Top 10 Pulled Pork Rub Recipes

spice seasoning
Iain Bagwell/Getty Images

When smoking large cuts of pork you want to maximize the flavor. Since these roasts have a lot of meat compared to the surface area, it is important to make the most of the rub. This means working the rub into the meat, as much as it will hold. You can take this BBQ rub to the next step by mixing a tablespoon to 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of vinegar (any kind you like). Use this as an injection solution to tenderize, flavor, and moisten the meat. You can also add a tablespoon of the rub to a...MORE cup of apple juice to spray on the meat while it is smoking.

  • 01 of 10
    BBQ pork butt rub
    jeffreyw/flickr CC 2.0

    Salt, sugar, and spice are the foundations of the perfect pork rub. This quick and easy Carolina style rub has the perfect proportions to give you the right level of salt for the sweet and the heat to make the most of you smoked pork. This recipe makes a small batch, just right for a single pork butt, so you might want to make several batches so you can keep it on hand. I promise this is one rub you will use a lot.

  • 02 of 10
    Best Odds Pulled Pork Rub
    Best Odds Pulled Pork Rub. Sabrina S. Baksh/Regarding BBQ Inc.

    This is a basic but traditional pulled pork rub that will give you the best odds for making a great batch of Barbecue Pulled Pork. It sounds like it contains a lot of black pepper, but trust me, that flavor will mellow while smoking. Add to a good dose of brown sugar and you have that balance of flavor that is perfect for a long smoke. This is a good rub for the beginner and can easily be adapted to your needs as you gain experience.

  • 03 of 10
    Memphis Rub
    Memphis Rub. Regarding BBQ Inc.

    In Memphis, the Rub is the most important ingredient aside from the meat. Since Memphis Barbecue doesn't rely on barbecue sauce as much as other barbecue traditions, this rub is loaded with flavor to make the most of smoked pork, whether you are going to be adding sauce later or not. Another way of thinking about it is that that natural juices of the meat join with the rub to make a saucy like surface to the pork.

  • 04 of 10
    Basic Pork Rub
    Basic Pork Rub. Daniel Scott/Flickr

    Different types of heat hit the tongue in different places. This basic, but flavorful pork rub has the perfect combination of black, white, and red pepper to give you the complete heat profile. Add to this some paprika for color and sugar and salt to fill out the flavors and you have a great rub that works all by itself or serves as the starting point for your own best pulled pork rub.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    "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!" - Mike Mills

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

  • 06 of 10

    In the old days if there was a reason for a barbecue (any reason at all) there was plenty of reason to cook up a whole hog or several whole hogs. This basic and mild pork rub is perfect for any cut you choose to smoke. You can add to the heat with this rub by using a hot chili powder instead of the mild one that this recipe calls for.

  • 07 of 10
    Chef Paul's Chikky Rub
    Chef Paul's Chikky Rub. John Scott/Getty Images

    Most pulled pork rubs keep it simple and stay close to the basics, sugar, salt, and heat. This barbecue rub adds a great dose of herbs that give pork a more savory and subtle flavor. This is a great rub for taking your pulled pork to the next level. If you intend to use a sauce, add some of this rub to it to continue the flavors.

  • 08 of 10
    Heavy on the Garlic Pork Rub
    Heavy on the Garlic Pork Rub. Cultura/Magdalena Niemczyk/Getty Images

    This rub is mostly garlic so, for you garlic lovers, this is a great rub. Work it well into the meat and try to mince the garlic as fine as possible. This is also a great base rub, add more ingredients to make it even more flavorful.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10
    Mustard Rub
    Mustard Rub. Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

    One strategy with barbecue is to apply a light coating of prepared mustard to the meat before you apply the rub. This helps the rub stick better and adds a hint of mustard that is so good on smoked pork. This rub takes it to the next step by mixing the spice rub right into the mustard, giving a perfect way to stick the rub to the meat. This also makes it easier to add a thick coating of the rub if that is your goal.

  • 10 of 10
    Chipotle Dry Rub
    Chipotle Dry Rub. Iain Bagwell/Getty Images

    You can make your own chili powder by grinding dried chilies in a blender, food processor, or coffee grinder. Be careful, though, the dust can burn your lungs and sinuses. I usually do this process on the back porch, upwind of the grinder.

    This rub has that great, smoky flavor of Chipotle peppers and some savory herbs that give it a great Southwestern flavor. This is a great way to make a truly unique pulled pork.