Mesquite Powder: The Secret Ingredient for Perfect BBQ Rubs

Mesquite Powder: The Secret Ingredient for Perfect BBQ Rubs

 Barbecue rubs are an essential ingredient for achieving that perfect smoky, savory flavor in your grilled or smoked meats. While there are countless variations of BBQ rubs, one ingredient that has been gaining popularity in recent years is mesquite powder. Mesquite powder is made from ground mesquite pods and has a distinct smoky, sweet flavor that makes it the perfect addition to any BBQ rub. In this post, we will explore why mesquite powder is a great ingredient for BBQ rubs and share a delicious recipe that you can try at home.

What is Mesquite Powder?

Mesquite powder is a type of flour made from ground mesquite pods. Mesquite is a desert plant native to the southwestern United States and Mexico, and its pods have been used as a food source for thousands of years by Indigenous peoples. The pods are harvested in the fall and dried before being ground into a fine powder. Mesquite powder has a sweet, smoky flavor and is often used as a natural sweetener in recipes. It is also high in protein and fiber and has a low glycemic index, making it a healthier alternative to refined sugar.

Why Use Mesquite Powder in BBQ Rubs?

Mesquite powder is an excellent addition to BBQ rubs for several reasons. First, it adds a unique smoky flavor that enhances the natural flavor of the meat. Mesquite powder can also help to caramelize the meat's surface, creating a flavorful crust that locks in moisture and creates a juicy, tender end result. Finally, mesquite powder's sweet flavor helps to balance out the heat from other spices in the rub, making it a great choice for those who prefer a milder BBQ flavor.

How to Use Mesquite Powder in BBQ Rubs

When using mesquite powder in BBQ rubs, it is important to balance the amount of mesquite powder with other spices and seasonings. Mesquite powder has a distinct flavor that can quickly become overpowering if too much is used. A good rule of thumb is to use around 1-2 tablespoons of mesquite powder per 1-2 cups of dry rub mixture. It is also important to remember that mesquite powder can add sweetness to the rub, so you may want to adjust the amount of sugar or other sweeteners accordingly.

Mesquite Spice Rub Recipe:

Sweet & Savory Mesquite BBQ Rub

Now that we have discussed the benefits of mesquite powder in BBQ rubs, it's time to try making your own! This mesquite rub recipe has a perfect balance of smoky, sweet, and savory flavors that complement a variety of meats, including chicken, pork, beef, and fish. If you prefer a spicier rub, you can add more cayenne pepper to your liking. The recipe can also be adjusted based on your taste preferences by adding more or less of any of the ingredients.

Mesquite Rub Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons mesquite powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until they are well combined.
  2. Apply the mesquite rub to your choice of meat, making sure to coat it on all sides.
  3. Let the meat rest for at least 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours) before cooking to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  4. Grill or smoke the meat to your desired level of doneness.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Bonus Recipe:

Sweet & Savory Mesquite BBQ Grilled Shrimp


  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons mesquite powder BBQ rub


  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and Sweet & Savory Mesquite BBQ rub.
  3. Thread the shrimp onto skewers and brush both sides with the mesquite oil mixture.
  4. Place the skewers on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the shrimp are pink and slightly charred.
  5. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and additional Sweet & Savory Mesquite BBQ rub mixture for dipping. Enjoy!


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