Memphis Rib Rub With Paprika and Cayenne Pepper

Spareribs, Memphis Rub For Ribs

Diana Rattray

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 2
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
203 Calories
5g Fat
42g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 203
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2154mg 94%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 12g 44%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 190mg 15%
Iron 10mg 56%
Potassium 896mg 19%
*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.)

Whether your ribs are grilled, baked, or pressure-cooked, this is the perfect combination of spices to use on them. This mixture adds spicy flavors, and the recipe makes enough for up to 16 slabs of ribs. Check the expiration dates on your spices—label your rib rub with the nearest date and store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

The spice mixture is versatile as well. Feel free to use less cayenne pepper or add more if you like the heat, or replace the paprika with smoked paprika. The rub is good on other meats, too. Rub it on turkey legs, chicken, or other cuts of pork. Country-style ribs are excellent with the rub or use it on a pork loin roast.

When your ribs are done to perfection, cut them into serving-size pieces and serve them with Memphis-style barbecue sauce.


  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons onion powder

  • 2 tablespoons black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons paprika

  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

  3. Rub seasoning using 1 to 2 tablespoons per slab of ribs (the more you use, the spicier they will be).

  4. Put on a grill in a single layer away from the direct heat source. Cook slowly for 1 1/2 to 2 hours on low heat.

  5. After cooking wrap the ribs in foil and let them rest for 30 min. (This makes for very tender ribs.)

  6. Enjoy!

How to Store

Store this dry rib rub in an airtight jar or container for as long as the nearest "best-by" date on the various spices.

Which pork ribs are meatiest?

Country style ribs are cut from the shoulder and have the most meat per rib, plus they are usually boneless. For slab ribs, baby back ribs are the leanest and most tender cut, and have more meat than spareribs.

How long far ahead of time should the rib rub be applied?

You should rub the seasonings on the ribs (or other meat) at least 15 minutes before it's time to cook. For even more flavor, apply the dry rub, wrap the meat in plastic wrap or foil, and refrigerate it for 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

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