The best dry rub for spareribs

For years we have been asked which dry rub is best for spareribs. You don’t want to know how difficult that is to answer. But we still wanted to see if we could make a dry rub that is very tasty for 90% of the sparerib eaters. And we did take it very seriously.

We searched for a dry rub for spareribs that we wanted to make when guests came over. Yes, there is a difference between the spareribs we eat ourselves and the spareribs we serve to our guests. We rarely eat the same ribs when they have to go on the website. But this will be the dry rub that we will keep in stock and that we can immediately grab.

In general, everyone likes sweet/spicy spare ribs. And that’s for good reasons. Pork and sugar go very well together. So the base of smoked paprika powder is supplemented with raw cane sugar. Then we have salt and coarsely ground black pepper. We love the taste and smell of black pepper.

After that, we used our new favourite, mustard powder. It gives the dry rub a slightly tart flavour that works really well in this mix. For the heat, we used ground chillies and cayenne pepper. The chillies give a somewhat warmer spiciness, and cayenne pepper is a bit sharper. This way, you get different layers while eating the ribs.

We show the ingredients as parts of the whole. This way, you can make as much of the dry rub as you want. So you can start with spoons and then it will be two tablespoons paprika and cane sugar, one tablespoon salt, etc. You will be using about a tablespoon of dry rub per rib. So if you use tablespoons, you can sprinkle about 6 to 8 ribs with the mix below.

We tried and tasted different versions of this dry rub, and this was the winner. In our opinion, it is the perfect mix of sweet and kick. Don’t worry that the spareribs will get too hot. The heat decreases significantly during cooking.

Sprinkle this dry rub with an even layer over the spareribs just before they go on the grill. You can prepare the spareribs however you want as long as the temperature in the kettle does not exceed 150°C (300F). Above that, the sugars in the rub will burn and become bitter.


  • 2 parts smoked paprika powder
  • 2 parts raw cane sugar
  • 1 part coarse salt
  • 1/2 part coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 part mustard powder
  • 1/4 part garlic granulate
  • 1/4 part onion granulate
  • 1/4 part ground chillies
  • 1/8 part cayenne pepper


  1. Mix all ingredients and keep it in an airtight container.

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