Magic Dust Barbecue Seasoning

Magic dust barbecue seasoning in a glass jar

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
49 Calories
2g Fat
9g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 49
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1009mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 38mg 3%
Iron 2mg 14%
Potassium 203mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Magic Dust is a seasoning blend invented by Mike Mills, who was an award-winning pitmaster and owner of 17th Street Barbecue in Illinois. He passed away in December of 2020, but his famous barbecue spice mix lives on, seasoning everything from popcorn to smoked whole turkey.

"There's a big shaker of Magic Dust next to the salt and pepper in my own kitchen and at all my restaurants," barbecue legend Mike Mills said. "I wish I could figure out a way to attach the bottle to the restaurant tables because at my restaurants, it's the most frequently stolen item!" Lucky for us, this blend is easy to make at home and will last up to a year.


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  • 1/2 cup paprika

  • 1/4 cup fine kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons mustard powder

  • 1/4 cup chili powder

  • 1/4 cup ground cumin

  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup granulated garlic

  • 2 tablespoons cayenne

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients gathered for magic dust barbecue spice rub

    The Spruce Eats

  2. Mix all ingredients together and store in a tightly covered container. 

    Magic dust barbecue spice rub in a glass bowl

    The Spruce Eats

  3. Use with your choice of beef, chicken, pork, fish, seafood, or vegetables, and enjoy.


  • Store in a covered jar or air-tight plastic container for up to 1 year after preparation​.
  • Keep some in a shaker next to the grill or stove for easy use. 
  • In addition to seasoning food at the table, this mixture can be used as a dry rub on beef, chicken, pork, fish, seafood, and vegetables.
  • To make it a little more hot and spicy, increase the mustard powder and black pepper to 1/4 cup each.

How to Use

Magic Dust will add great flavor to a wide variety of foods, including, of course, smoked barbecue ribs, barbecue beef brisket, and grilled chicken. But a sprinkle can also transform roasted potatoes, air-fried cauliflower, and homemade pita chips. Consider keeping the shaker on the counter or kitchen table so everyone can enjoy as they please.

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