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Essential ingredients in a great "Dry Rub" for pork rib?

Currentlly I prerub the rack with a fresh lime wash and then apply my combination of Hungarian sweet paprika, brown sugar, dry Keens mustard ,black pepper.grated garlic and fresh ginger.
Can you recommend any other items I might include in the rub mix?

I just create the rub without standard measurements or ratios. A little of this a little of that
Would this present any apparent problems.
Thanks in advance.

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  1. I think ground cumin would fit in very nicely.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Val

      yep cumin,

      also cayenne pepper, chili powder, onion powder, kosher salt,

      1. re: swsidejim

        Finely chopped rosemary will accent the lime rub.

        1. re: jayt90

          Interesting the lime rub technique.

          I rinse/rub my ribs with white vinegar when removing from the packaging, and then apply a little yelow mustard before adding the rub.

    2. I'd add a little heat: chiles !
      Depending what part of the world you are from and if outdoor bbqing is not an option, adding smoked paprika gives a lovely "almost outdoors" flavour.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mila

        i was thinking paprika, too. might it not char, though? somehow it seems it has a thicker density than the other, actual spice, ingredients....

        has anyone else found that tendency to burn relatively quickly if not in liquid or oil?

        other ingredients: a touch of rubbed/ground sage and ground thyme. brilliant with pork (esp. rubbed then with olive oil.)

      2. Salt! Most rubs have salt as the basis of all dry rub ingredients. Kosher salt.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Felixnot

          I only salt meats AFTER they are fully cooked...salt tends to dry out the meat. The exception to this is with poultry...to which the salt is applied only to the skin...never the meat, or if you are salting the fat...like the fat side of a brisket...unnecessary however since the fat is usually discarded before eating. Most people have a personal preference for amounts of salt to put on their food and NOT salting prior to serving allows for individual tastes.

          1. re: bwwerley

            This has been proven a myth that salting dries out the meat. See numerous threads on this. Scientifically and anecdotely debunked.

        2. When it comes to pork, I'm a minimalist for rubs. Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. That's it. Then let the smoke meld with the flavor of the PORK (assuming you're going to cook 'em low and slow with a real wood fire).

          1. I use the following: Paprika, brown sugar, chile powder, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper, cumin, and cayenne.

            As I smoke my ribs at about 225 degrees for about 4 hours, the rub produces a wonderful"bark" that seals in the juices.

            One last thing: Before I put the rub on the ribs, I use a light mustard slather over both sides of the rack.

            1. Just finished a third or fourth cooking of pork ribs using my rub and "low and slow" method.

              Dry rub. I make double this amount and it makes a quart, which I keep in the freezer.
              2 Tablespoons Salt
              1/2 Teaspoon ground cloves
              1 cup Brown Sugar
              2 Tbs Ground Cumin
              2 Tbs Chili Powder
              2 Tbs Black Pepper
              2 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika
              2 Tbs Granulated Garlic
              1 tablespoon ground white pepper
              1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

              To this you can add more ingredients. Since I have a lot of fresh sage and love the flavor I basted the ribs with fresh sage blended in water. You could add ground, dried sage.
              I have a large casserole dish which I fill with water and place a wire rack over this with the ribs on it. Using my Weber with just the center runner on medium, I cook it for about four hours at 250-275F.
              Finish it off however you want, but to my taste it needed little if any Stubbs or D. L. Jardine's sauce.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Scargod

                This sounds like a great combo, Scar. I'm curious though why you store it in the freezer. Aren't these all dry ingredients that you normally store in the pantry? But a REALLY great combo!

                1. re: c oliver

                  All the hot ingredients combined with the brown sugar might self combust! That and it won't grow bugs in the freezer.
                  (I mix up a big batch so I think it stays fresher longer in the freezer.)

                  1. re: Scargod

                    looks good, scargod. remind me, what's the difference between granulated and powdered garlic? does it matter here?

                    1. re: alkapal

                      First, I was noting, above that someone suggests leaving the salt out. I don't think there are many rubs that do it and I don't consider mine very salty. I am doing a test of the effects on me of a <2000mg/day sodium diet and they seem fine to me. They are very juicy too, (though firm), when cooked above a pan of water.

                      I buy my toasted granulated garlic from The Spice House, online. I think it is a bigger particle, that's all. Powder might be too fine to toast? I don't think it would matter. And if you feel the need to baste then that could be another thing you could do by throwing cloves in the food processor with some liquid of choice. A strong sauce might mask the garlic flavor. I know I'm risking breaking my arm here, but mine were damn fine with nothing on them but the rub and a little grill smoke flavor.

                      1. re: Scargod


                        as to salt - and especially re pork -- it helps as a molecular entrée into the meat. i posted about this in detail about three months ago. i think it was on the "salting meat" thread, but i can't find it. your rub's salt level is very low.

                      2. re: alkapal

                        Granulated garlic is essentially dried garlic that has been made into granules. If you add water to it, it rehydrates to a garlic paste. Garlic powder is a very fine powder with very little texture.

                2. The past few years I've been using palm sugar instead of brown sugar in my rub mix for pork. For me I like it slightly better than when I use brown sugar.

                  1. The only thing I didn't see that I use a little of is some celery seed. Brown sug, salt, paprika, celery seed, dry mustard, granulated garlic, onion powder, cayenne and black pepper. I might be forgetting something, but that'll make you one find Mr. Brown......

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: hankstramm

                      I like celery seed. I also love fennel seed with pork so I guess I'd include that also.

                    2. there are as many variations in rub as there are rubbers. some themes or tricks emerge, though. most rubs are heavy on paprika and include chile, cayenne, salt, pepper, sugar. i prefer to use turbinado or raw sugar since these melt a bit more slowly and turn dark later in the long cooking process. i keep my rub in a shaker on the counter and use it for much more than pork ribs.

                      Dry Rub

                      General Proportions:

                      Paprika 3
                      Black Pepper 1
                      Salt 1
                      Turbinado or Raw Sugar 1
                      Chile Powder ½
                      Garlic Powder ½
                      Onion Powder ½
                      Cayenne 1/6