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Best Pulled Pork Rubs

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Make a homemade pulled pork rubs right in the comfort of your kitchen! All you’ll need are few common pantry items, and you’re well on your way!


The first step to making a delicious pulled pork is choosing the right spice rub. This includes choosing the right spices, herbs, sweet ingredients like white or brown sugar, salt, and savories like onion and garlic. You might be wondering how to build a combination of spices that works well for pulled pork. You’re in luck! Here is a list of the best pork rub recipes I’ve developed over the years. These recipes will get you started on your journey with smoked pulled pork. Most of these recipes make enough rub for one 6 pound pork butt. Double the recipe ingredients if planning to cook two, or if smoking a large pork shoulder. 

How to Apply a Pulled Pork Rub:

  1. Blot the pork roast dry with paper towels and apply a thin coating of mustard or hot sauce.
  2. Place the pulled pork rub into a large metal shaker and apply the seasoning all over the roast.
  3. Most pork roasts contain nooks and crannies. It’s okay to get some of the rub into these spaces. Be mindful not to leave clumps behind. Even distribution is key to the perfect pulled pork!
  4. Refer to my step by step guide for more tips and tricks. Or see our recipe for Pulled Pork on a Pellet Grill.

Best Rubs:

1.) Kansas City Pulled Pork Rub

Kansas City Pulled Pork Rub

The Kansas City master of barbecue, Chef Paul, created this fantastic spice rub to use on smoked pork. This Kansas City rub is chock full of spices and herbs with little sweetness from the sugar. This is a great rub for smoked pork. Try this recipe HERE

2.) Memphis Pork Rub

Memphis Pulled Pork Rub

If you know Memphis Barbecue, you know how important the rub is for the meat. Traditional Memphis-style barbecue does not rely much on sauces for flavor. This seasoning rub is one of the key building block to producing a savory, delicious, smoked pork. Try it HERE

3.) Garlic Rub

Pulled Pork Garlic Rub

Love garlic? We’ve got you. This garlicky spice rub is more like a spice paste. Slather all over your pork roast and smoke it to tender perfection. Try it HERE

4.) Easy Pulled Pork Seasoning

Magic Dust For Pulled Pork

This is one of my favorite seasoning rubs for smoked pork. It contains a variety of earthy flavors that are tempered by the sweetness of the sugar. This Pulled Pork Seasoning recipe makes enough for two large roasts. Try it HERE

5.) Carolina Pulled Pork Rub

Carolina Pulled Pork Rub

A great recipe for a fantastic Carolina-inspired spice rub that packs quite a punch. Alter the amount of cayenne used in this recipe to suit your needs. Amp it up for spice lovers and tone it down to your liking.  Try it HERE

6.) Texas Style Pulled Pork Seasoning

Texas Style Pulled Pork Rub

This state is famous for its brisket. Smoked pork is quite popular in Texas too. This Texas Style rub is the perfect balance of sweetness and heat. This pulled pork rub recipe is the right amount for one 6-pound pork roast. Remember to adjust the amount of cayenne pepper in this recipe to suit your taste buds. Try this recipe HERE

7.) Smoky Pulled Pork Rub

Smoky Pulled Pork Rub

A recipe for a fantastic rub that adds a little smoke and spice flavor to pulled pork. It will quickly become one of your favorite go-to rubs. This recipe will give you enough rub for one 5-6 pound pork butt. Double or triple as needed. Try this Smoky Rub

8.) No Sugar Pulled Pork Rub

No Sugar Rub

This recipe is for those who are watching their sugar intake but want to enjoy a delicious pulled pork dinner! This rub is savory, but if you’d like it sweet, I recommend adding a small amount of monk fruit sweetener to the rub. Try it HERE

9.) Mustard-Herb Pulled Pork Seasoning


This wet mustard-herb rub is perfect for pork roasts. The mustard keeps the herbs and spices in place and imparts a subtle Dijon flavor to the smoked pork. It will not be overpowering, just super delicious. Try it HERE

10) Magic Dust

Ultimate Magic Dust Rub

The classic recipe from Mike Mills’ 17th Street Barbecue. You will want to make up a big batch of Magic Dust and keep it handy. This might just be the perfect barbecue rub. Try it Here

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