After years of trial and error this is our best dry rub for ribs.
Pork ribs take on sweetness well, but this dry rub for ribs also contains the smokiness of paprika and the spiciness of chilli powder and cayenne pepper.
When you add the savoury and tasty flavours of onion powder and granulated garlic, you know you’re on to an absolute winner of a rub.
The deep flavours of coriander and cumin make the whole rub next level!
You can also use this rub with other pork cuts, pork loin, pork chops or pork shoulder.
You might like to customise your rub according to taste.
Some people like their dry rub for ribs less sweet, and if that’s the case just reduce the brown sugar to 1/2 cup. You can leave the sugar out entirely or use Coconut sugar to make the rub Keto or Paleo friendly.
If you don’t like your ribs to be too spicy you can reduce the chilli powder and cayenne pepper to your taste.
It’s also worth considering more or less salt according to your taste, as well as increasing or decreasing the pepper if that’s your thing.
All you have to do is mix all of these ingredients together in an airtight container and then use when necessary.
Where possible it’s always best to use fresh spices – it makes a massive difference. Spices that have been there too long are in danger of becoming bitter and bland.
When using this dry rub for ribs you will get the best results if you leave the ribs to marinate in the dry rub overnight in the fridge.
You can use a binder such as Dijon mustard, honey or oil to brush the ribs so that the dry rub will stick better.
You won’t taste the binder but it will really help with the rub sticking to the meat.
Dry Rub for Ribs Ingredients
- 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (this is not the same as garlic powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
FAQ’s About Dry Rub for Ribs
Why Use A Dry Rub for Ribs?
A dry rub helps to form a crust around the meat, sealing in moisture and adding flavour.
If you want to sauce your ribs it’s best to use a dry rub first to get your crust, and then add the sauce at the end to avoid the meat going soggy.
Dry Rub for Ribs Without Sugar
If you want to reduce calories by all means leave the sugar out. It can be replaced with ground cinnamon or a sugar substitute such as Coconut Sugar or Xylitol to make it Keto-friendly.
What Do You Put on Ribs Before the Dry Rub?
It’s standard practice to put oil, mustard or honey on your ribs to act as a binder for the rub, giving it something to stick to.
Some people think this is an unnecessary step, but it really does mean that your rub sticks better, more flavour is imparted and there’s less wastage.
How Long Should You Dry Rub Ribs?
Ideally you should aim to cover your ribs in the dry rub and leave them overnight or up to 24 hours in the fridge.
If you’re really short on time the minimum you should leave them for is around 4 hours.
How Long Can You Store the Dry Rub For?
If you keep the ingredients in an airtight container they will last for up to a year. Always keep in mind that the fresher your spices are the better they will taste.
Sometimes the brown sugar can make the rub go hard. It’s probably best to make a new batch of rub at this point.
If you liked this article, you may also enjoy our ‘Top 5 Smoker Recipes for Ribs,’ post.
Or our ‘Smoked Spare Ribs 321 Method,’ post.
Or this article on pork Baby Back Ribs – ‘Smoker Recipes for Ribs.’
Click here for lots of info and ideas on the best ‘Meats to Smoke.’
For another great recipe on Dry Rub for Ribs try here: