Magic Dust Rub for Pulled Pork

Delight your taste buds with my popular recipe for Magic Dust Rub for Pulled Pork! One of the best barbecue rubs out there; nothing outclasses the Magic Dust Rub! Invented by the late Mike Mills, famous Pitmaster and owner of 17th Street Barbecue in Illinois, this famous seasoning mixture remains popular today.

Magic dust rub is easy to make and can be used on all meats and even vegetables. I use it often for low and slow pulled pork, ribs, and smoked chicken. The ingredients are easy to find and require about 5 minutes to measure and combine the rub.

Ingredients for Magic Dust for pulled pork rub:

  1. Paprika (not smoked)
  2. Dark brown sugar (contains more molasses than lighter varieties)
  3. Chili powder (standard American style)
  4. Coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
  5. Cumin powder
  6. White sugar
  7. Coarse ground black pepper (aim for a medium grind)
  8. Mustard powder
  9. Garlic powder (or granulated garlic, if preferred)
  10. Granulated onion (or onion powder, if desired)
  11. Dried savory (easy to find in most stores!)
  12. Cayenne (adjust the amount to suit your tastes)

prepping pork for rub

Making the rub:

This rub recipe is quite easy to put together. Simply measure it all out, add the ingredients to a medium bowl, and stir through with a whisk or fork. The fork is particularly nice to break apart any clumps formed by the brown sugar or dried mustard. If you'd like a finer consistency, add the rub ingredients to a food processor, and pulse 4-5 times. Doing this will help make a more uniform rub. Use your rub right away, or place the mixture into an airtight jar or plastic container for future use. The rub will last for up to one year if stored properly in a cool, dark cupboard.

Applying Magic Dust rub for pulled pork:

Some avid backyard chefs like to apply a thin layer of yellow mustard to the pork shoulder before applying the rub. Doing this helps keep the rub in place and provides an added nice layer of flavor.  If you'd like to add flavor right into the roast, try some of my Best Pork Injection Recipes.

Use around 1 tablespoon of rub per pound of meat. So for an 8-pound pork butt, you'll need 1/2 cup of rub. 

Apply the rub by hand, as shown in the video below. You can also pour the rub into a large spice shaker and apply it that way. Discard any rub that has come into contact with raw meat.

applying magic dust to pork butt

Cook your pork roast as directed and enjoy the fruits of your labor!


Magic Dust For Pulled Pork

Magic Dust Rub for Pulled Pork

This is one of my favorite seasoning rubs for pulled pork. It contains a variety of earthy flavors that are tempered by the sweetness of the sugar.  This Magic Dust Rub for Pulled Pork recipe makes enough for two large pork roasts.
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Rubs
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: pork rub, pulled pork, pulled pork rub
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 Cups
Calories: 909kcal


  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chili powder mild
  • 1/4 cup coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons cumin powder
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 2 teaspoons dried savory
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne


  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and use as needed. Adjust the amount of cayenne to suit your tastes. If making ahead of time, store in an airtight container or a lidded jar for up to 6 months after initial preparation.
  • Use a tablespoon of this rub in your next barbecue sauce or marinade.


Photo: Pixabay


Calories: 909kcal | Carbohydrates: 179g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 29375mg | Potassium: 2558mg | Fiber: 31g | Sugar: 117g | Vitamin A: 22112IU | Vitamin C: 105mg | Calcium: 773mg | Iron: 43mg

Not the Pulled Pork Rub you were looking for? Try looking at my list of the Best Pulled Pork Rub Recipes! Also, find out how to Make Barbecue Pulled Pork or see our method for making pulled pork on a pellet grill.

Apply your spice rubs like a professional with a spice shaker (aka Dredge). This one from Winware has a heavy build, is machine washable, and holds plenty of spice rub. Plus it costs about $7. Just make sure you don't use this to store your rubs. It isn't airtight.

Magic Dust Rub for Pulled Pork

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