Basic Pork Rub

Basic pork rub recipe

The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 1 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
93 Calories
2g Fat
21g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 93
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3218mg 140%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 287mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Our easy and flavorful rub for pork is perfect for roasts, injects a delicious flavor into pulled pork, and can be used for ribs and chops, too. Made with a few spices, it takes just seconds to mix and store the rub so you can use it as needed. Our measurements are enough for about 5 to 6 pounds of meat, but the amounts are easily doubled or tripled in case you are aiming for a big cookout. Paprika, sugar, black pepper, salt, dry mustard, chili powder, white pepper, and cayenne are all that you need to prepare this fantastic dry rub. If you're a home cook who loves spices, it's likely that you already have what's needed in your pantry.

If you need to buy spices, or this is the first time you're making a dry rub, consider two things: Buy spices in small amounts and favor organic over traditional. Many nonorganic spices and herbs have been processed with chemicals to kill any harmful bacteria or prevent the growth of mold, and as such might contain traces of these contaminants. If you aren't a great consumer of spices, it's best to buy them in small quantities and, if possible, in the whole form (as they preserve their flavor for longer) to grind and use when needed. If you already cook with many spices, start buying the whole form and get your hands on a spice grinder; the flavor of your rubs will be superior. The final thing to keep in mind is how to store your mixed rub or any other spices. Away from sunlight and in a cool dark pantry is best, as heat damages the flavor, and humidity can spoil the oils in some spices.

Once you've used what you need of the rub to make pulled pork or marinate chops or ribs, be sure that any leftover rub you are storing has not touched any raw meat, as you don't want to cross-contaminate the clean rub with bacteria from the pork's blood. The best way to ensure this is to set aside the desired amount of rub in a small bowl while storing away the unused mixture.


  • 1/3 cup paprika

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for pork rub
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  2. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.

    Mix pork rub
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt 
  3. Work half of the mixture into meat 12 to 24 hours before cooking.

    Add mixture onto meat
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  4. Apply ​remaining rub before smoking.

    Add rub
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  5. Store leftover, unused rub in an airtight glass jar in a cool, dry place for up to one month after preparation. Make sure no moisture gets into the rub before storing.

    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

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