The Perfect Spices For Your BBQ

Nothing says summer quite like a BBQ; the secret to making your BBQ dishes stand out in flavor lies in the spices you use. Whether you're grilling steaks, chicken, ribs, or vegetables, the right blend of spices can enhance flavors and add that perfect touch of smokiness, heat, or sweetness. Here's a guide to using spices to make your BBQ dishes stand out.

Choosing The Right Seasonings

  • Coffee BBQ Rub

    This unique blend adds a rich, bold flavor to meats with hints of coffee's deep, roasted notes. The rub creates a tangy and slightly sweet crust that improves the natural umami of the meat. It is especially effective on beef cuts like brisket and steak.

  • Classic BBQ Rub

    Perfect for that traditional BBQ flavor, this blend combines sweet, smoky, and slightly tangy elements. It features a balance of brown sugar, smoked paprika, and a touch of garlic and onion, creating a familiar smoky BBQ taste.

  • Poultry Seasoning

    Improves the natural flavors of chicken and turkey with a blend of herbs like thyme, sage, and rosemary, combined with a hint of garlic and pepper. This seasoning brings out the savory tones in poultry while adding a aromatic herbal touch.

  • Seafood Grill Rub

    Ideal for bringing out the best in seafood, this rub combines lemon zest, dill, garlic, and black pepper to complement the flavors of fish and shellfish.

  • Steak Seasoning

    A robust blend perfect for steaks and other cuts of beef giving the meat a bold and hearty flavor that improves its natural richness.

  • Our BBQ seasonings feature larger cuts of spices such as cracked black pepper, minced garlic, onion, and paprika. These coarse spice cuts not only enhance flavor but also add appealing color, texture, and mouthfeel to your dishes. Perfect for marinades and grilling applications, they ensure robust flavors.

    Creating Spice Rubs

    A spice rub is a blend of spices and herbs you massage into the meat before cooking. It forms a flavorful crust when grilled. Here's a basic BBQ spice rub recipe featuring the spices mentioned above:


    • 2 tablespoons paprika
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


    • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
    • Pat your meat dry with paper towels.
    • Generously rub the spice mixture all over the meat.
    • Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, or refrigerate overnight for deeper flavor.

    This rub works well with chicken, pork ribs, and beef brisket.

    Dry vs. Wet BBQ Rubs

    Dry Rubs

    Dry rubs are a fantastic choice for forming a flavorful crust on meats. They are composed of a blend of dry spices and herbs that can easily be applied to the meat surface. The key benefits of using dry rubs include:

    • Ease of Application
    • Storage Convenience
    • Flavorful Crust Formation
    • Versatility

    Wet Rubs

    Wet rubs, also known as marinades, include a liquid component like oil, vinegar, or even fruit juices. This liquid helps the flavors penetrate deeper into the meat, resulting in a more intense and well-rounded taste. The main advantages of wet rubs are:

    • Deeper Flavor
    • Moisture Addition
    • Variety of Flavors
    • Tenderization

    So whether you choose a dry rub for its ease of application and ability to form a flavorful crust or a wet rub for its deeper flavor and moisture addition, each type of rub has unique benefits to different desired outcomes and cooking methods.

    Grilling Techniques

    Direct vs. Indirect Heat

    Use direct heat for smaller cuts of meat and vegetables to achieve a quick sear and grill marks. For larger cuts like whole chickens or ribs, use indirect heat to cook slowly and evenly, preventing burning and ensuring tenderness.


    To add an extra layer of flavor, use wood chips or chunks like hickory, mesquite, apple, or cherry. Soak the wood chips in water before adding them to your grill or smoker for a steady release of smoke.


    Keep your meat moist by basting it with a mixture of your marinade or sauce during grilling. Start basting after a crust forms to enhance flavor and retain moisture.

    Partnering with Harris Spice for Your Business

    By partnering with Harris Spice, we can create a range of innovative seasonings and blends perfect for BBQ enthusiasts. These are the new Harris Spice innovations that can be used for BBQ:


    The right spices and techniques can transform your BBQ from good to great. Experiment with different spice combinations and find your perfect blend. Whether you prefer sweet, smoky, or spicy, there's a world of flavors to explore. Happy grilling!

    At Harris Spice we're committed to staying ahead of the game by following the newest trends. Are you interested in the work we do? Read more about our get in touch now!

    Don't forget to take a look at our other articles on sustainability and spice industry trends to stay up to date with the latest developments.