Memphis Rib Rub

Memphis Rib Rub

The Spruce / Claire Cohen

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 6 servings

In Memphis, ribs are traditionally served up dry. This doesn't mean that the meat is tough and dried out, there just isn't a barbecue sauce. This traditional Memphis barbecue rub recipe is the base of a great rack of pork ribs. You can adjust the heat by changing the amount of cayenne.


  • 1/4 cup/60 mL paprika
  • 2 tablespoons/30 mL salt
  • 2 tablespoons/30 mL onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons/30 mL fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon/15 mL cayenne

Steps to Make It

  1. Mix ingredients together. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months after preparation.

  2. Spread evenly on prepared ribs that have been patted dry and let sit until the rub appears moist.

Use this rub for: