10 Best Store-Bought Steak Rubs, Ranked

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

The best part of summer has to be, without a doubt, grilling. There's nothing better than enjoying the warm weather by standing outside, listening to birdsong, and watching the trees wave while making delicious food to share with your family and friends. Everything is better on the grill — from veggies to seafood and even flatbreads. But what's especially heavenly on the grill is steak.

Yes, you could keep things simple with just salt and pepper, but why not take the summer to try out some new steak rubs? Sometimes, the best option is to mix up a few spices you already have in the pantry or cupboard. You're able to individualize the rub to your personal tastes and can see what's making it into the final product. This three-ingredient one keeps it simple.

But, if you want something store-bought and simple, then we've got the ranked list for you from "worst" to best — worst in quotation marks because they're not necessarily bad, but just not as good (for various reasons) as the higher-ranking rubs.

10. Bolner's Fiesta Uncle Chris' Gourmet Steak Seasoning

The reviews are in, and people are hooked (via Amazon). Why then, does it rank so low? Not because it isn't delicious, because it certainly is: This rub is bold and delicious, a blend of onion, garlic, salt, and pepper, and even some lemon zest to add a bit of zing to your steak.

One customer compares it to McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning, which ranks higher on this list, and finds that Bolner's is just as good (and even better in some recipes). For us, Bolner's steak seasoning loses out when it comes to the ingredient list. When comparing it to a product like Kinders Buttery Steakhouse, which uses real butter, Uncle Chris' Gourmet Steak Seasoning uses butter flavor made with corn starch and a bunch of other weird things. So it's up to personal taste, and if you don't mind the slight artificial flavors, then go for it.

9. Lane's Ancho Espresso Coffee Rub

This rub ranks so low simply because it's a bit more of a niche rub variety thanks to the intense coffee flavor, which makes it much less universal for steak and BBQ lovers. Coffee has long been used in rubs because it results in a nice crust on the finished product (via Koffee Kult Coffee Roasters). Lane's Ancho Espresso Coffee Rub is no different. According to the Amazon listing, it "delivers some of the best crust you have ever had on your cooks." The coffee will also help tenderize the meat and pull out some of the more subtle flavors.

However, while the added coffee has great benefits in the actual cooking side of things, it can be overpowering. It is also sweet and salty, so make sure to season to your preferences. Other ingredients in the Ancho Espresso Coffee Rub include brown sugar, garlic, cayenne, and coriander (via Lane's BBQ). 

8. St. Elmo Steak House Seasoning

Open and serving happy customers since 1902, St. Elmo knows a thing or two about steaks. That knowledge has been honed into this gorgeous steak rub that it recommends using instead of salt and pepper on just about anything — in fact, if you visit the restaurant, you'll find that the St. Elmo Seasoning is added onto almost every item (via Amazon). 

What makes this steak rub so delicious is that it was formulated to enhance the already present flavors in your steak, chicken, pork, or anything else. This steak house seasoning is made with sea salt, evaporated cane juice (which gives it some sweetness), onion, black pepper, paprika (for some color), celery, garlic, and then anti-caking, natural flavors, and canola oil finish (via St. Elmo). This one wasn't our favorite, but plenty of folks adore the St. Elmo Steak House Seasoning — one Amazon reviewer pledges, "You can't go wrong with St. Elmo's!"

7. 2 Gringos Chupacabra Steak Seasoning

This 2 Gringros Chupacaraba Steak Seasoning is perfect in just about every way and is manufactured in San Antonio, Texas. It's a savory blend of black pepper, garlic, and spices. Again, it fairs lower on the list thanks to a few additives that do keep the product shelf-stable, making it maybe not as clean as we'd like, but if you don't mind those types of additives, then this may be for you. 

Just don't get confused like one reviewer on Amazon did: The "2" refers to the amount of Gringos in the title, not the number of seasonings you get with an order. Fans of the product compliment its versatility — using it on salmon, ribs, pork chops, chicken, even a light sprinkling over salad — and because it doesn't dry even the cheap cuts of meat out (via Amazon). Perhaps the best part of the Chupacabra Steak Seasoning are the large pieces of cracked pepper.

6. Jacobsen Salt Co. Steak Seasoning

You might recognize Jacobsen Salt Co. for its artisanal salt that is harvested from Netarts Bay on the Oregon Coast (via Jacobsen Salt). It only made sense that it's taken that beloved sea salt and folded it into other seasonings, like taco, ramen, and, most importantly for us, steak seasoning. 

While the Jacobsen Co. Steak Seasoning may not have thousands of reviews yet, the ones it does have are positive. The steak seasoning features Jacobsen Salt Co.'s sea salt mixed with minced garlic, coriander seed, paprika, fennel seed, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and red pepper flakes. One reviewer on Amazon noted that the salt's crystalline quality helps tenderize your meat and bring out subtle flavors, all further enhanced by the herbs and spices. If you're looking for an artisanal steak rub and willing to spend a bit more per volume, Jacobsen Salt Co.'s Steak Seasoning is a luxurious experience.

5. Weber Chicago Steak Seasoning

This is another classic option — for good reason, too. Weber Chicago Steak Seasoning is multipurpose — great to use on veggies for a full flavor — but ultimately finds its glory in, well, seasoning steak. It's named after the Windy City because, according to Weber Seasoning's website, both are big and bold. The Chicago Steak Seasoning has a kick to it with red pepper (and red bell pepper) mixed in to give the flavor a zingy brightness — which reviewers and fans take note of (via Amazon).

This steak rub is specifically designed to bring out the already present flavor in whatever you're cooking. That pepperiness — from both the bell and peppercorn — plays well with the tenderness of your steak, so that one is not overpowering the other. And if you don't believe Weber's website, then listen to the reviews, which praise the Chicago Steak Seasoning for enhancing the flavor notes and profiles already there. If you're a hardcore carnivore who wants to taste the meatiness of your steaks, then this rub is for you!

4. Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub

An award winner, this simply titled "The BBQ" rub was used by the Killer Hogs, a grilling competition brother duo since 2001, to win multiple BBQs. This brand of BBQ rubs and seasonings was 13 years in the making, so you can imagine the care, patience, and passion that went into each individual flavor. 

"The BBQ" rub is made of brown sugar, paprika, red and black pepper, dehydrated orange peel, and garlic. This rub also gives your meat that quintessential mahogany color that was sure to help the Killer Hogs brothers win all those awards.

While "The BBQ" rub is ideal for anything you're grilling up, there is a more specific steak rub you can buy from the Killer Hogs, again simply named "Steak Rub" — if that's more your fancy. And, if you're looking for more inspiration or advice, one of the brothers began a BBQ help website called How To BBQ Right, which is devoted to sharing tips and celebrating the competition scene (but here's the ultimate guide to BBQ from us).

3. Kosmos Q Dry Rub Texas Beef

Kosmos Q Dry Rub Texas Beef has won multiple world championship awards for its expert mix of onion, lemon, garlic, and something secret that even we don't know. Just a vague "spices" listing in the ingredients — but a hint may come in the allergen information, which mentions celery. 

No matter, Kosmos Q's website is right when it claims the flavor is off the charts. But at the heart of this steak rub is simplicity, and a desire to keep grilling how it should be without compromising on flavor.

According to the product listing on Amazon, there is something citrusy about this mix as well. Ultimately, Kosmos Q's Dry Rub Texas Beef seasoning is versatile and exciting; add it to vegetables, fish, and any other meat you'd like. Of thousands of reviewers, a majority give it five stars and rave about its instant hit quality. It's a world champion rub for a reason!

2. Kinder's Buttery Steakhouse

It wouldn't be a best steak rubs list without Kinder making it onto the list. While you could close your eyes and pick any delicious option from Kinder, the Buttery Steakhouse rub is one a lot of steak aficionados pick (via Amazon). One reviewer writes that the Buttery Steakhouse is their favorite of all Kinder flavors — even putting it on their wedding registry. Now that's love.

According to Kinder's website, the Buttery Steakhouse name refers to more than a buttery flavor. In fact, Kinder blends real dairy butter into its seasoning mix, alongside herbs and cracked pepper — you know, the usual steak rub suspects. The real butter sets this seasoning apart from others and ensures a rich depth of flavor without the hassle of continuously basting your steak over a hot flame. And since you'll love the flavor, you can also shake some over vegetables, chicken, burgers, and pork. That sounds like a delicious meal to us.

1. McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak

Everyone and their mother has a gigantic tub of McCormick Grill Mates in Montreal Steak, and we can see why. This iconic steak rub blends garlic, paprika, and coarsely ground pepper to add bold flavor to steaks with ease (and anything else you can think of: burgers, pork, etc.). According to McCormick's website, a vast majority of reviews would recommend this product to their friends. 

If MSG is something that concerns you, McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning does not contain any. The ingredient list is easy to read, which makes adding a tablespoon per pound of meat even more painless. 

One reviewer from Amazon went so far as to call it the standard and that they always have it on hand. If that review doesn't convince you, maybe take a browse over the thousands of reviews, of which most are giving McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak a five-star review. That's a pretty solid ratio.