This guide will help narrow down the best rib rubs to buy so that you can get that balance between tried & true and experimentation that goes with legendary ribs.
Based on our own staff’s experience, in-depth research in premium trade subscriptions, and crunching publicly available user reviews, we’ve curated the thousands of rib rub options on the market for a few that fit each typical use.
Whether you are trying to hit the perfect regional variety (Memphis fans here!), get a crowd-pleaser, or just experiment, these rib rubs are sure to inspire.
Developing Your Own Rib Rubs
It might seem daunting or a pain, but don’t be afraid to try your own rib rub recipe after buying some good ribs. Start with sugar, salt, and pepper – and build from there.
Pick some seasonings (such as chili powder, cayenne pepper, etc) that you like, toss them together in a plastic bag, shake to mix, and boom, you’ve got a rub. It’s a lot more fun – and a lot cheaper (same goes for pulled pork rub). Even the best pitmasters use their own rubs when cooking ribs for meals with great sides.
That said – there are plenty of pre-made rubs worth the money (that also work for pork rubs). And the price is really just to pay for convenience, not ingredients. So with that caveat out of the way, here’s the list!
Traeger Grills SPC173 Prime Rib Rub
If you’re looking for the best dry rib rub to buy, look no further than Traeger Grills SPC173 Prime Rib Rub. This Kosher and gluten-free rub is packed with delicious garlic and herb flavors, making it the perfect choice for pork rib or beef rib.
- Great Tasting Cooking Seasoning: Features rosemary and garlic flavors
- Compatible Meat/Proteins: The perfect BBQ rub to complement your beef creations
- Easy Storage: Rub comes in a stackable aluminum tin container
- Kosher, gluten free, and GMO free
- Made in USA
Famous Dave’s Rib Rub Seasoning
If you’re looking for an award-winning dry rub seasoning, Famous Dave’s has you covered. With a blend of hand-picked spices, this rub is perfect for pork chops, ribs and steak. It comes in five delicious flavors and also includes BBQ sauce, corn bread mix and more.
Dave’s Seasonings has received multiple awards for its mouthwatering flavor combinations, making it a favorite rib rub to buy.
2 Gringos Chupacabra Ribnoxious Rib Rub
If you’re looking for a rib rub that will give your meats an incredible flavor, you need to check out 2 Gringos Chupacabra Ribnoxious Rib Rub.
This rub is the perfect mix of sweet, savory, and a touch of heat, and it’s versatile enough to be used on any type of meat. Plus, our 25 oz bottle is the perfect size for back of house usage and recipe customization.
- One bottle of 25 oz seasoning with dual door spice cap
- A delicious mix of sweet, savory and a touch of heat.
- Versatile enough to be used on any type of meat
- Our 25 oz is the perfect size for back of house usage and recipe customization
- All of our seasoning blends are deliberately packaged in larger bottles in order to allow ample room for shaking and mixing of the ingredients, this ensures the proper taste profile. Our bottles will not be filled to the top but will contain the proper amount of product
Kick Butt Chipotle Honey Rib Rub
This 10 oz chipotle honey rib rub blend enhances any dish with a bangin’ taste designed for the BBQ fan or grilling aficionado.
The Kick Butt BBQ rub can be added to chicken, beef, seafood and pork dishes, is sweet with a little spice and a whole lot of nice, and makes every meal memorable.
This premium rib rub gift is perfect for the meat seasoning lover in your life and is made in the USA with quality and consistency in mind.
- SPICES AND SEASONINGS: This 10 oz chipotle honey chicken seasoning and pork rub blend enhances any dish and is backed by a bangin’ taste designed for the bbq fan or grilling aficionado. Create tantalizing flavor in a pinch by using chipotle honey seasoning on chicken wings, turkey, fish, pork, ribs or whatever tickles your fancy.
- THE TASTIEST RIB RUB AROUND: This Kick Butt BBQ rub can be added to chicken, beef, seafood and pork dishes. Full of finger lickin’ flavor, it’s a seasoning that’s as sweet as can be with a little spice and a whole lot of nice! This chipotle honey rib rub will make everyone want to wolf down your chow.
