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The Best BBQ Seasonings

🕚 Updated June 2022

A home-grilled or home-cooked meal can be exciting, but it can become redundant. Adding a new BBQ seasoning can literally spice up your menu and revitalize your food. Here is a handful that we think are worth tasting.

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  Best for Red Meat Best for Seafood Best for Poultry Best Gift Set All-Around Great Pick
  Hardcore Carnivore
BBQ Moments
Seafood Seasoning
BBQ Moments
Poultry Seasoning
Thoughtfully Gifts
Barbecue Rubs To Go: Grill Edition Gift Set
Pork Barrel BBQ
All-American Seasoning Mix
Our SummaryBring the flavor of Texas BBQ to your backyard with this shaker.Turn up the flavor of your seafood with this bright seasoning blend.Bring out your favorite cuts of poultry to match with this sweet and spicy seasoning.This is the perfect BBQ seasoning set to get for your favorite grill master.This is the most versatile and cost-effective rub for a BBQ lover.
ProsAuthentic TX BBQ flavor, no MSG, is gluten-free and Keto-friendly.Versatile for any seafood or fish, bright blend of herbs, spices, citrus, and sugar.Versatile for any poultry, blend of sweet and spicy herbs.Has five different flavors including Cajun, Caribbean, Mexican, Southwest, and Memphis BBQ.Versatile for any protein, no MSG, is gluten-free and Keto-friendly, large container.
ConsBold flavor may need acquired taste.Expensive for size.Poor quality control in shipping.Small amount of each seasoning mix.Must be used as rub for best results.
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The Best BBQ Seasonings

The hand of a male chef puts salt and spices on a dark background, close-up.

Buying Guide for BBQ Seasonings

Dry rub seasoning on new york strip steak.
Christian Arfsten/Shutterstock.com

Why should you buy BBQ seasoning?

Most people have salt and pepper and hopefully a few more staples in their spice rack. But it’s fun (and delicious) to taste the flavor genius of BBQ seasoning blends that are created to enhance the flavors of particular proteins or foods. How many times have you tried to mix and match your spice rack staples only to taste something that wasn’t quite what you had in mind? That’s exactly the scenario that a premade seasoning mix can help you avoid.

What should you consider when buying BBQ seasoning?

  • Type of Protein: Your biggest consideration when shopping for BBQ seasoning is which type of protein you will be grilling. Certain flavors pair better with red or white meat for seafood, and some might be the perfect addition for grilling veggies and sides.
  • Dietary Concerns: Most seasoning will be fairly friendly to those with dietary concerns or allergies. However, finding dry milk or MSG in seasoning blends is not unheard of. Always look at the ingredients carefully if you have dietary problems or food allergies.

Do BBQ seasoning blends expire?

When your seasoning blends don’t include preservatives, they will expire faster than those that include shelf-life stabilizers. However, even blends without preservatives will last quite some time. On average, you should consume your BBQ seasoning within two to three years after opening. But honestly, with these picks, good luck making them last longer.

Our Picks for the Best BBQ Seasonings

Best for Red Meat

Hardcore Carnivore Black

Bring the flavor of Texas BBQ to your backyard with this shaker.

Pros: Made in Texas, this BBQ seasoning is perfect for any red meat. For those with dietary concerns, don’t worry. This delicious seasoning blend is free of MSG, gluten-free, and Keto-friendly. In addition to (secret and delicious) spices, this blend is made with salt, pepper, garlic, and activated charcoal. The activated charcoal is one of the main reasons why this BBQ blend is a favorite among meat lovers.

Cons: It may be on the saltier side.

Bottom Line: When seasoning red meat, it’s not about being fancy or having many ingredients, but quality show-stopping flavor is what it’s all about. This will be worth every penny if you crave the authentic taste of Texas BBQ spices.


Best for Seafood

BBQ Moments Seafood Seasoning

Turn up the flavor of your seafood with this bright seasoning blend.

