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Carolina Pulled Pork Rub

If you are looking for quick and easy Carolina pulled pork rub, then look no further. This recipe might be simple but packs a delicious punch!

Carolina Pulled Pork Rub

Carolina barbecue is considered the oldest form of barbecue in the United States. This style of barbecue is primarily centered around pulled pork and whole hog cooking. For this regional style, a simple rub is applied to the meat. The meat is then cooked low and slow and then coated with a vinegar mop or spritz. Once the meat is cooked, it is pulled or chopped and served.


  • White sugar
  • Black pepper
  • Chili powder mild
  • Sea salt
  • Mustard powder
  • Cayenne
applying rub

Making the rub

Place all rub ingredients into a medium-sized bowl and whisk together. Use immediately, by applying evenly to pork roasts, or store the rub in an airtight container in a cupboard for later use.

How much Carolina pulled pork rub to use

Use1 tablespoon of rub per pound of meat. This means that if you need to season an 8-9 pound bone-in pork roast, you will need roughly 1/2-2/3 cup of rub.

To use:
Some folks like to apply a thin layer of yellow mustard on their pork shoulders before applying the rub. I do this maybe 50% of the time, but it depends on the rub I’m using and the flavor profile I’m after. So, do what works best for you.
You can apply the rub by hand, as pictured above, or transfer the rub to a large metal shaker and apply it that way.

Double or triple this recipe if you plan to make more than one pork shoulder or a small whole hog.

Want to make your pulled pork better? Try these pork marinade injection recipes:

This is a fantastic Carolina-inspired pulled pork spice rub. It’s quick and easy and packs 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 for those who aren’t. 

Best Pulled Pork Rub Recipes

Carolina Pulled Pork Rub

Carolina Pulled Pork Rub

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Rubs
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: pork rub, pulled pork, pulled pork rub
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 90kcal


  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup fine ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chili powder mild
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne


  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and apply to pork roast. Cook as directed.
  • This recipe makes enough for 1 large roast. Double or triple this recipe for multiple cooks or a larger cookout. If making ahead of time, store this pulled pork rub in an air tight container in the cupboard for up to 6 months. Rub works great in injection marinades.


Calories: 90kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1908mg | Potassium: 338mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3133IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 3mg

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