If you've never used a dry rub for ribs when cooking them at home, you're really missing out! A homemade rib rub is a great thing to keep in the pantry for whenever you want to make ribs, so you can simply rub them down, wrap 'em up, cook using your preferred method, and serve!
Do I Need a Dry Rub for Ribs?
I am willing to die on this hill - YES. Nothing can save a bad piece of meat, but once you've picked up a great cut of pork, the next best thing you can do to elevate your meal is rub it down with a great bbq rib rub. The best rib rub for pork will infuse the meat with tons of flavor without overshadowing it.
Rib Rub Recipe
I like a rib rub recipe with a bit of sugar like this one - it balances all the spices and the small bit of heat, and when you use a brown sugar dry rub for rib in the oven, it can help form more of a crust like you'd get much more easily from the grill. Note - it doesn't make the ribs sweet!
I use equal parts of:
- brown sugar
- black pepper
- smoked paprika
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- chili powder
Plus salt and cayenne to taste. Usually this is double of one part (so if I use 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar, I used 4 Tablespoons of salt), and ½ - ⅓ parts cayenne for some heat (so for 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar, I'll use about ½ Tablespoon - 2 teaspoons Cayenne.)
How to use a dry rub for ribs:
Before cooking, remove any silver skin, dry the ribs off, and cover them with rub, pressing the rub into the flesh of the ribs.
Do I need to use oil before rub?
Nope. The rub will stick to the ribs on its own.
How long should rub be on ribs before cooking?
At least 15 minutes, but up to overnight. I usually put my rub on right before cooking, and then mill about getting other things done for 15 minutes (like fussing with sides, cleaning the hot grill or preheating the oven, etc.), so don't feel like overnight is going to be better! 15 minutes is fine, but overnight lets you prep ahead!
If you like this dry rub recipe, you might also like these other spice mix recipes:
- Homemade Taco Seasoning
- Homemade Chili Seasoning
- Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing ( okay, not a spice mix but it's REALLY good )
Dry Rub for Ribs
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and use immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to a year.