Pros: Whether you’re grilling fish, shrimp, or octopus, finding a seafood seasoning blend to turn up the flavor isn’t always easy. This blend, however, can make that a lot easier. This versatile seasoning will take the guesswork out of being a backyard BBQ chef. The all-natural blend features herbs, citrus, warm spices, and sugar to create a bright combination of flavors you won’t be able to get enough of.

Cons: It’s relatively expensive, even for a unique seasoning blend.

Bottom Line: Seafood night might become your favorite night of grilling with this seasoning blend. The balance of sweet, spice, citrus, and fresh herbs create an exciting and irresistible flavor for any fish or seafood you’re grilling.


Best for Poultry

BBQ Moments Poultry Seasoning

Bring out your favorite cuts of poultry to match with this sweet and spicy seasoning.

Pros: Break out of your poultry-seasoning rut (not everything needs to taste like Thanksgiving) and spice things up with this all-natural poultry seasoning. Made from classic spices with the addition of herbs, mustard, and sweet red pepper, this seasoning blend will transform your chicken wings, breasts, or thighs into a meal you’ll be licking your fingers from instead of using your napkin. The combination is so flavorful, but it’s still versatile and can go with any poultry with various flavor profiles.

Cons: Nothing holds the lid in place during shipping, so check the packaging before use.

Bottom Line: This all-natural BBQ seasoning blend will do just that without adding sugar or unnatural enhancers. The robust flavor of this blend is versatile, so it’s perfect on wings for game day or in a complex curry.


Best Gift Set

Thoughtfully Gifts Barbecue Rubs To Go: Grill Edition Gift Set

This is the perfect BBQ seasoning set to get for your favorite grill master.

Pros: Shopping for a grill master can be easy thanks to this BBQ seasoning gift set. Let them try all the flavors and find their favorite. The set includes five rubs: Cajun, Caribbean, Mexican, Southwest, and Memphis BBQ. Not only does this gift set help your recipient find their favorite BBQ flavor, but it’s like getting a passport to different cooking regions, adding extra adventure to the backyard BBQ.

Cons: Each seasoning blend is small, so you or your friend may not get too many uses out of each flavor.

Bottom Line: This multipack of five spice rubs is the perfect gift for someone who likes to discover new flavors. The variety pack is like taking a trip to exciting culinary destinations, which is a lot of fun for the home chef or grill master.


All-Around Great Pick

Pork Barrel BBQ All-American Seasoning Mix

This is the most versatile and cost-effective rub for a BBQ lover.

Pros: Looking for a BBQ seasoning that can go on anything? You can reach for this seasoning blend, whether it’s steak, chicken wings, pork chops, jumbo shrimp, or summer veggies. This favorite spice mix is appropriately portioned into a large 22-ounce shaker, so you won’t have to buy it too frequently, even if you use it for nearly every meal. Even though it’s an affordable and versatile blend, it’s also gluten-free, Keto-friendly, and doesn’t contain any preservatives, sugars, or MSG, making it a nice blend for those with dietary concerns.

Cons: This seasoning mix must be used as a rub and not just sprinkled on top of food.

Bottom Line: To experience what many are raving about, use this blend as a rub and not just seasoning that you sprinkle on top of your food. Once you experience the taste that keeps people reaching for this shaker, you’ll realize why it can go on all types of proteins, cooked veggies, or even potatoes.

Final Thoughts

Add extra flavor to your backyard BBQ, slow cooker, or any other way you love to cook. Whether you have steak, burgers, shrimp, or wings on the menu, you can find a BBQ seasoning mix that will excite your palate and inspire you for more at-home meals any night of the week.

Michelle Carellas Michelle Carellas
Michelle Carellas has had a love for writing from as early as her primary school years. Her writing career took her to journalism, copy editing, and email and digital marketing, and for the past 11 years, she's kept writing a strong focus with freelancing for local businesses and national marketing agencies. When Michelle isn't writing, she's homeschooling her four kids and embracing the country life with her husband in a small Texas town. She and her husband own and operate a small garage gym, the perfect endeavor for a couple who met and fell in love at a gym! Read Full Bio »
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