Low-Carb BBQ Dry Rub Recipe

You're at a barbecue, watching as everyone enjoys chicken and ribs, marinated in what looks and smells like mouthwatering seasonings and rubs. Unfortunately, you need to watch your carbs, so you're trying to be content with a simple salad and whatever your host can rustle up that's plain and on your diet. What's worse, everyone keeps raving about how everything is so delicious. 

If you've ever been in the above situation, fear not. Recipe developer Susan Olayinka has created a low-carb barbecue rub that's every bit as scrumptious as its loaded-with-sugar cousins. With just two minutes of prep, you'll have a seasoned-to-perfection dry rub ideal for everything from meats to vegetarian-friendly meals alike. And best of all, this simple but flavorful rub is packed with seasonings that are both tasty and healthy, making this your definite go-to secret ingredient.

Plus, with a little care, it can be stored so it will stay fresher longer. Let's take a look at how to make it

Gather your ingredients

Don't let its appearance deceive you. There are a lot of ingredients that go into this dry rub. That means you'd better get out your spice rack because you're going to need paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, and salt. In addition, Olayinka recommends using xylitol to add a little sweetness to all of this spice.

Now, don't let this combination concern you. Yes, there are some strong flavors going into this rub, but remember, there is a difference between tastes complementing each other versus overpowering one another. The secret of this recipe is that Olayinka has carefully chosen dry rub ingredients that not only enhance each other's flavors but also the flavors of whatever you're barbecuing.

Combine your ingredients

To make your dry rub, mix the xylitol, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Remember, you need to make sure your ingredients are thoroughly mixed so they will be well combined. Otherwise, your rub will have an inconsistent taste. 

While there are many different types of sweeteners on the market (both artificial and natural), Olayinka recommends xylitol because it has a "very low glycemic index — and doesn't spike blood sugar levels." So, if someone in your family needs to be careful of their blood sugar, this recipe could really be a good alternative to classic dry rubs.

What are the health benefits of paprika?

While xylitol can be a better option for those with blood sugar issues, it's far from the only healthy thing about this dry rub. As Olayinka points out, "paprika, according to Healthline, may help your eyesight, reduce inflammation, and improve cholesterol levels. Some research has found that it could have anti-cancer effects." That's already a pretty powerful punch for this little spice, but paprika has one more benefit.

A dash of this savory-looking seasoning gives your chicken in particular a very appetizing appearance. Plus, it'll definitely add zing to a number of your barbecue dishes.

What are the health benefits of cumin and garlic powder?

Although this low-carb BBQ dry rub appears mainly orange, if you look carefully, you'll see it actually has specs of yellow in it. This is because of the cumin, which as Olayinka points out, is not only good for controlling blood sugar (just like the xylitol) but also can reduce inflammation throughout your body.

In addition, the garlic powder in your dry rub has its own unique healthy properties. "Garlic powder has some similar benefits to paprika," Olayinka says. "It could reduce high blood pressure, and it has also been found in some research to support liver health and immune system functioning."

Be careful how you store your rub

Once you've thoroughly mixed all your ingredients for this rub, pour them into an airtight container so they'll be fresh and ready to use when need to marinate meat.

While this recipe has pictured chicken coated in this dry rub's seasonings, Olayinka says it can also be used for other popular barbecue items. "This can definitely be used with other meats aside from chicken such as pork, beef, fish, and even things like tofu."

So, the next time your friends talk about having a barbecue, offer to host it and show off your perfect low-carb dry rub. 

Low-Carb BBQ Dry Rub Recipe
5 from 29 ratings
Recipe developer Susan Olayinka has created a low-carb barbecue rub that's every bit as scrumptious as its loaded-with-sugar cousins.
Prep Time
Cook Time
A white bowl containing dry BBQ rub next to an empty container on its side
Total time: 2 minutes
  • ¼ cup of sweetener (xylitol)
  • ¼ cup of paprika
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon of onion powder
  • ½ tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  1. Mix xylitol, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, and salt in a mixing bowl until well incorporated.
  2. Pour into an airtight container and use when needed to marinate meat.
Calories per Serving 46
Total Fat 1.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.8 g
Dietary Fiber 4.5 g
Total Sugars 1.3 g
Sodium 86.5 mg
Protein 2.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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