BBQ Rub vs Seasoning

BBQ Rub vs Seasoning – Which Is Best For Barbecue

Love BBQ? The best thing about BBQ is the customization it offers. You can add a zing of flavor by adding rubs and seasonings together. There is always a discussion on the table about BBQ rubs and seasoning to decide which one is better. Many prefer going with BBQ rubs. In comparison, several people love seasoning their pieces of meat. In this article, we will compare BBQ rubs and seasoning. You can then decide which is just the perfect spicing ingredient for your meat. So, let us begin by introducing both:

BBQ Rubs – An Introduction

BBQ rub is a precise blend of ground spices that you can use to coat your raw meat. For best results, the BBQ rub is applied and left on for marinating the meat overnight. Undoubtedly, every strand of the flesh would be perfectly juicy, tender, and yet full of flavors. However, it does not affect the moisture of the meat. Depending on the intensity of your taste buds, you can add a little bit of spice to sizzle the after-cooking results. There are two types of BBQ rubs:
  • Dry Rub
  • Wet Rub

Seasoning – An Introduction

Seasoning is a mix of evenly grounded mix herbs. As BBQ rubs, they are not used for marinating meat. Instead, they are sprinkled over the meat once it is cooked, tender, and ready to eat. The salt in the seasoning serves the purpose of reducing the moisture from the meat. Overall, the seasoning is used to add flavor to the BBQ or any other dish. Ingredients like turmeric, pepper, cilantro, and oregano serve the purpose of accompanying the final taste of the dish, making it finger licking tasty.

BBQ Rubs & BBQ Seasoning – Is There A Difference?

bbq rub vs seasoning   BBQ is the heart of diverse American population, with people and culture blended from all over the world, and all having the same love for BBQ. Thus, it is a much-highlighted part of the food tradition of the country. In the argument of choosing BBQ seasoning and BBQ rubs, BBQ rubs always have the limelight and the most votes in terms of taste and texture.  

How Usage Differs?

If you are someone who BBQs very often, you must be aware of the prime difference between BBQ rubs and seasonings in terms of applications. For the BBQ meat to come out flavor-bursting, the application of BBQ rub is like doing justice to the meat. As far as BBQ seasoning is concerned, they are not applied to the meat prior to cooking. It is because they are sprinkled over the meat once it is cooked and ready to melt in your mouth. The spices used in the seasoning are much stronger than the ones used in the rub, and, may become unpleasant when cooked for longer periods with the meat just as the rub. Thus, the ingredients and texture of the seasoning are not ideal for marinating.         BBQ seasonings and BBQ rubs may sound similar, but actually, they are not. There are some prime differences in their texture, purpose, use, and ingredients, of course. Let’s discuss them in detail.

Difference In Texture

BBQ seasonings and rubs may appear similar to the naked eye. But both have distinct textures. Besides having a fine blend of ground spices and herbs, BBQ rubs have a minor quantity of oils or even water. This semi-liquid texture of BBQ rubs makes it easier to penetrate through the meat to sizzle up the flavor of the dish. In contrast, BBQ seasoning has fine grains and no liquid. It is because they are a perfect blend of spices like black pepper, salt, spices, and herbs. So, seasonings taste much better when sprinkled on a slice of well-cooked meat.

Distinguished Purpose

BBQ rubs and seasoning are two entirely different products when it comes to their purpose. Many people get confused when it comes to telling the difference between the both. To begin with, BBQ rubs are marinating powder inside a bottle. BBQ rubs are the main ingredient of your BBQ party. They are rubbed on the meat to create a layer of taste, spice, and relish. For best results, several people use a meat tenderizer to tenderize their meat. It results in better marinating of the meat. However, when these rubs are combined with oils and yogurt they also tend to tenderize the meat and lets it retain its natural juices. Whereas the BBQ seasonings are just a sprinkler used as taste enhancers once, the dish is cooked and ready to slide into your stomach. In addition, BBQ seasoning serves the purpose of controlling meat moisture. They do not offer a perfect marinating due to their grainy textures. They also come in handy to adjust the taste to one’s preference. Some people prefer a light taste while some prefer a stronger. To strike the right balance, people tend to use the rubs in a minimal amount and then enhance it with the seasonings according to their taste and preference.


