How to make SPG seasoning BBQ rub

SPG seasoning is one of the best BBQ rubs ever invented. Its simple nature brings alive every single type of meat you will ever put on the grill. It is the easiest BBQ rub to put together, and it only requires a couple of different ingredients that all supermarkets sell; if you don’t, you need to get them in the cupboard.

SPG is the starting base for almost all different BBQ rubs; for example, a chili rub will start off as SPG, and then chili powder/flakes are added to create an excellent chili rub for chicken. So for those of you who like experimenting with flavors, this is a great base rub.

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What is SPG seasoning?

SPG seasoning or SPG rub is a perfect mix of Salt, pepper, and garlic granules. You will also find granulated onion in SPG. If you buy a pre-made rub, it is not essential but an optional extra. I always add granulated onion to my SPG blend; I like its flavor.

SPG is sometimes also known as all-purpose seasoning, although if you buy it as an all-purpose seasoning, it will most likely have more added ingredients, usually a variety of herbs.

Why Garlic granules and not garlic powder?

Garlic powder is extremely fine, almost like flour; because it is such a fine powder, it is not equal in size to Salt and pepper. The goal with SPG is to have an even spread across the whole surface of the meat, so with garlic granules, the granules are equal in size to the salt crystals and coarse pepper. You get an even spread resulting in a better-tasting rub, and better tasting food.

The perfect SPG seasoning blend

Everyone who uses and makes their own SPG seasoning will argue that there is the right blend of ingredients. However, this is down to personal preferences; some people don’t like large amounts of black pepper. Others like food quite salty. It’s easy to see why there is an argument about the best SPG blend.

The best way to discover the best SPG seasoning blend is to start with a mix like the one below, try it, and scale from there to your taste preferences.

Best SPG ratio

The best SPG ratio that works for me is 1 big, 1 big, 1 small, or at least that’s how I always remember it. 1 tbsp, 1 tbsp, 1 tsp, you can scale from there, and if you add granulated onions, it’s just 1 tsp of to the same mix ratio.

Others suggest starting with equal parts of each, which also works as a good starting point; I just find a whole tablespoon of garlic granules a little strong for my liking.

What meat does SPG compliment best

Beef is by far the best meat for SPG. Brisket does not require extra flavor when smoking and only requires SPG to enhance the already great smoky beef flavor. Consider using a binder on brisket to get an even coverage of SPG onto a brisket.

All different variations of beef steak, like sirloin and rib eye, are elevated to a new level with SPG; this is the “salt and pepper” you see TV chefs apply to their steaks in the kitchen when cooking them.

As I mentioned before though SPG works on everything chicken, pork, fish, and turkey, the possibilities are endless with SPG seasoning, so do not think it is a rub limited to beef. When applying a rub to other meats, you usually want to enhance the flavors with a different taste or spice level, like BBQ rub on chicken.

Storing SPG seasoning

SPG is easily made in large quantities and stored in a cool, dry cupboard. In a sealed container; a good shaker bottle with is sufficient. It lasts for a very, very long time. However, if that doesn’t suit you, it’s easy to knock up a fresh batch in a minute or two.

Shopping list

SPG starts with a few vital ingredients above, the quality of which makes the difference to the taste. These are my favorite brands that go well to make a great tasting SPG rubs. I haven’t included granulated onion as this is entirely optional.

Shaker Bottle

Skyway Supreme Large 16 OZ Clear Plastic Spice Bottles – Perfect for SPG, they come in a pack of two, which is great for knocking up another favorite rub. They have a flap cap, which seals and keeps rubs fresh for a long time.


Morton Coarse Kosher Salt – My favorite grade kosher salt to use, a coarse grade is equal in parts to the coarseness of the pepper and garlic granules, for a real even coverage. If you prefer a salty tasting rub you might use a fine grade but it’s a bit overpowering for me which is why I like Morton’s.

Black Pepper

McCormick Organic Coarse Ground Black Pepper – I use organic just because I do not want anything interfering with the taste experience of expensive cuts of meat, I can’t even remember if non-organic does change the flavor at all. But i started using this and never turned back.

Garlic granules

McCormick Granulated Garlic – Coarse grade granulated garlic, just to ensure I get that perfect coverage. You may notice this tub acts as another shaker bottle once empty, so I always wash and re-use when empty.

SPG Seasoning recipe

  • 1 TBSP black coarse ground black pepper
  •  1 TBSP kosher salt
  •  1 TSP granulated garlic
  •  Optional 1 TSP granulated onion

Give it a good mix and transfer it to a shaker bottle.

Happy Grilling!