Korean BBQ Dry Rub

Unmixed Korean BBQ Dry Rub

Korean BBQ is one of my favorite ways to shake up the family menu when we’re not in the mood for traditional barbeque. A little bit of sweet, a little heat, some citrus and a bunch of umami come together for a unique bite. If you haven’t tried this style of BBQ you really should.

The base for any good Korean BBQ is a great dry rub. This is where you will get most of the heat and sweet from. The heat coming from the Korean chili powder (gochugaru) and the sweet coming from brown sugar. We’re also adding some black and white sesame seeds for some flavor and texture enhancements.

Mixed Korean BBQ dry rub

What is Korean Chili Powder (Gochugaru)

Korean chili powder is very similar to other chili powders as it is simply dried and ground chili peppers. The difference being that it is made from Korean chili peppers and ground coarsely. It has a a consistency similar to crushed red pepper flakes. Taste wise, it’s not over-the-top hot and provides a deep subtle heat that compliments a wide variety of meats.

If you don’t see Korean chili powder on the shelf it goes by a few names.

  • Gochugaru (Not the same as Gochujang)
  • Korean Chili Flakes
  • Korean Hot Pepper Flakes

They all are referring to the same product. If you can’t find it locally they are widely available on Amazon. This link is to the one I use and know it’s good.

Close up Korean BBQ dry rub

Where’s the salt?

Please note that there is no salt in the rub. You will need to salt the piece of meat (3/4-ish teaspoons per pound of meat) prior to adding the salt.

Without repeating myself I firmly believe food tastes better when properly salted first and then the dry rub applied. You can read more about salt on my most popular post.

How to use the Korean BBQ Dry Rub

There are so many ways to use this rub so here is a little inspiration.

  • Wings (and make sure to get them crispy)
  • Brisket
  • Ribs
  • Chicken
  • Chuck Roast
  • Flanken Ribs
  • Korean Fried Chicken (coming soon to the blog)

Now excuse me because I’m hungry. I have to go make something with this rub.

Unmixed Korean BBQ Dry Rub
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Korean BBQ Dry Rub Recipe

Everything your favorite BBQ dry rub contains but with a Korean BBQ influence
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Rub
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: dry rub, korean bbq, korean bbq dry rub, korean dry rub
Servings: 1.5 cups
Cost: 10


  • ¼ cup Korean Chili Powder Gochugaru
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • ½ tablepoon cayenne powder


  • See note about salt
  • Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine. Store in airtight container for up to a month.


Please note there is no salt in the rub.  Salt the piece of meat with approximately 3/4 teaspoon per pound of meat.