All-Purpose Spice Rub


Sure, you could buy a rub from the store, but why would you, when it’s so easy to put a delicious one together from spice-drawer staples? Not to mention, your homemade version won’t have any additives or preservatives. This combo is salty-sweet, with just enough of the irresistible familiar flavor of the garlic and onion powders. It truly is “all-purpose.” Try it on grilled steak, roast chicken, roasted vegetables, or even stirred into buttered popcorn. Make it your go-to barbecue party gift for the summer by packaging in a pretty jar.

All-Purpose Spice Rub Recipe
Photo: Victor Protasio
Hands On Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
5 mins
1 cup


  • ¼ cup sweet paprika

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tsp. kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 4 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 4 teaspoons onion powder

  • 4 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 4 teaspoons orange zest (from 1 orange)

  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (optional)


  1. Combine paprika, salt, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, orange zest, pepper, and cayenne, if using, in a medium bowl. Use your fingers to rub sugar and zest evenly through dried spices. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.

Chef's Notes

How to use: Rub chicken, pork, steak, or fish with olive oil, and then season with 1 tablespoon rub for every 1 pound of meat, poultry, or fish. Let stand for 10 minutes before grilling.

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