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BBQ rub freshness

For those of you who mix your own rubs, in general what's the shelf life as far as freshness?   I know it won't go "bad", but also don't want to lose the flavor after x months.   Is there a rough approximate range?    I've mostly used store bought rubs thus far, and I did try Memphis Dust (liked it but want to try something else).   
--Because I'm like ice, buddy. When I don't like you, you've got problems.

KJ Classic
28" Blackstone
South Carolina native, adopted Texan, residing in Olive Branch, MS.  Go Tigers.


  • fishlessman
    fishlessman Posts: 32,730
    i freeze mine, it lasts along time
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • johnnyp
    johnnyp Posts: 3,932
    It's not that the rub loses freshness as a whole.  Rather it's the individual ingredients in it.  Those ingredients don't "go bad", they just lose potency.

    if you're using dry spices, read the labels.  the rub will keep its potency until the earliest "best by" date.  After that, it's stil perfectly fine to eat, but the flavor balance will be off.

    to @fishlessman credit, freezing them do allow them to last longer
    XL & MM BGE, 36" Blackstone - Newport News, VA
  • gdenby
    gdenby Posts: 6,239
    I consider myself still in novice land. Here's what I can offer.

    General recommendation is cool or freezing, dark and airtight containers for storage.

    Try not to store them pre-made. The only things that have an indefinite shelf life AFAIKl are salt, sugar, and ground cayenne or other red pepper seeds. 

    What seems to work pretty well is to put a mix of whole spices together, and grind or pound that when needed.

    On the whole, herbs don't last too well. I grow a lot of my own, and most of  them fade badly after 9 months. Which is why I have a new grow light and a tray next to my south facing window.

    Some more "vegetabely" things store pretty well. Onion, garlic, ginger and lemon grass seem to be good for over a year.
  • Thatgrimguy
    Thatgrimguy Posts: 4,729
    I vac seal in 1 pound portions and it seems to keep as long as I need.  I usually make about 5 pounds at a time. It's all gone with in 3-6 months.
    XL, Small, Mini & Mini Max Green Egg, Shirley Fab Trailer, 6 gal and 2.5 gal Cajun Fryers, BlueStar 60" Range, 48" Lonestar Grillz Santa Maria, Alto Shaam 1200s, Gozney Dome, Gateway 55g Drum
  • jtcBoynton
    jtcBoynton Posts: 2,814
    Whole spices keep longer than ground, so buy whole and grind as needed.  Vacuum sealed and in the freezer will prolong the life of your bulk spices, mix up smaller batches to keep handy for cooking.  Many spices are harvested only once per year, so replacing them every few months may not actually get you any fresher spices than what you have.
    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.