Ultimate Southwestern Spice Rub

Are you ready to have your meat taste sensational? Oh yeah!! No more bland or flavorless meat for your family. You will be known as the next Food Network Star to your loved ones when you learn about this rub. And, I’ll show you how using this recipe will save you time, money, and give a flavorful punch to everything you use this with when you grill, bake, pressure & even slow cook. 

Now before we jump in, let me answer some questions that might be forming in your mind right now.

Why make your own rub?  

  1. The prepackaged store bought stuff seems easier right? Well, those can be loaded with sugar, too much salt, and sodium type ingredients along with MSG, colorings, and other preservatives to help prolong shelf life. Yuck!
  2. Making your own is very convenient, generally has fewer calories than store bought rubs and a much healthier alternative to oily marinades.

What is a Rub?  It is a flavoring blend of herbs, salt, spices and sometimes sugar. The dry combination is then rubbed onto meat, poultry or fish, or shaken on vegetables before roasting or grilling giving the meat/veggies lots of flavors and a crispy crust.  Spice rubs work best when the food is grilled, broiled, baked or roasted. But I even use rubs for my pressure cooker and slow cooker recipes with great success and you can too!

How It Works: Simply pat the rub all over the surface of your food, making sure that it sticks. If you’re pressed for time (as a lot of us moms are), season with your rub and cook right away (it’s quicker than a marinade).  If you have the time or want a stronger flavor, cover the rubbed food and pop in the fridge for a few hours to let all the spices seep into the meat.

Which rubs do you use with which meats? Great question. A general rule of thumb is to use a stronger rub with heartier foods — smoked paprika and chili pepper powder go well with steak, red meat, pork, and salmon. Chicken breasts or lighter white fish go best with a milder rub, like oregano and thyme with lemon peel. For veggies we sprinkle the rub that would compliment the meat we are having that night. And with the rub I am sharing with you today, you can use it on any and everything.

Let’s Dive In!

This rub is versatile. It’s very close to the one we use regularly in our home. I made this recipe easy to remember for you. It will season 5-8# of meat. Just remember 8-8-8

8 pounds of meat — 8 ingredients — 8 Tablespoons

  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • Add ½ tsp or more to taste of Cayenne if you want added heat

Make this recipe and then adjust to your family’s taste preferences after you try it. Once you have it just right label it your family’s “Signature Blend”. Store it in a sealed glass jar so it will stay fresh for 6 months.

Click here to watch my video with time index on how I make this rub. The time index will let jump to certain parts of the process. 🙂

BONUS TIP:  Check the dates on your spice bottles. Expired spices though okay to use just aren’t going to have that punch of flavor you are looking for in a rub and any dish you are making. TIP: SWAP OUT a few at a time and only replace the ones you use on a regular basis. Save the ones you use once in awhile to purchase later when you are ready to use a recipe that calls for that spice.

If you are a visual person than check out my video below.

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