I’m always looking for ways to take a basic BBQ rub recipe and (as Emeril would say) “kick it up a notch”. While many people make premade rubs, I really enjoy making my own and adjusting it to fit my mood and the dish at hand.

Bourbon Barrel Foods, out of Kentucky, reflects the heritage of Kentucky’s bourbon country – “The Napa Valley of Bluegrass”. They offer spices smoked from bourbon barrels for a truly unique flavor combination. It is with their bourbon smoked sea salt, peppercorns, paprika and sugar that the recipe below is made from for out of this world flavor.

They also offer micro-brewed soy sauce made from locally grown Kentucky soy beans. If you are looking to “up your game” in the kitchen or on the BBQ circuit, I recommend trying their smoked spices and even their homegrown sorghum as the secret ingredient in your BBQ sauce.

My basic BBQ rub recipe is below, and it the perfect compliment to any pork or chicken dish. You can use as a stand alone rub, or add one tablespoon olive oil to make a “seasoning paste”. I like seasoning pastes because they help the rub easily adhere to the meat and keep the meat moist at the same time.

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Bourbon Barrel Smoked Sea Salt, Peppercorn, Paprika and Sugar BBQ Rub

  • Author: Robyn
  • Yield: enough for 2 large pork chops/pieces of meat 1x


  • 1 tbsp bourbon barrel smoked pepper
  • 1 tbsp BB (bourbon barrel) smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp BB smoked sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping teaspoon) BB smoked sea salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)


Mix all ingredients and generously slather the rub on your protein. Grill according to your meat specifications.

Save a little rub to sprinkle on your meat after pulling off the grill. Trust me, these smoked ingredients will take your BBQ rub from ordinary to extraordinary.

To learn more about Bourbon Barrel Foods, check out their website, www.bourbonbarrelfoods.com

These bone in pork chops are rubbed and ready to go on the grill.

I’m in love with these seasonings and the cute tins they come in. Friends and family, expect these in your stocking this year.


I’m a big fan of adding a little olive oil and creating “seasoning pastes”- they easily adhere to the protein and also add moisture to the meat.