Top Barbecue Rub Recipes

The Best All Purpose BBQ Rubs

These have consistently been the most popular BBQ rub recipes on my site. These rubs pretty much cover everything from pulled pork to brisket and are good enough to make ahead in large quantities to store in the cupboard. So, take a look through these fantastic rub recipes and find a few to your liking. I promise that you won't be disappointed.

Rubs are not magic. These spice blends are designed to flavor meats while creating a crusty surface as the meat cooks. The amount to apply is the...MORE amount that sticks. Pat dry meat before applying a rub, sprinkle over the entire surface and gently pat in place.

  • 01 of 10
    Pork rib spice
    Eugene Mymrin / Getty Images

    In Kansas City, they know BBQ Ribs and this is the barbecue rub recipe for traditional Kansas City-style ribs. Finish them off with a good barbecue sauce and you'll have a fantastic meal. This rib rub recipe is largely comprised of brown sugar, so it makes a deliciously sweet rub. However, it not recommended for hot and fast cooking because the sugar will burn. So avoid high temperatures when using it.

  • 02 of 10
    Spice rub
    Marc Hoberman / Getty Images

    Chuck Ozburn sent in this fantastic, classic-style Carolina barbecue rub recipe. Try this rub next time you want to make a traditional Carolina Pulled Pork. Given that it is a well-balanced rub that goes light on the salt and spice, with just a touch of sweetness, it is perfect for pork.

  • 03 of 10

    In Memphis, the rub is the most important ingredient aside from the meat. Often ribs are served with only a rub and without sauce. This means that the barbecue rub has to provide all the flavor in order to make Memphis-Style Barbecue. This rub starts with a generous portion of paprika and then builds a slightly spicy, but definitely savory profile, to help you make the most of your barbecue. This Memphis Rub is particularly good on ribs but can be used on any smoked meat.

  • 04 of 10
    Rib spice rub
    DebbiSmirnoff / Getty Images

    This sweet and savory pork rub works perfectly on ribs. You can adjust the heat by changing the amount of cayenne. This classic rib rub recipe was posted to the Forum by BBQ Guru.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    Spice rub
    kcline / Getty Images

    There's a big shaker of Magic Dust next to the salt and pepper in my own kitchen and at all my restaurants. I wish I could figure out a way to attach the bottle to the restaurant tables because, at my restaurants, it's the most frequently stolen item!

    To make it a little more hot and spicy, increase the mustard powder and black pepper to 1/4 cup each.

  • 06 of 10
    Barbecue ribs
    mphillips007 / Getty Images

    This classic pork rub recipe is low in salt and sugar, which is great for pork as it tends to have a salt flavor already. The high black pepper content is going to give this rub a nice heat without a lot of the chili pepper effect. This is a great rub for ribs or pulled pork.

  • 07 of 10
    Regarding BBQ, Inc.

    This traditional brisket rub is most commonly used Texas. Though simple to make, this rub contains what you need to make a delicious smoked barbecue brisket. This is a basic rub that will give you the perfect balance of sweetness and the saltiness that beef needs. Work in your favorite flavors to create your own rub.

  • 08 of 10
    Memphis Style Rib Rub
    Memphis Style Rib Rub. Regarding BBQ Inc.

    In Memphis, ribs are traditionally served without sauce, though, this doesn't mean that the meat is tough and dried out, there just isn't a barbecue sauce generally served. This traditional Memphis style dry rib rub is the base of a great rack of pork ribs. This recipe is sugar-free, so it is all flavor without the sweet. Just the way they like it down in Memphis.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10
    Pork spice rub
    wundervisuals / Getty Images

    This traditional pulled pork rub will provide you with the best odds of making a great batch of Carolina Style Pulled Pork. This rub calls for a little dry mustard that won't overpower the meat, but certainly adds a lot of flavor with just a touch of heat.

  • 10 of 10
    Rubbing brisket spices
    Rocketroom / Getty Images

    This is a good, sweet brisket rub that you will need only one measuring cup for. Of course, you can adjust the heat by using mild or hot chili powder.