Best Odds Pulled Pork Rub

Spices for Best Odds Pulled Pork Rub
Claire Cohen
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Yield: 1 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
27 Calories
1g Fat
6g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1589mg 69%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 16mg 1%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 83mg 2%
*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.)

This is a basic but traditional pulled pork rub that will give you the best odds for making a great batch of barbecue pulled pork. It sounds like it contains a lot of black pepper, but that flavor will mellow while smoking, giving you a touch of heat without being overpowering.

If you are smoking pork shoulder to make pulled pork, you would work a pork rub into the meat and then smoke it at 200 F to 225 F for five to six hours. In the Carolina tradition, the crispy skin (cracklings) are chopped up with the pulled pork for extra bursts of flavor. It also finished with a pulled pork sauce that includes apple cider vinegar and the same spices as in the rub.

But don't stop there in using this rub with your pulled pork. After you've finished smoking it and you've pulled the pork, sprinkle a little of this rub into the meat. This step can make all of the difference between good pulled pork and fantastic "best odds" pulled pork.


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup paprika

  • 3 tablespoons salt

  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon cayenne

  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a small bowl or container, mix all of the ingredients: brown sugar, paprika, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and dry mustard. Make sure there are no clumps fro the brown sugar and that it all has a fine consistency.

  3. Seal the container until you are ready to use the rub.

  4. Enjoy!


  • This rub can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for several months. Label it with the contents and date. While it will keep for longer safely, spices eventually lose their potency and complexity. Discard it if you see any mold or detect off-odors.
  • To use the rub, shake up the container to make sure all the spices are well-mixed. Work the mixture into the meat about an hour before it goes on the smoker. Save some of the rub to sprinkle on during the smoking process to replace rub lost during turning. Then go ahead and sprinkle a little more into the finished meat after you've pulled it.

Pulled pork is traditionally served either as a main dish with sides or on a bun as a sandwich. In the Carolina tradition, a thin vinegar side sauce would be provided so each person could add as much or as little as desired. If you are used to thick, tomato-based Kansas City-style barbecue sauce, this type of sauce may seem odd. But it is the original barbecue sauce and this thin vinegar sauce allows the sweetness of the pork to shine through. The best odds rub, with its sugar, has contributed to the natural sweetness of the pork.

Typical sides served with pulled pork include hush puppies, Brunswick stew, and mayonnaise-based coleslaw. Of course, sweet tea is the preferred beverage.