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Honey BBQ Rub

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Our Honey BBQ Rub recipe will give you the right amount of sweetness with a little touch of heat. And, it’s easy to make! No need to purchase a commercial BBQ seasoning. You can make my Pitmaster Honey Rub, right in the comfort of your own home!


Most of the ingredients for this BBQ rub are already in your pantry, AND the honey granules are available online. This ingredient will be at your doorstep the next day. Make up a large batch of this BBQ seasoning and add flavor to all of your smoked, grilled, or baked proteins.

What are honey granules?

Honey granules (or honey powder) is a mixture of crystallized honey and sugar, and has a cornmeal-like appearance. These granules are used in various recipes ranging from baked goods to sauces and BBQ seasonings. It makes an excellent rib rub, is great on chicken, does not include msg, and it’s gluten free.

What you’ll need:

We always tell our readers to be aware of their likes and dislikes. Some folks have a hard time with cayenne or black pepper. Remove these items 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)

How to make Honey BBQ Rub:

  • This honey BBQ rub recipe makes roughly 1 cup of rub or enough for 3 racks of St Louis cut ribs or 4 baby backs. Feel free to double or triple the recipe to suit your needs. Now let’s make the rub:
  • Place all of your measured ingredients in a bowl, and whisk ingredients until smooth. I recommend using a fork as needed to break down any clumps.
  • *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: You can dissolve a few tablespoons of this honey BBQ rub instead of using the spices called for in my popular Basic Pork Injection Marinade.

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 underside (where the bones are) of the ribs. Use my Pellet Grill Pork Rib recipe for phenomenal results.


Storing this 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

This Honey BBQ Rub recipe will give you the right amount of sweetness with a little touch of heat.
4.74 from 19 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


  • 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

Photos by: Sabrina Baksh/derrickriches.com

Derrick Riches
Derrick Riches

I began writing about Barbecue & Grilling in 1997 with one mission, to help the backyard chef have the best experience possible.



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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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