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Kansas City Rub for Pork

Kansas City is known for its fantastic barbecued ribs and pulled pork, and this Kansas City Rub for Pork rub is about as traditional as you can get. Apply this seasoning to pork ribs and roasts, and cook them low and slow. Your taste buds will thank you!

Kansas City Rub for Pork

This pork rub recipe makes enough for 3-4 slabs of ribs or 1-2 pork roasts, so increase this recipe according to need.


  • Brown Sugar (dark brown recommended)
  • Paprika: Avoid smoked or spicy varieties for this recipe. Use mild or sweet paprika instead.
  • Black Pepper: A fine grind works well, but 16-gauge, medium ground is even better!
  • Coarse Salt: Kosher or sea salt
  • Chili Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Granulated Garlic: Different from garlic powder. It’s coarser and less prone to clumping, which works better for making seasoning rubs. However, if you only have garlic powder on hand, you can use it in this recipe.
  • Cayenne: This recipe calls for 1-2 teaspoons. That way, you can use 1 teaspoon for less heat and 2 teaspoons for more.

How to make and use Kansas City pork rub:

This Kansas City pork rub is easy to assemble and easy to use. Just measure out all the ingredients and add them to a medium-sized bowl. I like to use a small whisk to break up the ingredients (mainly the brown sugar) and combine them. However, a fork will work just fine. Sprinkle directly onto the pork or use a binder like mustard or hot sauce before applying the rub.

  • Use 1 tablespoon of rub per 1 pound of meat. For an 8 pound pork roast, you’ll need 1/2 cup of rub. Some folks use closer to 2/3 of a cup. The choice is yours.
  • Sprinkle the rub onto your pork ribs or roast, then lightly pat the mixture onto the surface. Don’t over season, but try to get a good coating on all exposed meat. Remember, what sticks to the meat is all you’ll need. You can also use these 10-ounce metal kitchen shakers to apply the pork rub.
  • Discard any leftover rub that has been in contact with raw meat. If making a large batch, it’s best to take out 1/2-1 cup of rub for your needs. Should you need more, use a clean measuring cup and scoop out some more.

Make-Ahead and Store:

Triple this recipe and store it in an airtight container in a cupboard for up to 1 year. Check on it periodically, stir to break up any clumps, seal tight, and return to the cupboard.

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Kansas City Rub for Pork

Kansas City Rub for Pork

Kansas City is known for its fantastic barbecued ribs. This rub is about as traditional as you can get. Apply this to pork ribs, cook low and slow, and slather with a sweet barbecue sauce. Your taste buds will thank you!
This recipe makes enough for 3-4 slabs of ribs or 1-2 pork roasts, so adjust ingredients accordingly to suit your needs. You can kick up the heat with a little extra Cayenne.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Rubs
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: Kansas City BBQ Rub
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 Cups
Calories: 501kcal


  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup paprika (not smoked)
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder mild
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1-2 teaspoons cayenne


  • Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl. Use immediately or store in an airtight plastic container or glass jar in the cupboard for 6 months after preparation.
  • To use: Liberally apply mixture on meat part of ribs or all over pork roasts. Cook as directed. Discard any leftover rub that has come into contact with raw meat. Use 1-2 two tablespoons of mixture in sauces, marinades, and bastes.


Calories: 501kcal | Carbohydrates: 126g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7148mg | Potassium: 582mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 109g | Vitamin A: 3987IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 176mg | Iron: 3mg

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