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Dry Rib Rub Recipe

My friend Brad Korber was kind enough to lend another recipe to our site. He created this homemade dry rub for ribs over several years drawing inspiration from various cooking shows. I recently published Brad’s BBQ sauce recipe where I explain how Brad is a “Foodie” and someone to listen to when …


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By Michael Haas


Updated on

AngryBBQ Rib Rub in Smoker
Smoked Ribs with Rub

My friend Brad Korber was kind enough to lend another recipe to our site. He created this homemade dry rub for ribs over several years drawing inspiration from various cooking shows. I recently published Brad’s BBQ sauce recipe where I explain how Brad is a “Foodie” and someone to listen to when it comes to finding the right restaurants in any city. His recipe obviously goes well with pork ribs but also chicken, so this is quite a universal rub. I even put this rib rub on my chopped, foil-cooked BBQ potatoes.

Here is what Brad had to say about his rib rub recipe:

“Not much story to the rub other than watching food channel for years and trying stuff over and over to get the right mix.  I usually don’t measure so I whipped up a batch with actual measurements to offer this to you…..a great rub for ribs, whether smoking, or slow roasting and finishing on the grill.  I make no suggestions of how much to use, it depends on the method and your own preference (whether you like heavy rub or just a light dusting).”

AngryBBQ Rib Rub on Babyback Ribs
Rib Rub applied on Baby Back Ribs

I’ve bought amazing rib rubs from local BBQ joints before and I feel Brads is as good, or better. Many a dry rub for ribs has things like chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder. But he figured out the secret ingredients that work so well for pork and chicken. I believe those ingredients are Chinese 5-Spice and ginger. They take the dry rub in a great direction, which helps complement pork and chicken.


  1. Mixing Bowl
  2. Measuring Cup
  3. Fork
  4. Spice Shaker
  5. Airtight Containers for storage


  1. 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  2. 1/4 Cup Garlic Powder
  3. 1/4 Cup Onion Powder
  4. 1/4 Cup Lowry’s Seasoning Salt
  5. 1/4 Cup Paprika (not smoked paprika)
  6. 1-2 TBSP Cayenne (add to taste)
  7. 2 TBSP Kosher Salt
  8. 2 TBSP Fine Ground Pepper
  9. 1/2 TBSP Ginger Powder
  10. 1/2 TBSP Chinese 5-Spice (this is one of those spices that makes all the difference – adds a depth and unique flavor)


  1. Measure all ingredients to exact portions.
  2. Add to a mixing bowl and use a fork to mix together. Make sure all brown sugar lumps are pressed out.
  3. Add to a Spice Shaker for easy application or store in an airtight container for freshness.
Homemade Rib Rub Ingredients
Measured Ingredients
Fork Mixing Rib Rub
Use a Fork to Mix
Finished Rib Rub
Finished Rib Rub

Enjoy this dry rub for ribs, and don’t be afraid to experiment with it. I find that this particular dry rub tastes great on sweet potatoes, popcorn, pork butt, our pork belly burnt ends, chicken wings, pork chops, and pork tenderloin. It’s very universal and will probably become a staple in your household. Enjoy!

For beef ribs try our Kansas City Rub Recipe.

Homemade Rib Rub Ingredients

Dry Rub Recipe for Ribs

4.43 from 7 votes
Author: Michael Haas
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American,BBQ,rub,spices
Keywords: best rib rub,chicken rub,popcorn seasoning,potato seasoning,rib rub
Servings: 30
Universal Rib and Chicken Dry Rub that rivals the best Pitmasters' secret recipe. I use this rib rub recipe on pork ribs, chicken, potatoes, and popcorn.
Prep Time: 10 minutes


  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring Cup
  • Fork
  • Spice Shaker


  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Onion Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Lowry’s Seasoning Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Paprika not smoked paprika
  • 2 TBSP Cayenne add to taste, this will add some heat
  • 2 TBSP Kosher Salt
  • 2 TBSP Fine Ground Pepper
  • 1/2 TBSP Ginger Powder
  • 1/2 TBSP Chinese 5-Spice this is one of those spices that makes all the difference- adds a depth and unique flavor


  • Measure all ingredients to exact portions.
    Homemade Rib Rub Ingredients
  • Add to a mixing bowl and use a fork to mix together. Make sure all brown sugar lumps are pressed out.
    Fork Mixing Rib Rub
  • Add to a Spice Shaker for easy application.
    Large spice shaker


Calories: 27kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1411mgPotassium: 55mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 180IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg

Tips for the Best Rib Rub Recipe

Regardless of the spice mix you prefer in your dry rub for ribs, there are some ways you can get the most delicious result possible:

Make sure you’re using fresh spices

It doesn’t matter if it’s chili powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, or dry mustard, you’ll get the best flavor from ingredients that are fresh. That likely means not buying bulk containers of them unless you’re using them constantly.

Store your spices or BBQ rub correctly

The right containers mean your fresh spices stay that way for longer. Use an airtight container, and your dry rubs will be better for it. Small air tight glass containers for spices are easy to find because they work so well.

Use some sugar and some salt

Although they’re not absolutely necessary, you’ll get the best result if your rib seasoning includes these two ingredients—especially if you’re smoking your ribs. Salt pulls moisture from the skin of the pork rib. Combined with a sweetener like brown sugar, that creates an irresistible and caramelized crust on your ribs.

Take a cue from your favorite BBQ sauce

Your favorite BBQ sauce probably says a lot about your flavor preferences. So take a cue from what you like and use sweet brown sugar in your rib rub recipe if caramelization is what you crave, or chili powder if you like a little kick.

Apply it mindfully

You want your ribs to have a pretty thick crust of your spice mixture on them, and that means it needs to stick. You can use something like ground mustard to help, or you can avoid using paper towels during your prep. Patted dry ribs don’t have any moisture for the dry rib rub to stick to. Getting your rib seasoning to adhere is as easy as leaving a little moisture on your ribs during prep.

Dry Rub for Ribs FAQs

How long should dry rub be on ribs before cooking?

You should apply a dry rub to ribs for 15 minutes to 48 hours before cooking. The longer the spice rub sits on the meat, the more flavor will infuse into the meat. Some spices in a dry rib rub can also help tenderize the meat and draw out some moisture. While that may mean closer to 48 hours is technically better, you’ll still get plenty of flavor from the spice blend in the dry rub in 15 minutes.

Do you put oil on ribs before dry rub?

You can coat ribs in oil (or mustard) before applying a dry rub if you want to, but it isn’t necessary. The oil or mustard can help a ry rub for ribs stick, helping you get a thicker crust, but it should also stick just fine if you apply it with your hands.

Does a dry rub need sugar and salt?

The best rib rub recipe for you is one that you enjoy. That being said, sugar and salt both serve specialized functions in spice rubs. Salt pulls moisture from the surface of the meat. Combined with a sweetener, like dark brown sugar, this helps meat get a caramelized crust that’s not only delicious but also seals moisture into the meat.

12 thoughts on “Dry Rib Rub Recipe”

  1. 3 stars
    Ive made this recipe twice now. The cooking instruction are good. The dry rub recipe is awful. The Chinese 5-spice is WAY overpowering. . .like. . .inedibly so. The next time, I put 1/4 of the amount called for. Better. . .edible. . .but still not good.

  2. I must say that the flavor in this recipe is outstanding. I have never smoked ribs before, and they turned out excellent with this recipe, and the 3-2-1 method.

  3. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the info. I’m excited to try this method. This is my first time smoking. I’m hoping to get it right the first time. I would like to alternate between lamb ribs and beef ribs in future smoker bbqs. Should the time be the same as stated above for both?



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