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Hawaiian Rib Rub

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Experience the irresistible island flavors with this Hawaiian rib rub. While it is wonderful on smoked ribs, it’s also a great BBQ rub for smoked pork shoulder, tenderloin, and chops.


This Maui-style seasoning recipe makes enough rib rub for two racks of spare ribs or three racks of baby backs. Please note that this recipe uses soy sauce powder to create that delicious umami flavor and pineapple sugar for a little sweet fruitiness. Both items are available online and are worth every penny! See the recipe card below for substitutions.


  • Sweet paprika, or regular paprika (avoid smoked or spicy paprika)
  • Brown sugar
  • Pineapple sugar (optional but recommended)
  • Soy sauce powder (substitute with low-sodium beef bouillon granules)
  • Onion powder
  • Granulated garlic, sub with garlic powder
  • Coarse salt, Hawaiian sea salt preferred but not required
  • Black pepper

Making & Using Hawaiian Rib Rub

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and apply evenly to ribs.
  • If making a large batch of rub, store it in an airtight container in the cupboard for up to 6 months.
  • Wrapping ribs and pork roasts: If you plan to apply the rub first, then wrap, I recommend doing so for 2 hours with ribs and up to 12 hours with pork roasts—no more than that. 
  • I will also use my Tropical Pork Injection Marinade when making pork roasts with this Hawaiian pork rib rub. They work beautifully together!
  • Use this rub when making Pellet Grill Pork Ribs. Finish the ribs off with a pineapple glaze. Simply melt 1/2 cup pineapple jelly in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, and brush it on the pork ribs during the last 30 minutes of cook time. Fantastic!
hawaiian-rib-rub in a bowl with scooper

Learn how to make BBQ ribs


Hawaiian Pork Rib Rub

Indulge in irresistible Hawaiian flavors with this rib rub. Perfect for smoked pork shoulder, tenderloin, and chops as well as ribs!
4.60 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Rubs
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Keyword: pork rub, rib rub
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 0.75 Cups
Calories: 335kcal


  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons pineapple sugar (optional, sub with brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce powder (substitute with beef bouillon granules)
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic sub with garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper


  • Combine rub in a small bowl and apply to meat. If you are making ahead of time, store seasoning rub in an airtight container in the cupboard for up to 6 months after preparation.


Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 104g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3155mg | Potassium: 1120mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 75g | Vitamin A: 17753IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 190mg | Iron: 9mg

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