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A dry rub for ribs can make such a huge difference in the flavor of your smoked or grilled ribs. There are sweet rubs, spicy rubs, and rubs that work for smoked baby back (Pork) ribs or smoked beef ribs.

Believe it or not, our dry rub is an all-around good rub that can be used in a variety of recipes, including chicken, pork chops, pork tenderloin, and pork shoulder.

If you want, you can make a large batch of this recipe to have on hand. Let’s take a closer look at this recipe.

season rub used for ribs
Simple ingredients are all that’s needed for a good dry rub.

How long should dry rub be on ribs before cooking?

Good food takes time. To get the maximum effect of a dry rub, it needs to be on the meat long enough. It is recommended that dry rub for ribs be applied 15 minutes to 2 hours before cooking the ribs.

It can even be applied several hours in advance. It all depends on how much time you have. But, you don’t want to have the rub on for too long before cooking.

What do you put on ribs before you apply rub?

Nothing. You want to dry your ribs with paper towels and remove the membrane. That’s all you need to do before applying the dry rub.

St Louis Ribs with Rub mix seasoning on cutting board
You don’t need to put anything on ribs before adding the dry rub.

Should you apply rub to your ribs overnight?

You can. You could apply the dry rub before bed and then get up and place the ribs in your smoker the next morning. Do NOT apply the dry rub any earlier than 10 to 12 hours before cooking though. This could lead to the meat drying out due to the amount of salt in the rub.

Ingredients for dry rub

Dry rub for ribs can be made with a variety of ingredients depending on which flavors you enjoy. Our dry rub for ribs is a good all-around dry rub with simple ingredients that you more than likely have on hand. You’ll need the following ingredients:

baby back ribs with seasonings and rubs
Very simple ingredients are all you need.
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Sweet paprika
  • Cumin

How do you make rub for ribs?

season rub used for ribs
Measure and mix. That’s all it takes.

You literally mix the ingredients together. That’s it. If you’re making a large batch, you can mix the ingredients together and then place into a container (like these I purchased online), with a shaker lid.

Just make sure to shake the container well, before each use to make sure the ingredients are well-mixed.

Dry Rub for Ribs

Dry Rub for Ribs

dry rub for ribs can make such a huge difference in the flavor of your smoked or grilled ribs
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Main Course, Seasoning
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dry Rub For Ribs
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 18kcal
Author: Mark Rogers


  • 2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Ground Black Pepper
  • optional
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin


  • Mix and apply.


Calories: 18kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3491mg | Potassium: 104mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 986IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg

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