Use this sweet and savory brown sugar beef rib rub for incredibly flavorful smoked beef ribs. The salt balances the sweetness, and the layers of heat run deep adding a nice little kick to every bite. If you want the perfect barbecue beef ribs, this rub will get you headed in the right direction.
When smoke cooking large beef ribs, it‘s best to layer the flavors as you go. Start with a good seasoning like this brown sugar beef rib rub. From there, use wood chunks, chip, or wood pellets like hickory, oak, or maple. Use a BBQ spritz after the first hour of smoking to keep the ribs from drying out. Leave them sauce free or brush on a good barbecue sauce toward the end of cooking.
- Coarse salt: Kosher or sea salt
- Dark Brown sugar: There are two types to choose from; dark and light brown sugar. Use dark brown sugar for this recipe, as it is rich in molasses and has a deep caramel flavor.
- Paprika: Use the standard sweet paprika found in most grocery stores.
- Chili powder: Use a standard mild chili powder. However, if you’d like a deeper, richer beef rib rub, use dark chili powder. Both are available at local grocery chains.
- Ground black pepper: Fresh grind versus pre-ground. This is a matter of personal choice and time. If you have a pepper grinder, aim for medium or fine ground black pepper.
- Cayenne: Keep your heat tolerance in mind. While this recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of cayenne, that doesn’t mean you can’t adjust it to suit your tastes. If you are heat intolerant, use 1 teaspoon or less, or use more if you like it spicy!
- Garlic powder: One of the easiest ways to add savory flavor to a rub is by adding garlic powder. You can also substitute with granulated garlic if needed.
How to Make a Beef Rib Rub:
- Combine beef rib rub ingredients in a bowl.
- Make up a large batch and store in an airtight container for future cooks.
- Use 1 tablespoon per pound of meat. See below for details.
- Discard any leftover rub that has come into contact with raw meat.
How to use this Beef Rib Rub
- You do not need to remove the membrane from the back of the beef ribs. Some outdoor cooking experts do, and some don’t. We typically leave the membrane in tact.
- For large ribs, apply a light coating of yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, or hot sauce to the meat portion.
- Transfer beef rib rub to a large spice shaker or apply it to the ribs by hand. Use 1 tablespoon of rub per pound of meat. For beef back ribs or smaller cuts like finger ribs, use 1/2 tablespoon per pound.
- If you would like the rub to be finer, place it through a spice grinder first. Apply this beef rib rub anywhere from 1-3 hours before cooking. Store uncovered on a large platter in your refrigerator until 30 minutes before they hit the grill.
Brown Sugar Beef Rib Rub
- 1/4 cup coarse salt
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp paprika not smoked
- 2 tbsp chili powder mild or medium
- 2 tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp cayenne
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- Combine all ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Apply to beef roast as needed. Remember that what sticks is all you'll need
- Make up a large batch and store in an airtight container for future cooks. Take only what you need. Discard any leftover rub that has come into contact with raw meat.
- See notes section for how to apply this beef rib rub.