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Texas Pork Rib Rub

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This Texas pork rib rub is your ticket to fantastic tasting pork ribs!


Yes, Texans do make BBQ pork ribs and have for a long time! While Texas BBQ joints are famous for beef ribs, brisket, and smoked sausage, you’ll also find dry rubbed (and saucy) pork ribs on the menu. This Texas pork rib rub strikes the perfect balance of sweet and heat with ingredients like brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and chili powder. Our recipe makes enough rub for 2 racks of St. Louis cut pork ribs or 3 baby backs. Increase the recipe to fit your cooking needs.


  • Light brown sugar: We’re not looking for a deep molasses flavor with this rub, so light brown sugar is recommended.
  • Paprika: Plain and smoked: Look for regular paprika available on most grocery store shelves. This recipe calls 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika as well. If you are not a fan, simply substitute with regular paprika.
  • Chili powder: You’ll need a mild chili powder with deep earthy flavors.
  • Onion powder and granulated garlic: The two savory items. Granulated garlic works best in seasoning rubs, but if all you have is garlic powder, use 3/4 of a teaspoon instead.
  • Salt: Use coarse salt like sea salt or kosher salt.
  • Black pepper: 16-gauge is recommended.
  • Mexican oregano: This type of oregano is a bit different from Italian oregano in that it contains lemon undertones. If you can’t find it, substitute it with Italian oregano.
  • Cayenne pepper: The heat that dances with the sweet. This rub recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, but you can reduce or increase the amount to suit your tastes.

Making and Using a Texas Pork Rib Rub:

  • Place all of the Texas rib rub ingredients into a small bowl and combine with a fork or small whisk.
  • Carefully remove the membrane (or silver skin) from the bone side of the ribs. This membrane creates a barrier that keeps out smoke and flavor.
  • Use a binder like mustard or hot sauce on the ribs before applying the rub. Spread it out thin with your hands.
  • Next, apply the rub. For easy application, transfer the mixture to a large metal shaker. You can also apply the rub by hand. Use 1 tablespoon of rub per pound of meat being cooked. Baby back ribs can weigh anywhere from 1 1/2-2 pounds each, and spare ribs weigh in a 3-4 pounds per rack. You can also use this rub on country-style ribs.
  • Cook the ribs as directed.
  • Make up a large portion of the Texas Pork Rib Rub and store it in an airtight container in the cupboard for up to 1 year. Check on it periodically to make sure the sugar hasn’t hardened. Discard any rub that has come into contact with raw meat.

More rubs to try!

See our list of the best BBQ Pork Rib Rubs.

Want to cook the perfect ribs regardless of the equipment you own? Try our methods for:


Texas Pork Rib Rub

This Texas Pork Rib Rub has the perfect balance of sweet and heat. This recipe is the right amount for 2 rack of ribs. Adjust the amount of cayenne to suit your tastes.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Rubs
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: pork rub, rib rub
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 0.66 cup
Calories: 300kcal
Author: Derrick Riches


  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper more as desired
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano


  • Mix all seasoning ingredients together in a bowl. Apply to meat and cook as directed.
  • If making spice rub ahead of time, store in an airtight container in the cupboard for up to 6 months after preparation. Double or triple this recipe and save for later use.
  • Discard any rub that has come into contact with raw meat.


Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4937mg | Potassium: 613mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 7155IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 4mg

Apply the Texas Pork Rib Rub with Ease

Back of House Ltd. Metal Dredge Shaker

Apply the Texas Pork Rib Rub 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. But make sure you don’t use this to store your rubs. It isn’t airtight.

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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