Copycat Honey Hog BBQ Rub – Stop buying store bought and make it at home, easily

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Copycat Honey Hob BBQ Rub

Sure, you could just go to the store and pick up a bottle of the very popular Meat Church rub. But if you keep on reading, I’ll tell you why you should make this copycat Honey Hog BBQ rub at home. It mainly boils down to salt, price and personal preference. And even better, it’s really easy to make and it gives a great color on the smoker. I just love this stuff with ribs and pulled pork. It even goes well with chicken.

Lets Have the Salt Talk

If you have been following me for a while, you will notice I almost never use commercially prepacked rubs. The biggest reason for this is salt. I find that these commercial rubs are either way too salty or lack flavor in general. This doesn’t allow me to control how much salt gets applied to the meat and the quality and freshness of the other ingredients in the rub.

I discussed this briefly in my steak dry rub post, but the general rule of thumb is around 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat. The reason that this is the rule of thumb, is because SALT PENETRATES FOOD! Given enough time, salt will work its way from the surface all the way to the center of the piece of cold food. Apply some heat, and it works even faster. This is why adding salt at the end of cooking will never be the same thing as adding salt at the beginning. The same amount of salt added at the end will make the food taste very salty as compared to properly seasoning at the beginning. Cook’s Illustrated did a thorough example about salting food and you can read more about it here.

How Much Salt Is In A Bottle of Honey Hog BBQ rub

Copycat vs Meat Church

According to the label, there are 130mg of sodium per serving. Considering there are 227 servings per container, and knowing that salt is 40% sodium, that means that there are about 100 grams of salt in the 400 gram bottle. 25% of the entire Honey Hog BBQ rub is salt.

With the salt already mixed in, it’s impossible to know if the salt is in direct contact with the meat. The salt can be blocked by the sugar and additional seasoning,  therefore can’t penetrate the food. Additionally, a 10 pound pork butt will need much more salt than a 3 pound rack of ribs but it’s not feasible to measure the salt exactly. My copycat Honey Hob BBQ rub doesn’t have salt directly in the ingredients. That’s because I consider salting a separate step and so should you!

How Much Does It Cost to Make The Honey Hog BBQ Rub

Honey powder

$8, approximately. I know, it’s not exactly life changing when you consider the prepackaged Honey Hog BBQ rub is $10. But I will point out that is a 20% savings which makes it seem a little more worthwhile from a monetary standpoint. The $8 dollars is approximate and will vary based on how much acquiring all the ingredients will be.

Speaking of acquiring ingredients, I keep all the spices on hand except the honey powder. That was a special order from Amazon that set me back about $14 for the whole container. But if you are like me, what the hell am I going to do with a pound of honey powder?  Maybe you should consider subscribing to my email list! I plan on using this stuff in a few recipes that I have in mind. Which ultimately brings me to my last point.

Why I Choose To Make My Own Rubs

rub ingredients

At the end of the day, it really comes down to personal preference. I will never tell you that your food doesn’t taste great because you use a prepackage rub. There wouldn’t be almost a full aisle dedicated to rubs and seasonings at your local grocery store if they didn’t produce good results. Plus, they are extremely convenient so that you don’t have to acquire and measure out all the ingredients.

If my blog isn’t enough evidence, I like to experiment and create with food. I know that this isn’t for everyone but I would at least encourage you to consider doing it every once in a while. Who knows, maybe you’ll come up with something that everyone loves and become a multimillionaire, my wife is still waiting for me to become one!

Copycat rub pouring from bottle
Print Recipe
4.04 from 51 votes

Copycat Honey Hog BBQ Rub

The ever popular sweet honey BBQ rub that you can replicate at home.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Rub
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq, bbq rub, copycat rub, rib rub, sweet bbq rub, sweet pork rub
Servings: 1
Cost: 1


  • Airtight bottle or jar


  • 4 tablespoons honey powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Combine all ingredients and shake to combine. Optionally, run the rub through a spice grinder to make rub more uniform.


Take note, this recipe doesn’t have salt.  The salt needs to go on before the seasoning using about 3/4 teaspoon per pound of meat.