- PREMIUM GIFTS: These make great stocking stuffers for any meat seasoning lovers you know. They're wonderful for birthdays, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Fourth of July, Christmas gifts or any other shindig for that matter. Give your pal the gift that makes every meal memorable. Make your barbecuing the talk of the town with this premium rib rub gift, you can thank us later!
- BACKYARD BBQ: Kick butt spices and seasonings are the ones to beat, and chipotle honey chicken and rib rub is no exception. Rub this on some juicy t-bones and just watch that meat sizzle on the grill and make your mouth water! There’s nothing like enjoying a great outdoor BBQ with a savory seasoning to match. So, get that grill fired up already and start grilling with Kick Butt’s chipotle honey rib rub.
- MADE IN THE USA: To maintain the highest quality, best-tasting, gourmet BBQ grill and rib rub on the market today, Butt Kickin’ grows and harvests its own peppers on land right next to their facility in Arizona. Talk about dedication! Made with quality and consistency in mind, this set is top notch. Filled with bold, mouthwatering flavor and flamin’ heat, you won’t find another chipotle honey rib rub set like it around- and you won’t have to! Don’t believe it? Just check our reviews.
Spiceololgy – Prime Rib Rub
Spiceology’s Premier Rib Rub will make your holiday roast come to life with flavors of paprika, garlic and tomatoes. You’ll love this blend for brisket, prime rib, flank, loin and chops; again don’t be afraid to use it liberally!
It also goes great with cuts of beef and cuts of pork too- especially Pork Chops! This blend will add a new kick of flavor to your favorite cut that has been getting boring lately.
Bulk container for chefs, commercial kitchens and home cooks alike means you’ll always have plenty on hand for an unforgettable meal.
- INNOVATIVE FLAVOR: Pull out all the stops this year for your holiday Prime Rib. Spiceology’s Prime Rib Rub will wow your family and friends. This rub is for every cut of pork or beef you make. The blend highlights paprika, garlic and tomatoes. You'll be using this rub on pork chops, burgers, and sauces.
- USE ON: You need this rub for every cut of pork or beef you make through the New Year. With a hint of paprika complemented by garlic and tomatoes, you'll be using this rub on pork chops, burgers, and sauces.
- EXPERIMENT IN YOUR KITCHEN: Brisket, prime rib, flank, loin and chop. Don’t be afraid to use this rub liberally on your favorite beef cut. This rub blend also goes great with cuts of pork. This blend will add a new kick of flavor to your boring Pork Chops.
- LOVED BY HOME COOKS AND PROFESSIONAL CHEFS: Bulk container for chefs, commercial kitchens, and home chefs.
- GRIND FRESH, DELIVER FRESH: Spiceology’s spices and blends are packed fresh in the USA
John Henry’s East Texas Honey Rib Rub
John Henry’s East Texas Honey Rib Rub is one of the most versatile seasonings available. It offers a lemon pepper flavor that is much more enjoyable than the harsh taste of traditional lemon pepper seasonings. This rub is great for cooking fish, chicken wings, vegetables, and stir-fry dishes.
Bad Byron’s Butt Rub Barbeque Seasoning BBQ Rubs
If you’re looking for an all-purpose seasoning that will give your meats outdoor flavor at its finest, look no further than Bad Byrons Butt Rub Barbeque Seasoning BBQ Rubs.
This balanced blend of onion, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and chipotle (smoked jalapeno) is used by championship barbequers, professional chefs, and backyard cooks everywhere.
- Used by championship barbequers, professional chefs, and backyard cooks everywhere
- Balanced blend of onion, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and chipotle (smoked jalapeno)
- Outdoor flavor at it's finest
- A great all-purpose seasoning
Kosmos Q Dirty Bird BBQ Rub
Kosmos Q Dirty Bird BBQ Rub is an award-winning rub that will take your cooking to the next level. The Dirty Bird BBQ Rub is a unique blend of spices that is the perfect balance of savory and kicked-up heat.
