The best Dry Rub for Ribs combines all the best BBQ flavors into one bowl. A mix of sweet brown sugar and Cajun seasoning, just to name a few, can transform any rib tips, ribs, chicken, beef into an award winning dish your friends and family will beg for! Try this rib rub recipe at your next backyard BBQ.
Why Choose a Dry Rub for Ribs
Pork ribs are inherently a lean cut of meat and it is easy to dry them out during the cooking process. Choosing to use a dry rub on the meat will both add texture to your meat, and help to seal in the juices, ie. flavor. And we do not want to be sacrificing flavor for fire. We’re bringing both to the table!
Ribs with dry rub work well for adding additional flavor to smoked and grilled meat without relying on your dipping sauce of choice for all the flavor. A dry rub also has the benefit of being made quickly with a small window rest time compared to a marinade. A dry rub only needs to rest on the meat for about 15 minutes prior to cooking. Now you can of course let those flavors sink into the meat even longer, but if time is off the essence just rub them down and get cooking!
Secret Spice Rub
This rib rub has been used at many family get-togethers. You’ll notice many similarities in the list of ingredients when compared to other pitmasters, but there’s one spice likely to stand out to you – Cajun seasoning. Cajun seasoning brings a bold, spicy, earthy flavor to the mix. Cajun seasoning is typically a mix of paprika, cayenne, garlic, pepper, and oregano in a precise measurement combination.
Other than Cajun seasoning you’ll find classic seasonings such as cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper to name a few. This rib rub recipe makes enough for a couple of racks of ribs. I like to make a big batch like this a few times every summer and store it in a mason jar in the cupboard. Then whether it’s Taco Tuesday or we’re having a tailgate party, I’ve got my secret ingredients ready to go.
How to Make Dry Rub
Making a dry rub for ribs is possibly the easiest thing ever! Simply measure out all the ingredients into a large bowl and whisk to combine. That’s it! Store it or use it immediately.
How long will it keep? How to Store It
Spices in general have an expiration date of about 2 years. When combining spices for your own rub, the general rule of thumb is 6 months when kept in an airtight container. No need to refrigerate. Just keep in a cool, dark part of your pantry or drawer with the other spices.
How to use it
Once you have your meat, or ribs of choice, be sure to pat them dry with a paper towel. Remove any silver skin that may be present. Sprinkle a liberal amount of rub on the meat, then rub and pat it into the meat. Allow the meat to then sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours before cooking.
Once in the oven or on the grill, allow the dry rub to create a crusty bark on the outside before basting with any liquid or slathering with BBQ sauce. The dry rub needs a chance to really adhere to the meat before introducing liquid. Otherwise you run the risk of all that dry rub running right off.
Recipes to try using it
As mentioned earlier, you don’t have to limit yourself to a BBQ Baby Back rack of ribs in order to use this delicious rub. Add it to slow cooker recipes like my Slow Cooker Whole Chicken, Braised Beef Ribs, lamb chops, spare ribs, pork chops, or any other style ribs you love!
What to serve with it
Let’s think about the flavor combinations here. We are definitely loving that BBQ flavor and heat. So let’s bring some acid and creaminess to the party with Vinegar Coleslaw, Baked Potato Salad, Fried Okra, and of course a side of barbecue sauce!
Dry Rub for Ribs
- 2/3 cup brown sugar packed
- 2 1/2 tbsp onion powder
- 2 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp cajun seasoning
- 4 tsp black pepper
- 4 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- In a plastic bag, shake together brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, cajun seasoning, black pepper, smoked paprika, kosher salt, cumin, chili powder, mustard powder and cayenne pepper until combined.