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Best Rib Rub Recipes

Best Rib Rub Recipes

Top Rated Rib Rub Recipes

This pork rib recipe is great for grilling on a nice summer day. You can make your own homemade spicy BBQ sauce using Sriracha.Recipe courtesy of McCormick


While a rib is nothing but meat on a bone, meat, especially pork, will only give you so much flavor . For really stellar ribs, you need to go at least one step beyond trimming the membrane and cooking them you need to add your own flavors . The good news is that while there is no one way to go about adding flavor to a rack of ribs, not all of those ways are equally effective.

  • Marinade. This would be the wet approach to rib flavor-enhancement. Marinades offer flavor while also tenderizing meat prior to cooking by way of an enzymatic reaction pineapple, whether its juice or some slices, is a good example of such an enzyme. Two problems with cooking marinated ribs is that the marinade can be rather gloppy, increasing the cooking time, and there is a chance that the sauce could cause a flare-up when reacting with the heat.
  • Apply BBQ Sauce after cooking . This is the method professed by people who are either lazy or in a crunch for time. No matter how good the sauce is, it will not cling to the ribs very well a properly sauced rib is one that has where its sauce was applied in the last few minutes of cooking time and allowed to caramelize onto the meat.
  • Dry Rub. Of the three options covered here, a dry rub is different in that it is, well, dry there is no need to worry about moisture with a dry rub. A dry rub takes very little prep work to make, can go onto the ribs minutes before you add them to the smoker and tenderizes the meat by osmosis-drawing out the moisture and slipping in the flavors of the many herbs, spices and seasonings that go into a proper smoker rub.

Recipe Summary

  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons New Mexico red chile powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste

Mix white sugar, brown sugar, sea salt, red chile powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, ancho chile powder, black pepper, thyme, cumin, rosemary, nutmeg, allspice, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl.

Rub generously onto ribs or meat of your choice. Cover and refrigerate meat 8 hours to overnight before smoking.

Quick And Easy Rib Rub Recipe

Bearing in mind the preparation tips and essentials that we listed above, you are now on the correct path to creating a delicious rib rub recipe. The recipe below is quite flexible and definitely customizable, so please feel free to swap out ingredients where you see fit. Do, however, be sure to be exact with your ingredient proportions, rather than just eyeballing it.

How Do You Make a Dry Rub?

Dry rubs are incredibly easy to make in your own kitchen with a simple combination of herbs, spices, salts, and sugars you likely already have in your spice cabinet and can easily be adapted with a little more of this and a little less of that to suit your tastes.

There are four components that make up a rub that will not only flavor your meat but also tenderize it too.

The best seasonings to put on ribs:

Salt: We always use kosher salt instead of table salt because it simply tastes better. Kosher salt is iodine-free so it doesn’t have that chemical-like taste and while may or may not be blessed by a rabbi, the larger crystals are ideal for drawing out moisture in meat.

Sugar: Brown sugar adds a caramelized, molasses flavor to the meat and doesn’t burn as quickly as processed white sugar for longer cooking times.

Herbs and Spices: Varying your combination of herbs is something to play with and while the seasonings may taste intense on their own, once they’ve melded into the meat add just the right amount of flavor.

Herbs and spices to use in your dry rub:

  • Sweet paprika
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chile powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Dry mustard
  • Celery salt
  • Kosher salt
  • Cayenne pepper

This rub can easily be made ahead and doubled or even tripled then stored in an air-tight container to stay good for months.

To season your ribs, rub the seasoning generously on both sides of the rib racks and wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then refrigerated for at least 4 hours but optimally 24 hours and up to 48 hours.

Slow cook your ribs in the oven or pressure cook in the Instant Pot, then finish off with barbecue sauce on the grill or broiled in the oven.

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Puttin' It All Together

Memphis Rib Rub Ingredients

You may think that there's a lot of sugar in this rub recipe, but as a general rule, rub made for pork is sweeter than rubs made for beef and poultry. 

Also, this recipe includes next to no salt, so be sure to season the ribs with a teaspoon or so of kosher salt, per slab, before you hit 'em with the Memphis rub.

Because it's nearly salt free, you can pile the rub on as heavy as you like without the worry of making your ribs taste like a salt lick.

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne

Mix the above ingredients well. You can reduce or delete the ground cayenne pepper if your taste buds don't like the heat. With this recipe you'll end up with close to one cup of rub.

My Memphis Rub Is Lumpy After Mixing It Together

If your rub is chunky after mixing the ingredients together, blame it on the brown sugar. The best tool for turning the rub into a uniform mass of granules is the trusty kitchen strainer. Coarse mesh, of course!

You Can Force It Through The Sieve With a Spoon

Grab your favorite spoon (yes, I DO have one!) and work the clumpy mixture through the strainer. Just takes a little stirring, scraping and pushing.

The Easy Part of The Job Is Done

Now it's time to deal with the persistent clods.  Brown sugar is notorious for its dense lumps. Keep working at breaking up the chunks and you'll eventually smooth things over.

All Done! We Have Evenly Granulated Memphis Rib Rub!

Memphis Rib Rub or Jackson Pollock Painting?

Memphis Style Rib Rub Recipe

Category: Dry Rub
Method: Combine
Time: 1 Hour
Yield: 3/4 of a Cup
Source:    Visit

This Memphis rub adds so much flavor to your ribs that you just don't need the sauce. Put this on your ribs and you'll think you died and went to Memphis!

Ingredients and Instructions

  • One quarter cup dark brown sugar
  • Three tablespoons paprika
  • Two tablespoons ground black pepper
  • One tablespoon celery salt
  • One tablespoon onion powder
  • Two teaspoons garlic powder
  • Two teaspoons mustard powder
  • One teaspoon ground cumin
  • One teaspoon ground cayenne

  1. Add all recipe ingredients to a mixing bowl.

What Do You Put On Ribs

Hey Grill Hey says this, &ldquoLet&rsquos talk about the building blocks of a good rib rub. I think the best rib rubs start with sugar as a base. Pork and sweet were just made to go together. From there, you&rsquoll see recipes with salt and pepper plus a mix of things that are custom to each pitmaster. I like to add in smoked paprika for a boost of wood fired flavor as well as a gorgeous red color that pops. Onion and garlic are classic flavor enhancers. Ground mustard ends up in almost all of my rubs as a punchy, almost acidic note of brightness.&rdquo

6. Chili Coffee Rubbed Steak

Coffee and dried chipotle peppers? If you can handle the combination, you definitely don't want to pass this bad boy up. The spice blends of heat, sweet, and savory are sure to send your tastebuds on a field trip you'll never forget.

If you don't have chipotle peppers around, use chili powder in its place with a dash of cayenne. This would pair well with elk, beef, or venison especially.

Find the spicy dry rub recipe here.

Smoke in sauce for 1 hour

Now onto the home straight. This stage is all about saucing the ribs and allow it to cake onto it.

For the final step, baste the ribs in your BBQ sauce of choice. Make sure that you apply sauce as liberally as you can, on both the top and undersides of the racks.

Transfer the ribs back to the smoker for a final hour to allow the sauce to set on top of the rack.

Again, smoke at 225°F. Keeping the temperature at this heat will allow the BBQ sauce to set without over-cooking the ribs or allowing them to dry out.

At the end of all that, you should have smokey 3-2-1 ribs that are layered beautifully with BBQ rub and sauce.

It’s an easy barbecue method, and will leave you with your new favorite method for smoking ribs!