Carolina BBQ Rub Recipe - Ingredients and Country of Origin

Carolina BBQ Rub

Carolina BBQ Rub Recipe - Ingredients and Country of Origin
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 5 minutes | Servings: 4


Carolina BBQ Rub
Carolina BBQ Rub

Carolina BBQ Rub is a classic seasoning blend that adds a delicious smoky and spicy flavor to your favorite meats. This versatile rub can be used on pork, chicken, beef, or even vegetables to add a Southern twist to your dishes.


Carolina BBQ Rub has its roots in the traditional barbecue culture of the Carolinas, where slow-cooked meats are a staple. This flavorful rub is a combination of salt, sugar, spices, and herbs that have been used for generations to enhance the flavor of smoked and grilled meats.


How to prepare

  1. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix thoroughly


  • Add a teaspoon of garlic powder for extra flavor.
  • Substitute smoked paprika for regular paprika for a smokier taste.
  • Use maple sugar instead of brown sugar for a sweet and savory twist.


  1. May be used as a dry rub on beef, chicken, lamb or pork.
  2. May be stored in a tightly sealed container

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to rub the seasoning mixture generously onto the meat, ensuring that it is evenly coated for maximum flavor.

- For a more intense flavor, let the meat marinate in the rub for at least an hour before cooking.

- Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to suit your spice preference. Add more for a hotter rub or reduce for a milder flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Sprinkle Carolina BBQ Rub on ribs, chicken, or pork before grilling or smoking for a delicious Southern barbecue flavor.

Cooking Techniques

Rub the seasoning mixture onto the meat and let it sit for at least an hour before cooking to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don't have cumin on hand, you can substitute with coriander or chili powder for a different flavor profile.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare a large batch of Carolina BBQ Rub and store it in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Presentation Ideas

Serve your grilled or smoked meats with a sprinkle of Carolina BBQ Rub on top for a beautiful presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Carolina BBQ Rub with classic Southern sides like coleslaw, baked beans, and cornbread for a complete barbecue meal.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover rub in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. To reheat, simply sprinkle the rub on your meat before grilling or smoking.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Calories: 30 per serving


Carbohydrates: 6g per serving


Fats: 1g per serving


Proteins: 1g per serving

Vitamins and minerals

This rub is a good source of vitamin A and iron.


This recipe may contain traces of gluten and soy.


Carolina BBQ Rub is a low-calorie seasoning blend that adds flavor to your dishes without adding excess calories.


Carolina BBQ Rub is a versatile seasoning blend that adds a delicious smoky and spicy flavor to your favorite meats. With a perfect balance of salt, sugar, and spices, this rub is sure to become a staple in your kitchen.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time is still fresh in my mind. It was a warm summer day in South Carolina, and I had just arrived at my friend Mary's house for a backyard barbecue. As soon as I stepped out of the car, I was hit with the most incredible aroma - smoky, spicy, and tangy all at once. I knew right away that whatever Mary was cooking up was going to be delicious.

As I made my way to the backyard, I saw Mary standing over the grill, a huge smile on her face. "Hey there, Grandma," she called out. "I'm so glad you could make it. I've got a special treat for you today - my Carolina BBQ Rub recipe. It's a family secret, but I think you'll appreciate it."

I watched as Mary carefully sprinkled the mixture of spices and herbs onto a rack of ribs, massaging it in with her hands. The smell was intoxicating, and I couldn't wait to taste the finished product. As we chatted and caught up on each other's lives, the ribs slowly cooked on the grill, soaking up all the flavors of the rub.

Finally, it was time to eat. Mary plated the ribs and handed me a fork and knife. I took a bite, and my taste buds exploded with delight. The meat was tender and juicy, with the perfect balance of sweetness and heat. I couldn't believe how delicious it was.

After that day, I couldn't get the Carolina BBQ Rub out of my head. I begged Mary for the recipe, but she refused to give it to me. "It's a family secret," she said with a wink. "But I'll make you a deal - if you can figure out the ingredients on your own, I'll teach you how to make it."

Challenge accepted. I spent the next few weeks experimenting in my own kitchen, trying to recreate the magic of Mary's BBQ Rub. I tried different combinations of spices, adjusting the ratios until I found the perfect blend. And finally, after much trial and error, I did it. I had cracked the code.

I couldn't wait to show Mary my creation. I invited her over for dinner, and as we sat down to eat, I unveiled my version of the Carolina BBQ Rub. Mary took one bite and her eyes widened in surprise. "This is amazing," she exclaimed. "You've really outdone yourself, Grandma."

From that day on, the Carolina BBQ Rub became a staple in my kitchen. I would make huge batches of it and store it in mason jars, ready to sprinkle on ribs, chicken, or pork whenever the craving struck. Friends and family would come over just to taste my famous rub, and I became known as the BBQ queen of the neighborhood.

Over the years, I've shared the recipe with countless people, passing it down from generation to generation. Each time I make it, I think back to that warm summer day at Mary's house, and I smile. The Carolina BBQ Rub may have started as a family secret, but now it's a part of my own legacy, a reminder of the power of good food and good friends. And for that, I am forever grateful.


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