The major difference between the BBQ rubs and seasoning is the ingredients of both products. The ingredients used in the BBQ rubs are zesty ones, the ones used to make your meat taste like a heavenly dish. It may include some aromatic spices:
  • Mustard powder
  • Drop of lime
  • Chimayo powder
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Paprika
  • Sugar (rarely)
  • Salt (just to avoid blandness)
  • Chili powder
  • Chili flakes
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Ginger powder
  • Black pepper
  • White pepper
  • Sesame seeds
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
However, BBQ seasoning contains some minor and common ingredients like salt, pepper, cumin, and sometimes sugar.

Don't let the weather ruin your grilling plans. Slap It On BBQ rub is perfect for making your meat finger licking good

Using BBQ Rub As Seasoning – Is It Possible

BBQ seasoning and rubs are two different products with a different purpose to serve. However, many people wonder whether they can use BBQ rubs as the seasoning. Well, using BBQ rubs as seasoning is something many people do as they like, but its definitely not a great idea, if you want your meat to be cooked right. There are many valid reasons for that:
  • One of the most prominent reasons for not using BBQ rub is that they do not add a natural boom of flavors to the meat as seasoning does.
  • Seasoning is a mixture of mild herbs like pepper and thyme, which is best for uplifting BBQ taste. Whereas BBQ rub has a strong flavor, so using it as a seasoning can overpower the original taste of your dish.

Using BBQ Seasoning As A Rub – Is It Possible?

Luckily, yes, you can use the BBQ seasoning as a BBQ rub. However, some extra spice must be added to make the meat tempting. Here’s how you can upgrade your BBQ seasoning into a customized BBQ rub:
  • Pour BBQ seasoning into a bowl
  • Add a few drops of lime.
  • Pour a tablespoon of oil
  • Add oregano – according to your taste
  • Add cilantro
  • Pepper if needed, as the seasoning already has some pepper
  • Add dry herbs (grounded)
Mix it all well, and now you are good to go to enjoy your meat in the most scrumptious way! This mixture can easily be stored for 2 months.

Perfect Rub For Every Meat

Among the several options available in the market, it is a great challenge to select the perfect rub for your meat. Every meat differs in texture, nature and varies in cooking time. Therefore, it is better to marinate this meat according to its properties. Some BBQ rubs out there can be applied to all kinds of meat and can give an extremely juicy taste to the meat. But the specification is a must today, so there are some BBQ rubs in the market that are specifically designed to keep the meat texture in mind.

Chipotle Rub – For Crispy Tempting Chicken

Chicken is a versatile meat that is the hero of many scrumptious dishes. But when it comes to BBQ, people mostly prefer beef and mutton until they get to taste a new flavored chicken. The chipotle rub is a mix of the most flavorful spices designed to lift the taste of your average-tasting chicken. You can keep the chicken marinated for an hour or two for the best spice penetration. Once cooked, the chicken is covered with a crispy skin layer. You can enjoy it with sautéed veggies and a glass of wine. Just perfect to go!

Basil & Oregano Rub –  For Toasted Veggies & Vegetarians

Having a BBQ without a side of veggies feels incomplete, for sure. Nevertheless, preparing a well-flavored BBQ and having it with bland veggies doesn’t sound too mouth-watering. We have a solution for you. How about toasting your veggies in a Greek BBQ rub? For that, you have to use basil and oregano rub to let your veggies enter the world of taste and spice. Basil & Oregano can be tempting partners for vegetarians. Roast & toast your veggies in this rub and fall in love with the combination.

Herby Rub – For Fish Lovers

Talking about meat and flesh and missing out on fish is not fair. In the list of BBQ rub partners for every meat, we have something for fish as well. In the book culinary, a well-fried fish tastes best with a few drops of lime. So, following the same idea, a crispy fried fish coated with herby rub containing lemon zest and coriander is just the perfect combo to die for!

Slap It On’s All Purpose BBQ Rub – A Tempting Partner For Every Meal

It is great to have various types of BBQ rubs in your cooking inventory, but it can be quite costly. However, there is always an option to mitigate your cost. Several people are not aware of the availability of all-purpose BBQ rubs. Brands like Slap It On offer a BBQ rub that can uplift the taste of your BBQ. Also, it is a versatile rub and goes perfectly well with all kinds of meat.

Last Words

There has always been a battle between BBQ rub and seasoning. Keeping all the differences and purposes in mind, BBQ rubs win the competition. With a perfect blend of spices and oil, it is just the perfect BBQ partner. However, for those wondering about whether BBQ seasoning can be used as a rub or not. The answer is yes. You can use it as a rub. With a little customization as per your taste and spice level, you can create a homemade rub using BBQ seasoning. In addition, you can even blend it dry to get the same texture as the BBQ rub. Give it a try and let us know your experience soon.

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