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Spare Rib Rub

This sweet and savory spare rib rub works contains three types of peppers: black, white, and red, for a delicious flavor experience. Use this rub with any method of cooking and you’ll have the best spare ribs of your life!

BBQ rub in a white bowl

This simple spare rib rub is one of our favorite homemade rubs. It’s quick and easy, and many ingredients are already in our pantry. What stands out the most about this rub are the three types of peppers. Black pepper is much more mature, complex, floral, and savory. White pepper is less pungent but hot. Of course, the cayenne is hotter than both, but it somehow ties it together.

How much rub do you put on ribs?

Typically it is 1 tablespoon of rub per pound of meat. However, we recommend using 1/2 cup for a full rack of spare ribs, 1/3 cup for St Louis cut, and 1/4 cup of rib rub for baby back ribs.

Can I apply the rub overnight?

It all depends on the flavor profile you’re trying to achieve. We recommend applying the rub 15-90 minutes before cooking them. You can leave the rub on for as long as 8-12 hours, but no more. Any longer than that, the salt in the rub will start to cure the meat. You’ll end with a rack of ribs that tastes like ham.

Rib rub ingredients

Spare rib rub ingredients

 Please see the recipe card below for exact measurements.

  • Dark brown sugar
  • Paprika (not smoked)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • White pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Granulated garlic
  • Cayenne pepper

How to make it

  • Combine the rub ingredients in a medium bowl.  Whisk through to break up clumps.
  • Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the cupboard for up to 6 months.

How to use this spare rib rub

  • Start with a binder like mustard or oil. Some folks swear by mayonnaise. The binder should be thin and applied on the meat side of the ribs.
  • Next, apply 1/2 cup of rub for a full rack of spare ribs, 1/3 cup for St. Louis Cut, or 1/4 cup for baby back ribs. 
  • Season the sides of the ribs too!
  • Do not save any rub that has come into contact with raw meat.
Spare Rib Rub

Spare Rib Rub

This simple spare rib rub is one of our favorite homemade rubs. It's quick and easy, and many ingredients are already in our pantry.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Rubs
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: barbecue rub, rib rub
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 468kcal
Author: Derrick Riches

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper use less if preferred

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Store in an airtight container in the cupboard. The mixture can be stored for up to 6 months.
  • See notes section below for how to apply this rub.

Notes

How to apply the rub:
  • Start with a binder like mustard or oil. Some folks swear by mayonnaise. The binder should be thin and applied on the meat side of the ribs.
  • Next, apply 1/2 cup of rub for a full rack of spare ribs, 1/3 cup for St. Louis Cut, or 1/4 cup for baby back ribs. 
  • Season the sides of the ribs too!
  • Do not save any rub that has come into contact with raw meat.

Nutrition

Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 119g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 7014mg | Potassium: 350mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 109g | Vitamin A: 1599IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 2mg

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

Derrick Riches

I began writing about Barbecue & Grilling in 1997 with one mission, to help the backyard chef have the best experience possible.

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