Spicy Seasoning Rub

Cyd Converse

This delicious spicy seasoning rub is perfect for roasting or grilling chicken, pork, fish and more.

This Spicy Seasoning Rub helps take the flavor of your meat or poultry to the next level. Not only does it enhance the taste, but it can also add texture to certain food.

Taco Seasoning Photo

What is the difference between a marinade and a dry rub?

Many people get confused about the difference between a marinade and a dry rub - or whether a difference actually exists at all!

Well, the biggest difference is that a marinade helps to tenderize the meat you are using, whereas a dry rub does not. 

Marinades usually contain an array of spices, plus an acidic liquid like vinegar, citrus or wine. The acid helps to tenderize tougher cuts of meat, making marinades great for certain cuts of steak, pork and chicken. 

Taco Seasoning Picture

Unlike a marinade, a dry rub does not contain any sort of liquid.

Dry rubs can be used prior to cooking or throughout the process, but to ensure you get the most flavor, we recommend using the rub at least an hour before you start cooking.

Dry rubs can add texture to some foods, creating a delicious crust of sorts, especially on cuts like brisket, ribs, steak and some kinds of fish.

Why dry rubs are sometimes better

The issue we find with marinades is that they often can rinse off the meat, thus reducing the amount of flavor.

A dry rub stays put during the cooking process to help create a beautifully textured exterior. What's more, the sugar used in a dry rub caramelizes during the process - and nothing beats that!

Homemade Fajita Seasoning Photo

Finally, dry rubs don’t add any extra moisture to meat. This is important when it comes to searing, because any moisture on the surface must evaporate first. A cut of meat covered in liquid won’t develop a lovely sear like a cut of meat with a dry rub would.

Of course, you can add liquid into the dish once the meat has developed a browned exterior. Just brush your meat with the liquid of your choice towards the end of the cooking process. 

How to make your dry rubs even tastier

If you really want to make your spice rubs pop, we have a great trick that seriously intensifies their flavor.

Just heat a frying pan over medium heat and add all of your spices. Stir or shake them, but keep them moving. If they sit still on the heat for 10 seconds or more, they are likely to burn.

Homemade Fajita Seasoning Image

In just two minutes, you will notice how fragrant the spices become. At this point, transfer them back into a bowl to cool. 

There can be debate over whether you should physically rub the rub onto your meat or just sprinkle it. It is thought that rubbing it in will cause the juices in the meat to escape, although we do not find this to be true. Rubbing the spices on helps them stick to the meat better and you can get into all of the nooks and crannies to maximize flavor.


Spicy Seasoning Rub

  4 Servings


  • 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder


  1. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl or an airtight container then stir or shake to combine.
  2. Store in airtight container.
  3. When ready to use, rub seasoning on poultry or meat to coat then cook per usual.


Tex Mex
Homemade Spices
, ,
Related Recipes:
Homemade Spice Recipes, Spicy Recipes, Tex Mex Recipes
Recipe Yields:
4 servings
Prep Time:
Related Post:
Author: Cyd Converse
Recipe Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 0
Calories 21

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g
  Saturated Fat 0g
Sodium 281mg
Total Carbohydrate 1g
  Dietary Fiber 0g
  Sugars 0g
Protein 0g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.

Cyd is a native of Upstate New York, born to a family of women who love to cook and host parties. She shares her love of all things food, home and entertaining on her blog, The Sweetest Occasion and on Instagram.

Show Comments