SPG Beef Rub – Salt, Pepper, Granulated Garlic

4.41 from 25 votes
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When looking for a beef rub, we turn to simple. SPG, or Salt, Pepper, Garlic rub is what you’ll commonly see on simple steaks or brisket across our recipes.

Smoked Beef Tenderloin with SPG Beef Rub.
Beef Tenderloin with SPG Beef Rub

We get a common question when doing events, virtual classes, or just in general. And that is “What is the best beef rub?”

One of the first goals to amazing flavor is to start with the best beef we can buy. A rub will enhance flavor but should not drown it out. Snake River Farms and their Double R Ranch Beef is what we use for the rich buttery flavor. In buying your best beef in your area, we encourage you to allow that amazing beefy flavor to shine and enhance it with a simple rub.

Dry rubs can run from savory to sweet. And everyone’s taste buds are subjective, but for any beef rub, we do not add any sugar (like in our ultimate dry rub) and instead focus on salt and savory.

SPG (Salt Pepper Garlic) Rub

The equation is simple: equal parts kosher salt, coarse black pepper, and granulated garlic, give us the perfect balance.

Granulated garlic is different than garlic powder. Garlic powder is much finer, like flour and will be much more intense. The goal of the rub is having similar sized texture and granulated garlic is the best choice. If all you have is garlic powder then use half the recommended portions to avoid an intense garlic flavor.

Garlic salt is also not the same. If all you have is garlic salt, then add pepper in small portions to find the flavor you like.

Why No Sugar?

With most of our direct cooking or grilling, we avoid sugar as it tends to burn creating a bitter taste at high heat. When cooking low and slow, we like a more savory flavor for things like smoked brisket or beef ribs.

Storing Beef Rub

When storing any rub our go to is a mason jar. Simple, and you can see inside when you need to make more. Make the beef rub and keep it sealed for up to six months.

We also have one of our favorite beef rubs in our cookbook Fire + Wine that adds a few more flavor elements building on the SPG model. Or you can explore our herbal focused beef seasoning.

Favorite Steak Recipes

Here are a few of our favorite beef recipes using SPG.

Other Beef Seasoning Ideas

You can check out our entire category of rubs and seasonings. A few of our favorites for beef also include:

  • Dry Rub For Steak – This incredible seasoning is not your average flavor profile. It’s salty, savory and plenty of umami. The secret ingredient is shiitake mushroom powder.
  • Beef Seasoning – If you want to elevate this SPG rub with some herbal elements then try out our beef seasoning perfect for large roasts like brisket, tomahawk steaks, or smoked prime rib.

SPG Beef Rub Recipe

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Giant Beef Ribs smoked
4.41 from 25 votes

SPG Beef Rub Recipe

A simple yet flavorful beef rub that works from steaks to brisket. Use kosher salt, coarse black pepper, and granulated garlic (versus garlic powder or salt).
Prep: 5 minutes
Servings: 3 cups


  • Funnel
  • Mason Jar for Storage


  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup coarse black pepper
  • 1 cup granulated garlic, (not garlic powder)


  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Using a funnel, put the dry rub in a large mason jar and seal with a lid. Will last six months in a cool and dry location.


If you only have garlic powder (versus granulated garlic), then the ratio should be 1 cup kosher salt, 1 cup coarse pepper, and 1/2 cup garlic powder.
If you are looking for more savory and herbal flavors check out our ultimate beef seasoning.


Calories: 459kcal | Carbohydrates: 108g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 37788mg | Potassium: 1997mg | Fiber: 27g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 431IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 435mg | Iron: 12mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American, barbecue, grilled
Servings: 3 cups
Calories: 459
Keyword: beef rub, SPG, SPG Rub, what is SPG
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About Mary

I'm Mary, a wine/food/travel writer, Certified Sommelier, mom of twins, former vegetarian turned BBQ fanatic, runner, founder of Vindulge, and author of Fire + Wine cookbook. Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. 5 stars
    We love this recipe and have made it several times. My husband and I both enjoy cooking, this is perfect for us to do together–he does the smoking and I prepare the “stew” portion. We followed recipe exactly the first time we made and it was delicious. Everyone enjoyed and we had enough leftover for dinner the next night (tasted so good after flavors had really melded). We also made & used the recipe for the beef dry rub. Very good, but make sure to only use 1/4 cup, otherwise very salty. If we are making for a crowd, I make a big pot of brown rice and serve the stew over the rice.

  2. The recipe says 1 cup GRANULATED garlic not garlic POWDER. Then the notes says if you only have GRANULATED garlic than the ratio should be…

    1. The notes say to add 1/2 cup of garlic powder if that is all you have. In the article it mentions to use half of the recommended portion of granulated garlic. So in this case that would be 1/2 a cup of garlic powder, versus 1 cup of granulated garlic.

      1. ET,
        I agree, the notes section in the recipe (brown box illustration) are confusing. I think it’s supposed to say “,If you only have garlic powder…..”