The Ultimate Magic Dust Rub

This Ultimate Magic Dust Rub is easily one of my favorite rubs to use on pork ribs and pork roasts. The deep rich, earthy flavors of the cumin and chili powder are offset by the sweet heat combination of the brown sugar and cayenne. This ultimate magic dust rub is also a great addition to pork injection marinades.

spices for BBQ rub

What you'll need to make a magic dust BBQ rub recipe:


Make a big batch of this rub and store it in an airtight container in the cupboard for up to one year-

  1. Paprika: Look for a sweet or American variety. Avoid smoked or spicy paprika.
  2. Brown Sugar: Really, any fine ground brown sugar will do. Avoid large crystal variations.
  3. Cumin: The powdered variety. If you'd like a fresher flavor, you can toast the cumin seeds and grind them in a spice grinder. Use 6 tablespoons of cumin seeds to yield 3 tablespoons of ground cumin. Place seeds in a skillet over medium-high heat and move the seeds around until they become fragrant and slightly darker. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer seeds to a clean bowl. Let them cool entirely before pulverizing.
  4. Chili powder: Use a mild American-style chili powder for this rub.-Brown Sugar: Use dark brown sugar for this magic dust rub. It contains a more robust molasses flavor, which caramelizes nicely on low and slow-cooked meats. This recipe also calls for white sugar.
  5. Salt: Regular salt or you can use coarse salt like kosher or sea salt.
  6. Black Pepper: A fine or medium ground is sufficient.
  7. Garlic Powder: This recipe calls for 2 tablespoons, but you can cut that amount in half if you aren't a fan of garlic flavor.
  8. Onion powder or Granulated Onion: Either one is fine; it's just a matter of choice.
  9. Cayenne: This spicy powder provides the heat necessary that makes all the magic in this magic dust rub. You can halve the amount if preferred.-Dried Marjoram: Provides a slight sweet flavor with earthy undertones to the rub. You can substitute it with dried savory for a similar effect.
  10. If you are a visual learner, please watch my video below!

How to apply dust:

Combine all of the magic dust ingredients and either sprinkle or pat in on by hand, or you can fill up a a large metal spice shaker and apply it as pictured below. Cook as directed!

applying rub


Like this recipe? Try these!

Memphis Pulled Pork Rub

Kansas City Pulled Pork Rub

Texas-Style Pulled Pork Rub


Ultimate Magic Dust Rub

The Ultimate Magic Dust Rub

This is one of my favorite seasoning rubs for ribs and pork roasts. It certainly has earthy flavors but it is tempered by a little sweet from the sugar. This is enough rub for a large cookout. So if you have several racks of ribs or a couple pork butts to throw on the smoker, then try this one out.
Photo by:  danielsubiabre/Depositphotos
4.75 from 4 votes
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Course: Rubs
Cuisine: American BBQ
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 Cups
Calories: 323kcal


  • 1/3 cup paprika (not smoked)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 3 tablespoons cumin powder
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne (use less if preferred)
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram


  • Combine rub ingredients in a medium bowl making sure to work out any clumps from the brown sugar and mustard powder. Use immediately.
  • Store any unused rub in an air tight container in the cupboard for up to 6 months after preparation. Make sure to check on it every once in a while as brown sugar tends to dry out. Give it a good stir and reseal.
  • Discard any remaining rub that has come into contact raw meat.
  • Double or triple the recipe and save for future uses!


Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 14203mg | Potassium: 682mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 2105IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 273mg | Iron: 16mg

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

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.

The Ultimate Magic Dust Rub