make BBQ Rub

It’s beyond easy to make your own BBQ rub at home. Simply mix all ingredients in a bowl and use a fork to break up any clumps. No fancy blenders or mixers needed here! Once you have your seasoning mixed up, it’s ready to be used immediately, or you can store it in an airtight container in your pantry. I like to store my spices and seasonings in these glass spice containers, but anything with a lid will do. This rub can be stored in an airtight container for around a month, but it’s likely the rub won’t last last that long.

If you’re looking to stock up on this delicious sweet rub without lifting a finger (well, I suppose you have to use a few to order it online), we sell it pre-made on our sister site, Patio Provisions! You can purchase any of the following to meet your needs (oh, and those 2-pound bags? They are amazing for refilling your shaker bottles).

Sweet BBQ Rub Recipes

Below, I’ve included links to several of my favorite recipes that taste unreal with this sweet rub sprinkled on, so mix up a batch of your own and fire up that grill! Oh, and friendly reminder that this sweet rub also tastes amazing on salmon, beef, and veggies too!

Smoked Pork Tenderloin
Whole Smoked Chicken
Smoked Chicken Thighs

The Best Pork and Chicken Rub Recipe

Watch the video below and I’ll show you how I make this BBQ Rub Recipe at home. I’m here to help you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero. Check out more of my smoking and grilling recipe videos on YouTubeInstagram, or our Facebook Page.

The best sweet rub in a glass jar with the words "sweet rub" written in black marker across masking tape across the jar.

The BEST Sweet Rub for Grilled Pork and Chicken

A good Sweet BBQ Rub for Chicken and Pork is ESSENTIAL to have in your grilling arsenal, and buying them from the store gets expensive. Increase the flavor and lower the cost for your favorite grilled meats by making my signature sweet rub at home!
4.95 from 35 votes
Prep Time : 5 mins
Total Time : 5 mins
Servings : 12 servings
Calories : 23kcal



  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika ((hot or mild, whichever you prefer))
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Combine all of the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl. Stir well to combine, using a fork to break up any clumps.
  • Store BBQ sweet rub in an airtight container. This rub will last in your cupboard for up to a month.


Calories: 23kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 27mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 199IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
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**This post was originally published April 2016. It has since been updated with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.

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