Memphis Style Rib Rub

Memphis is known for their “dry” ribs. “Dry” ribs start out with a rub and then are smoked low and slow.  No sauce. Just ribs, herbs and spices. This savory rub begins with a generous amount of paprika and extends from there with the addition of earthy ingredients like chili powder, a little cumin and coriander. While this rub is perfect for ribs, you can use it on other types of meats as well. So, give this one a try next time you fire up the grill or smoker.

Memphis Style RubMemphis Style Rub

Memphis Style Rub

Prep Time 8 mins
Total Time 8 mins
Course Rubs
Cuisine American BBQ
Servings 2 Cups


  • 2/3 cup paprika (not smoked)
  • 1/3 cup mild chili powder
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons granulated onion
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons powdered coriander
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon powdered allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Make sure to work out any clumps. Store rub in an airtight container in the cupboard for up to 6 months
  • Apply rub over meaty portion of pork ribs or all over pork roasts and larger cuts of meat. Cook as directed.
  • Discard any rub that has come into contact with raw meat. It's best to take out a 1/4 cup at a time, use that first and go from there. This recipe is enough for 4 slabs or ribs and about 2 standard sized pork roasts.

Looking for more ideas? See my list of the best BBQ Pork Rib Rubs.