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Best Pork Rib Rubs

Here are some of the Best Pork Rib Rubs you can make at home! These are our reader’s favorites, and we want to share these amazing BBQ rubs with you. 

Homemade pork rib rub recipes

A good pork rib rub is the first building block to making great pork ribs. Our Best Pork Rib Rubs reflect a wide range of styles and flavor profiles. I am certain that one or more will be the perfect fit for you. A good pork rib should taste like pork, but it should have layers of flavor on top of that. A good spice rub is the best place to start in building that flavor profile.

BBQ Pork Rib Rub

Most of these recipes are scaled to be the right amount of rub for two racks of ribs. Trim and prep each pork rib. Slather with a thin coating of mustard, oil, or margarine, and apply your pork rub onto the meat portion of the ribs. What sticks is all you need. Some folks like to add a little rub to the bone side. I’ll leave that decision to you. See below for details.

Before Using a Rib Rub

  • We recommend following these best practices before using our best pork rib rubs.
  • First, thaw the ribs overnight in your refrigerator if frozen. If they are partially frozen in the morning, consider giving them more time. It can take anywhere from 12-24 hours to thaw completely.
  • Second, trim off any straggling bits of meat or large knobs of fat. If you are trimming spareribs into a St. Louis Cut, read our article on How to Smoke Rib Scraps. This article provides a step-by-step guide to the trimming process. The article will help you make good use of those scrap pieces too!
  • Third. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. Do this with both spare ribs and baby back ribs. This membrane is inedible and will create a barrier to both smoke and flavor!
  • Slather your ribs with a little yellow mustard or hot sauce to create a sticky surface. Don’t overdo it. A little goes a long way.
  • Last but not least, get a good coating of rib rub onto the meat. Don’t forget to season the bone side too. Follow our Smoked Ribs recipe guide for the best dang ribs you’ve ever had!

The Best Pork Rib Rub Recipes

Ultimate Magic Dust Rub in a bowl

1. The Ultimate Magic Dust Rub

This is one of my favorite seasoning rubs for ribs and pork roasts. It has so many earthy flavors though tempered by the sweetness of the sugar. This recipe makes enough rub for a large cookout. So if you have several racks of ribs or a couple of pork butts to throw on the smoker, then try this one out.  Recipe here

Texas Rib Rub
Texas Rib Rub

2. Texas Pork Rib Rub

Yes, they cook pork ribs in Texas and have for a very long time. While Texas is famous for Brisket, there is so much more going on in terms of barbecue. This Texas Pork Rib Rub has a nice balance of sweet and heat. Adjust the amount of Cayenne Pepper to suit your tastes. Try it here

Kansas City Rub in bowl with spoon

3. Kansas City Rub for Pork

Kansas City is known for its sweet flavored barbecue. This rub takes a good dose of sweetness from brown sugar and has the right amount of heat and salt. If you are looking for a traditional Kansas City-style pork rib, this rub will help you build that flavor profile. Recipe here

Hawaiian pork rub in a bowl

4. Hawaiian Pork Rib Rub

Hawaiian-style pork is a wonderful mix of traditional southern barbecue with an island flare. This spice rub enhances the natural pork flavor of ribs and roasts and works well with our tropical pork injection marinade. Use this Hawaiian Pork Rib Rub for your next big cookout! Try it here

Pitmaster BBQ Rib Rub, spices in a bowl

5. Pitmaster BBQ Rib Rub

If you want competition, pitmaster-level barbecued ribs, you need this rub. Not only is this rub easy to assemble, but it has all the flavor components to make insanely delicious pork ribs. Plus, our recipe is far more cost-efficient to make as compared to bottled pitmaster rubs. It will become your go-to rib rub. Recipe here

BBQ Pork Rib Rub ingredients in a bowl

6. Carolina Rub

Our Carolina Rub recipe can be used on pork ribs, chops, roasts, and whole hog. You will need to increase the recipe if planning to cook a large amount. This recipe will season 3-4 slabs of ribs. One trick for using this rub is to slather a thin layer of yellow mustard over the meat before applying the rub. Try it here!

Spare Rib Rub in a bowl

7. Spare Rib Rub

This sweet and savory spice rub contains three types of pepper: black, white, and red. Talk about a delicious flavor experience! Use this rub with your cooking method of choice, and you’ll have the best ribs of your life! Recipe here

Grilled pork ribs on cutting board with chipotle rib rub

8. Chipotle Rib Rub

For those of you that love spicy food, this Chipotle Rib Rub will add one heck of a kick to barbecued ribs. It’ll wake you up and keep you energized! This mixture is enough for 2-3 slabs of ribs. Adjust the recipe accordingly to suit your tastes. Try it here

Pitmaster-Honey-BBQ-Rub. Honey granules and spices in bowl.

9. Honey BBQ Rub

My Honey BBQ Rub recipe will give you the right amount of sweetness with a little touch of heat. And, it’s easy to make! No need to purchase a commercial honey rub; you can make my Pitmaster Honey Rub right in the comfort of your own home. Most of the ingredients might already be in your pantry, and the honey granules are available online. Quick, easy, and delicious!  Recipe here

Memphis Style Rub in a white bowl
Memphis Style Rub

10. Memphis Style Rib Rub

Traditionally, Memphis-style ribs are served without sauce. The rub is the secret to delicious these ribs. With our recipe, you’ll get something sweet and spicy with a good foundation of herbs and spices. This mixture builds flavor as well as the crusty bark on the surface of the meat. Memphis rub is one of my personal favorites. Try it here

Derrick Riches
Derrick Riches

I began writing about Barbecue & Grilling in 1997 with one mission, to help the backyard chef have the best experience possible.



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3 responses to “Best Pork Rib Rubs”

  1. OMG! Thank you so much, I started looking again today and see you replied. I promise I will make several copies. Love all of the rubs I’ve made from your website:) Thanks again. Sue

  2. In 2005 I printed off a half dozen of your dry rub recipes. I have made them many times through the years and given them as gifts. Started to make Scott’s Normal Rub and the recipe is not in my file. I have searched on line and can’t find it. Please say you can help me.

    • Sue,

      I can help. It’s been a while but I still have that recipe.

      Scott’s “Normal” Rub

      Scott calls this his “normal” rub. This barbecue rub recipe produces a large quantity, so you can reduce it if you need to.

      Yield: Makes about 1/4 cup
      2 tablespoons un-iodized salt – heaping
      1 tablespoon garlic powder – heaping
      1 tablespoon onion powder – heaping
      1 teaspoon thyme – ground, heaping
      1 teaspoon sage – rubbed, heaping
      1 teaspoon paprika – powder, heaping
      1 teaspoon black pepper – ground, heaping

      Mix well and store in an air-tight container with a shaker top. Add rosemary, tarragon, basil, or other herbs when required.

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