barbecue spice rub

After yesterday’s excursion  into puppy gifts, we’re back solidly into presents of the human variety today. This spice rub is an amazing stocking stuffer for anyone who loves to grill and would work perfectly in a nice little jar as a small gift for a co-worker or acquaintance. I mean, who doesn’t like flavor? Everyone likes flavor! Give the gift of flavor.

I love this spice mix. Love, love, love it. I’ve been using it on everything from salmon to veggies! I wrote “all-purpose” on the label (which you can download at the end of this post) and I truly mean it. I mean, I wouldn’t recommend sprinkling it on top of your morning Wheaties, but anything savory is a go. It really does make a ho-hum dinner like baked salmon into something spectacular. In fact, I like this spice mix so much that it’s been living on our kitchen windowsill because I want it close by at all times.

It comes together very quickly and uses spices you probably already have stashed in your spice rack, making this an excellent last-minute gift for when that person who you “accidentally” left off your list gives you a call to say they’re coming over in 10 minutes to give you your gift.


Give the gift of flavor!

And even if you don’t use this as a last-minute rescue gift, it would work beautiful done in bulk ahead of time. Head to the bulk section of your local health food store and fill up on all spices, come home and mix it in a big bowl and dole it out into cute little jars (mine is a food grade jar from Hobby Lobby), label it, put a bow on it and you’ve got a great little gift.

Of course, this recipe is highly adaptable. Add more red pepper if you want more of a kick. Cut back on the garlic powder if your recipients are garlic-phobes (do those exist?). Cut out almost all the salt if you want to give a low-sodium version to someone watching their salt intake. Make it your spice rub. And once you’ve got the recipe down pat, I promise folks will be asking for it year-after-year.

Barbecue Spice Rub

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: None

Makes: About 1 cup spice rub


  • 1/3 cup sea salt
  • 1/3 cup maple or brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon red cayenne pepper


  1. Mix all ingredients together, store in an airtight container. Use as a spice rub on chicken, fish, beef, or veggies.
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As promised, I also whipped up a label for the spice rub jars. I sized these to fit onto a small jar that would hold one entire batch. As you can see, the label sheet includes quite a few more labels, so feel free to multiply the recipe and give the gift of flavor to everyone you know!

To print them, just pick up some full-sheet sticker paper from any office supply store, print and then cut out with a pair of sharp scissors or a craft knife.

Have you ever had to pull together a last minute surprise gift? What’d you end up giving?


  1. kyna says

    I think I just found what to give my brother in law! And as a side note, I was reading back through the archives of domestic_snark on Livejournal and saw one of your user pics and was all hey I know who that is!

  2. Cristina says

    Love the way your blog looks, and the pictures. What program do you use to images and fonts. Love it !

    • Cassie says

      I use Photoshop and Illustrator mostly for my blog graphics, plus CSS for styling the actually blog. :)

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