Easy All Purpose Dry Rub for Grilling

By Sally Cameron on August 24, 2021

Sauces & Dressings

Swapping messages this weekend with a great group of women about pellet grilling recipes, I promised to publish my all purpose dry rub recipe. For everyone who loves to grill, here you go! My all purpose dry rub recipe. Measure the spices into a large jar with a tight lid and shake well until well mixed. Try it for your next grilling adventure.

Easy All Purpose Dry Rub for Grilling

I developed my dry rub recipe more than a decade ago and never shared it until now. It’s my go-to, all purpose dry rub for chicken, ribs, pork tenderloin, and seafood. It really is all purpose! Sprinkle and rub generously onto whatever is going on the grill.

Pellet Grilling vs. Gas Grilling

I’ve always grilled on a standard gas grill. I really wanted a smoker too, because we love smoky flavors, but didn’t have the place for one at our old house. With the completion of our backyard and outdoor kitchen (finally!) my new Twin Eagles pellet grill is fired up and tempting the neighbors with what I’m grilling for dinner. Many of my pellet grill buddies have Traeger’s, Pit Boss or Camp Chef brands and there are others. If you’re interested, check out pellet grills at a BBQ grill store. Pellet grills are definitely the “cool kids” of the barbecue world and finally going mainstream.

Instead of using gas for fuel, pellet grills use wood pellets. The pellets feed from a hopper to an auger that feeds into a fire pot for burning. Its all about low, slow, indirect smoking. I purchased hickory, maple and pecan pellets but you can buy combinations like “competition blends”. So far I’ve used Traeger, Bear Mountain and Green Mountain pellets. This is becoming another post! I’ll write that one soon. Whatever grill you have, pellet or gas, this all purpose dry rub works beautifully.

How to Make All Purpose Dry Rub

This recipe has a bit of a list of spices but none of them are exotic. Find them at most grocery stores and definitely online from spice purveyors like this one. These are spices I stock on a regular basis in my pantry. If you don’t have them all I’ll list swaps you can make to still make the rub. The jar above is measured out but not yet shaken to combine. Kind of looks like sand art.

Spices and Swaps

To make a homemade all purpose dry rub you need smoked paprika, regular paprika, granulated garlic, ground cumin and coriander, smoked black pepper, ancho chili powder, and ground chipotle powder for some heat. There’s also a little brown sugar. The smoked spices nicely support the gentle smoky flavor you get from pellet grilling and lend a lightly smoky flavor to foods cooked on a gas grill.

Spice Notes and Swaps

  • Ground chipotle pepper is ground smoked jalapeno pepper, adds more of that smoky flavor
  • Granulated garlic is coarse, garlic powder is very fine. To substitute garlic powder for granulated use half as much
  • Use all smoked paprika if desired
  • Swap a little cayenne pepper for the heat of chipotle
  • Use ground black pepper for the smoked pepper
  • Switch coconut sugar or golden monk fruit blend for the brown sugar

Salt or No Salt

Originally I put sea salt in the mix but now I’m leaving it out. Some people are salt-sensitive, so that keeps it salt-free. Some people prefer to salt their meat then add a dry rub. If you want to add salt to the blend, use 1 tablespoon of pink sea salt.

Last note – another way to use this dry rub is on whole roasted or rotisserie chicken. In fact I’m doing one tonight!

Pellet Grill Chicken

Here is the chicken I did at friends house recently. They installed the same pellet grill we did and wanted to use it for a barbecue party. I offered an extra hand preparing food and made my pellet grill chicken with my all purpose dry rub on their grill. Not a bite left! Super moist and tender with terrific flavor. I’ll post that recipe soon.

all purpose dry rub on a spoon | afoodcentriclife.com
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All Purpose Dry Rub

Don't buy dry rubs, make your own! I use this on chicken, shrimp, ribs, pork tenderloin, just about anything with delicious results. See notes below for spice options and substitutions.
Course Seasoning
Cuisine American
Keyword Dry Rub, Grilling, Salt-free, Spice Blend
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 24 Yield 1 cup/5.7 oz
Calories 14kcal


  • 4 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or coconut sugar or golden monk fruit blend
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon pure ancho chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked black pepper or regular ground black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder


  • Measure all ingredients into a jar with a tight lid and shake hard until well combined. Label and date when you made it and store in a cool dark pantry or cabinet. Will last 4-6 months.


  • Like it spicier? Add more chipotle powder, cayenne pepper, or some sharp (hot) paprika.
  • If you use garlic powder instead of granulated garlic, start with half the amount as it is finer.
  • For stronger smoky flavor use all smoked paprika
  • If you prefer to add salt to the blend (instead of salting your protein), add 1 tablespoon of sea salt (such as Real Salt).


Serving: 2teaspoons | Calories: 14kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 659IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg

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