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Best Pork Rib Rubs

You’ve come to the right place for the best Pork Rib Rubs you can make right at home! Our readers have put these rubs to the test, and these are their all-time top picks. We are pumped to share these BBQ rubs with you so that you, too, can experience the incredible flavors. So, grab your spices and get ready to elevate your BBQ skills!

A good pork rib rub is the first building block to making great pork ribs. Our Best Pork Rib Rubs reflect various styles and flavor profiles. I am certain that one or more will fit your tastes perfectly. 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 build that flavor profile.

Most of these recipes are scaled to be the right amount of rub for two racks of ribs. Before applying the rub, make sure to trim and prep each rib. You can use mustard, oil, or margarine as a binder before applying your pork rib rub. Just remember that what sticks to the meat is all you need. Some folks also like to sprinkle a little rub to the bone side, but that’s up to you.

Before Using a Rib Rub

  • We suggest following these best practices before using our best pork rib rubs.
  •  First, thaw the ribs overnight in your refrigerator if frozen. Consider giving them more time if they are partially frozen in the morning. 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 the spareribs into a St. Louis Cut, read our article on How to Smoke Rib Scraps. This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to make good use of those scrap pieces!
  • 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 smoke and flavor!
  • Slather your ribs with a thin layer of 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!
  • See below for our collection of the best pork rib rubs!

1. The Ultimate Magic Dust Rub

Ultimate Magic Dust Rub

We love using this seasoning rub for ribs and pork roasts. It has such a delicious blend of earthy flavors perfectly balanced 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 this BBQ rub is a must! Recipe here

2. Texas Pork Rib Rub


Yes, Texans cook pork ribs and have done so for ages. Although famous for smoked brisket, there’s a lot more to Texas barbecue than that. This pork rib rub has a nice blend of sweetness and heat that you can adjust by changing the amount of cayenne pepper. Try it here

3. Kansas City Rub for Pork

Kansas City is famous for its sweet-flavored barbecue, and this rub incorporates brown sugar, heat, and salt to create that perfect balance of flavors. If you want a traditional Kansas City-style pork rib, this rub is the way to go! Recipe here

4. Hawaiian Pork Rib Rub


Hawaiian-style pork BBQ is a wonderful combination of traditional southern barbecue with island-inspired flavors. This spice rub enhances the natural pork flavor of ribs and roasts and pairs perfectly with our tropical pork injection marinade. Use this Hawaiian Pork Rib Rub for your next big cookout! Try it here

5. Pitmaster BBQ Rib Rub

If you’re looking for serious competition-level flavor, this recipe is worth trying. It’s easy to assemble and packs in all the delicious components you need for juicy, succulent pork ribs. Plus, our rub recipe is a great budget-friendly option compared to shelling out for expensive commercial rubs.. Recipe here

6. Carolina Rub

Carolina Pulled Pork Rub

Our Carolina Rub recipe can be used on a variety of pork cuts, including ribs, chops, roasts, and even a whole hog. A little tip for using this rub is to first slather a thin layer of yellow mustard over the meat before applying the rub. This recipe will produce enough to season 3-4 racks of ribs. If you’re planning to cook a large amount, make sure to increase the recipe accordingly. Try it here!

7. Spare Rib Rub

Spare Rib Rub

If you want to add a burst of flavor to your ribs, definitely try this spice rub. This blend of sweet and savory flavors is combined with a trio of black, white, and red peppers. Talk about a flavor explosion! Use this rub with your cooking method of choice, and you’ll have an amazing tastebud experience! Recipe here

8. Chipotle Rib Rub

Chipotle Rib Rub

For those who love spicy food, this Chipotle Rib Rub will add 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

9. BBQ Honey BBQ Seasoning


This 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 our pitmaster honey rub right at home. Most of these ingredients could already be in your pantry, and the honey granules are available online. Quick, easy, and delicious! Recipe here

10. Memphis Style Rib Rub

If you’re a fan of ribs, you might have heard of Memphis-style ribs. These ribs are unique because they’re usually served without sauce. Instead, they rely on a delicious rub to bring out their flavor. With our recipe, you’ll create a seasoning blend that is sweet and spicy with a solid foundation of herbs and spices. This rub is important because it builds flavor and helps create luscious, crusty bark on the surface of the meat. Try it here

11. Homemade Hot Honey Rub


This trending Hot Honey Rub is a must-have in your kitchen. This homemade rub has sweet and spicy ingredients, is super easy to make, and it’s versatile. Use it on chicken wings, pork ribs, veggies, seafood, and more! Try it now!

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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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