This homemade Keto BBQ Rub is the perfect low-carb, paleo, and sugar-free spice blend for grilling, smoking, and more! Made from pantry staple ingredients and great for pork, chicken, vegetables, even salmon.
Is BBQ Dry Rub Keto?
I absolutely LOVE barbecue. I’ve never had a style I didn’t like, but a Memphis dry rub is the kind I crave most often. The combination of spices rubbed into the meat leaves every single bite so flavorful I often close my eyes while eating it!
Unfortunately, it wasn’t until I was looking for a low carb BBQ seasoning blend that I realized most of the store-bought mixes contain sugar… Lots of it! I decided to make my own using some of the same spices my favorite Memphis BBQ Shop uses but with a keto-friendly substitute in place of the brown sugar.
Don’t worry, you’ll still get that delicious caramelized coating you want from barbecue AND you can still use brown sugar if you aren’t low carb! This is just an easy all-purpose homemade BBQ rub great for pork, chicken, seafood, and vegetables.
Ingredients for Keto BBQ Dry Rub
Making your own spice blends at home is super easy and very friendly on your wallet. Blending your own spices means you are in control of the ingredients in your food, and you can adapt the flavor for your liking specifically. For low carb bbq dry rub you’ll need:
- brown sugar monk fruit
- chili powder
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- black pepper
- smoked paprika
If you are not concerned about the carbs, you can use brown sugar instead of monk fruit. If you have the option, opt for dark brown sugar instead of light… But light will do.
How much BBQ Rub do you need?
For most meats, you’ll want 1 tablespoon of keto BBQ rub for every pound of meat. It’s easy to cover 2 pounds of ribs in 2 tablespoons because it has more surface area. For large cuts like pork butt, you really want to massage it into every crack and underneath every flap. You really want that flavor to seep as deep as possible!
For vegetables, you can expect to use a little bit less, around 2 teaspoons per pound instead.
How to use Keto BBQ Dry Rub
This keto BBQ rub makes 1 cup of seasoning which is good for 12-14 pounds of meat, depending on your cuts. It’s a quick meal prep project–Just store it in an airtight jar in your spice cabinet or in a dark pantry. You’ll get the best flavor in the first two months, but it’ll last up to six months if stored correctly.
Before applying the keto rub to the meat, make sure you dry off the meat as much as possible. With BBQ, you want a great caramelized crust to form on the outside, and that only happens with a good dry exterior.
You really want to rub it into every single nook and cranny of the meat so that the flavor permeates as deep as possible into your food. If you’re using it on chicken with skin, make sure to get underneath the skin as well.
If using it on vegetables, brush your veggies with a light coating of oil first, then sprinkle the rub to coat. Toss vegetables to make sure each piece is well coated (works especially well on zucchini, okra, and asparagus). You can even cut cauliflower or cabbage into “steaks,” coat with oil and BBQ rub, then grill for a delicious vegetarian meal!
Do you have to use oil with a dry rub?
Some people choose to coat their meat in oil (olive, avocado, coconut oil, etc.) before applying a dry rub. This does help the rub stick to the meat, but it’s not absolutely necessary. If you’re looking for a perfect sear, you may want to skip the oil step… This adds more moisture, taking longer to create the perfect sear.
If you’re looking to save on calories and achieve the picture-perfect sear, skip the oil. If you’re adding fat to your keto diet and focused on keeping as much of the seasoning on the meat as possible, cover your meat with a thin coating of oil before rubbing it with the keto BBQ rub.
Tips for the BEST Keto BBQ
- After rubbing the BBQ spice mixture into the meat, allow it to sit at least 15 minutes (but preferably as long as 2 hours) before cooking. This gives the salt in the seasoning time to act as a dry brine, giving you super flavorful, moist meat after cooking.
- As with most spices, this blend is best stored in a dry, cool, dark place. Exposure to sunlight, humidity, or high temperatures affects the seasonings’ freshness. If you prefer, you can store this in an airtight container in the fridge instead of a cabinet or pantry. If clumps form because of moisture, just stir/shake it to break those up.
- Make double or triple batches, then package them in cute jars as gifts! This is especially thoughtful for people on low-carb diets or those who have to watch the amount of sugar they consume. These glass jars store enough for about 4 pounds of meat and would be great in a gift basket!
More Keto & Low Carb Recipes
- Thai Peanut Chicken Marinade
- Easy Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Keto Tuscan Chicken and Asparagus
- Greek Chicken Kabobs
- Keto Cinnamon Frappuccino
- Keto Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
- 1/4 cup brown sugar monk fruit
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- Combine all of the spices in a small bowl
- Mix Well
- Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months
Good for 12-14 pounds of meat.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g