Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time0 hours
Skill Leveleasy

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This is hands-down the best dry rub recipe for baby back ribs, spare ribs, or any other style pork ribs you’re looking to grill or smoke. This recipe was shared by The Spice Guy and holds the top spot as our favorite rib rub recipe.



  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika, preferably smoked
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional, adjust for spice preference
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Combine rib rub ingredients

    In a medium-sized bowl, combine the smoked paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, ground cinnamon, cayenne pepper, dried thyme, black pepper, and salt. Mix well to ensure even distribution of the spices.

  2. Prepare the ribs

    Make sure your ribs are clean and dry. If there's a membrane on the back of the ribs, you may want to remove it for better flavor penetration.

  3. Apply the dry rub to the ribs

    Generously coat both sides of the ribs with the rib rub mixture. Use your hands to press the rub onto the meat to make sure it adheres well.

  4. Wrap the ribs and refrigerate

    Once the ribs are coated with the rub, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place them in the refrigerator for at least 2-4 hours, or ideally overnight. This allows the flavors to infuse into the meat.

  5. Cook the ribs

    You can cook the ribs using your preferred method, whether it's smoking, grilling, baking, or a combination. Slow-cook the ribs at a low temperature until they are tender and the meat easily pulls away from the bone. The cooking time will vary depending on your method and the thickness of the ribs. You can follow my modified 3-2-1 smoked ribs recipe.


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