The Best Rib Rubs (And How To Make Them)
Table of ContentsA Brief History of RibsMyron Mixon's Dry Rub Recipe for RibsAaron Franklin's Dry Rub Recipe for RibsHeath Riles's World Championship-Winning Rib Rub RecipeThe Best Rib Rubs You Can BuyLane's Spellbound RubOld Pit DustThe Missing Link Spice Rub
If you’re into barbecuing, grilling and smoking, then you know that ribs are part and parcel of great BBQ. They’re one-third of the Texas Trinity (aka the Holy Trinity of Texas BBQ, which is comprised of hot links, brisket, and ribs).
Ribs play an important role in both competition and backyard barbecue. Long story short: They're synonymous with American barbecue. From baby backs to short ribs to spare ribs, these rib rub recipes will help you achieve the delicious flavor and bark you’re after, while still allowing the flavor of the meat to be the star of the show.
Whether you plan on smoking your ribs, grilling, or even baking them (or even the oven + grill method), your rib rub recipe is the foundation of your dish. Without it, you’re leaving a lot of flavor and texture on the table!
We'll delve into the specifics of how to make delicious, bark-forming rib dry rub recipes for your next rack of ribs using only the ingredients in your spice cabinet.
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A Brief History of Ribs
As mentioned above, ribs are about as American as apple pie. In 1493, Columbus brought pigs when he landed in Cuba. In 1539, Hernando de Soto landed in Tampa, Florida, and brought along the first 13 pigs to American shores. Three years later, that initial group of 13 pigs had turned into about 700 (both wild and domesticated). Source: Adams Taphouse and Grille
Myron Mixon's Rib Dry Rub Recipe
It's always hard to argue with the winningest man in barbecue! Below is a surefire winner from 5X world champion pitmaster Myron Mixon.
Barbecue like a world champion! Learn how to make this a delicious dry rub for ribs just like the winningest man in barbecue himself, Myron Mixon.
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Aaron Franklin's Dry Rib Rub Recipe
Aaron Franklin is the host of BBQ with Franklin and owner and chief firestarter at Austin's Franklin Barbecue. He's widely regarded as one of the most influential pitmasters in the U.S.
Aaron’s base dry rub for ribs is two parts black pepper to one part salt. He notes that since the ribs are so thin, they’re easy to over-salt. The recipe below should be enough for one rack of ribs. Because there isn’t a lot of smoke that gets onto a rack of ribs, Aaron notes that it’s important to have an even distribution of rib dry rub. He puts his into a shaker and applies it that way to ensure it isn’t splotchy.
Heath Riles' World Championship-Winning Rib Rub Recipe
We know the title of the article is about how to make rib rubs at home. That said, we felt like we just HAD to include Heath Riles’ World Championship-winning rib recipe from the 2022 Memphis in May World BBQ Cooking Championships.
Here’s the recipe, which of course, calls for pre-made rubs from Heath Riles’ full line of products (all of which are available for purchase on his website).
The Best Rib Rubs You Can BuyWe know that this post is all about making the best rib rubs at home. But if you don't have time, or if you're interested in a pre-made rib rub recipe, we've put together a small list of dry rib rub recipes that we know are surefire winners.
Size: 4.6oz plastic shaker
About: Previously known as "Magic Dust", "Spellbound" rub from Lane's BBQ in Bethlehem, Georgia is a shoo-in for this list."Spellbound is the absolute perfect slightly sweet all-purpose barbecue rub. Perfect for chicken, pork, and a great rib rub. This rub is a mix of sweet, salty, and smokey! What started as an experiment, Spellbound quickly enchanted the pitmasters at Lane’s BBQ. Legend has it that this rub combined with fire and smoke over time transforms meats into magical meals."
Size: 5.5 oz plastic shaker
"Our Flagship Product and foundation blend is Old Pit Dust Rub fondly referred to as 'Red Dirt' by those who have cooked with it over the years. Red Dirt is our original blend and contains only tried and tested, premium ingredients that are guaranteed to elevate your Pork, Chicken, Beef and most anything else you can BBQ to a whole new level."
: $6Size: 140g resealable pouchAbout: As featured in our Best of the West BBQ box, The Missing Link is made by Bow Valley BBQ out of Canmore, Alberta. While extremely versatile, this rub is delicious on ribs. It gives a beautiful colored bark and tastes just as great as it looks. Pair The Missing Link with Bow Valley's Bigfoot Bold BBQ Sauce for a winning combination on your next rack of ribs!"A gluten-free blend of spices, sea salts, and organic sugars combined to make for great flavor as well as creating a caramelized crust that is desired in any form of cooking. From grilling and searing to slow-smoked or roasted, this blend delivers. Ideal as a BBQ rub, with a diverse flavor profile that is a welcomed enhancement with just about anything."
AWARDS4th - Bow Valley BBQ - The Missing Link Spice Rub
The 2019 Artisan Flavor Awards 2019 (Madison Wisconsin)
Rubs 3rd place - Bow Valley BBQ - The Missing Link Spice Rub