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Honey BBQ Rub

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Want to add sweet and spicy flavor to BBQ pork? Look no further than our easy-to-make Honey BBQ Rub recipe! With just the right balance of sweetness and heat, this rub will surely take your barbecue game to the next level. And the best part? You don’t need to rely on store-bought seasoning – you can make this delicious Pitmaster Honey Rub right in your own kitchen!


Most of the ingredients for this BBQ rub are already in your pantry, AND the honey granules are available online. You can order now and have it at your doorstep the next day. Make up a large batch of BBQ rub and add flavor to all of your smoked, grilled, or baked proteins like pork and chicken.

What are honey granules?

Honey granules (or honey powder) are a mixture of crystallized honey and sugar that resemble cornmeal. These granules are used in various recipes like baked goods, sauces, and seasoning blends. It is an excellent ingredient for BBQ rib rubs and does not include msg or gluten.

What you’ll need:

We tell our readers to be aware of their likes and dislikes. Some folks have a hard time with cayenne or black pepper. If that’s the case, remove these ingredients and add 1-1 1/2 teaspoons of smoked paprika to the honey BBQ rub instead.

Honey Rub Ingredients
  • Honey granules: We used Spiceology honey granules for this recipe
  • Brown sugar
  • Chili powder (American chili powder)
  • Paprika (not smoked)
  • Onion powder
  • Granulated garlic (or use garlic powder in a pinch)
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne
  • Salt (*see note about salt below)
  • Chipotle powder (optional, use only if you prefer the spicy version)

How to make Honey BBQ Rub:

  • This honey BBQ rub recipe makes roughly 1 cup of rub, enough for 3 racks of St Louis cut ribs or 4 racks of baby backs. Feel free to double or triple the recipe to suit your needs. Now let’s make the rub:
  • Place all your measured ingredients in a bowl, and whisk until smooth. Use a fork to break down any clumps and caking. Voila! You’ve made the best dry rub.
  • *Salt: You can omit the salt from this rub and add it to the meat before it goes on your grill or smoker. You’ll need about 1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt per pound of meat. 
  • Injection Marinade: Dissolve 2 tablespoons of the honey BBQ rub and use it in place of the spices called for in my popular Basic Pork Injection Marinade instead.

Using a Honey BBQ Rub:

We recommend brushing 1-2 tablespoons of yellow mustard onto the pork ribs before using the rub. Use 1/3 cup of my Honey BBQ Rub on one St. Louis cut rack of ribs. Use 1/4 cup on baby back ribs. Season the top and the bone side underneath. Use my Pellet Grill Pork Rib recipe for phenomenal results.


Storing the rub:

Store your Honey BBQ Rub in an airtight container in the cupboard for up to 1 year. To avoid contamination, only take out what you need. Discard any rub that has come into contact with raw meat.

Pitmaster Honey Rub

Honey BBQ Rub

Honey BBQ Rub has just the right balance of sweetness and heat. It's easy to make and will take your barbecue game to the next level.
4.78 from 22 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Rubs
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: bbq rub, honey rub, honey rub recipe, Pitmaster honey rub
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 cup
Calories: 328kcal
Author: Derrick Riches and Sabrina Baksh


  • 1/3 cup honey granules
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder American style
  • 2 teaspoons paprika not smoked
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (optional ingredient for those who want a spicy honey rub)


  • Place your measured rub ingredients in a medium bowl. Use a whisk or fork to combine.
  • Use rub right away, or store in an airtight container in the cupboard for up to 1 year.
  • Use 1/3 cup for spareribs or 1/4 cup for baby back ribs. If you are cooking a large pork roast, use the entire amount—double or triple rub as needed.


Serving: 1Cup | Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 9458mg | Potassium: 368mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 72g | Vitamin A: 2900IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 3mg

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2 responses to “Honey BBQ Rub”

    • Thanks for your comment! We recommend regular paprika for this recipe to allow the sweetness of the honey to shine through. However, it is a matter of choice, and if you’d like to substitute with smoked paprika, please feel free to do so.

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