It is easy to use and enhances your BBQ creations with a subtle, yet thrilling, warmth. The flavor is so versatile that goes on almost anything.
- This award-winning Dirty Bird BBQ rub will take your cooking to the next level helping you transform poultry, or even beef, into lip-smacking, delicious meat… you'll be sure to “wow” even the toughest of BBQ critics
- Our unique blend of spices is the perfect balance of savory and kicked-up heat, delivering a mouthwatering explosion of fiery goodness which enhances your BBQ creations with a subtle, yet thrilling, warmth
- It’s easy to use, which helps you infinitely have a customizable Dirty Bird spice blend. Simply sprinkle on or rub into your meat of choice to enjoy rich smelling and deliciously succulent dishes
- The flavor is so versatile that goes on almost anything, so with just a sprinkle, you can enhance the flavor of casseroles, potatoes, baked beans, and more. This means you can soon find yourself being asked to host all the family barbecues and tailgates
- It was tested in World Championships by World Champions, so rest assured quality is guaranteed. If it’s not good enough for us at Kosmos Q, then it’s not good enough for you
PIT BOSS 40326 Sweet Rib Rub
PIT BOSS 40326 Sweet Rib Rub is one of the best on the market, thanks to its perfect blend of brown sugar, garlic and spices. What’s more, this rib rub is gluten free, MSG free and contains no artificial colors or preservatives.
So if you’re looking for an incredible rib rub that will take your meat dishes to the next level, look no further than PIT BOSS 40326 Sweet Rib Rub.
- Brown Sugar, Garlic
- Rub your ribs with this sweet and savory blend. A perfect combination of brown sugar, garlic and spices.
- Gluten Free, MSG Free, No Artificial Colors or Preservatives
- MADE IN USA
- Pat meat dry before applying seasoning. Firmly rub each side of meat with seasoning then let rest for 15 minutes before cooking.
McCormick Grill Mates Slow & Low Memphis BBQ Rub
When it comes to barbecuing, everyone wants that authentic Memphis BBQ flavor. Now you can achieve it with McCormick Grill Mates Slow & Low Memphis BBQ Rub.
This rub is made with natural herbs and spices, so you can be sure of the highest quality ingredients. It’s also MSG-free, artificial flavor- and color-free, so you can enjoy the taste without any unwanted additives.
- Grill Like A Pit Master For Authentic BBQ At Home
- Use When Making Gingerbread, Syrup For Poached Pears, Or Indian Curry
- Ideal For Pork Or Chicken
- Made With Natural Herbs And Spices
- No MSG, Artificial Flavors Or Colors Added
Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub
If you’re looking for a delicious and reliable BBQ rub, look no further than Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub. This championship-winning rub has been satisfying pitmasters and backyard BBQ enthusiasts alike for years, thanks to its combination of high-quality ingredients and consistent flavor.
- CHAMPIONSHIP BBQ RUB - The BBQ rub was developed and is used by the Killer Hogs Championship BBQ team
- HIGHEST RATED RUB - We've been making this rub for over 10 years, shipping tens of thousands across the United States, and satisfying professional pitmasters, amateurs, backyard BBQ enthusiasts, chefs, and everyone in between
- DESIGNED FOR CONSISTENT RESULTS - We developed this rub so you don't have to worry about seasoning your meat or veggies. The BBQ Rub provides a consistent and delicious flavor you can count on time and time again
- NO RISK AND NO HASSLE - For almost a decade, we have been delighting customers. If you are not satisfied with your purchase of any Killer Hogs product, please contact us and we'll gladly refund your money. That's it - no questions, no hassle, no risk.
- MADE IN THE USA - We pride ourselves in manufacturing all our products in the USA using the highest quality ingredients
3 Eyz Original BBQ Spice Rub
If you’re looking for a perfect BBQ rub to enhance the flavor of your meats, look no further than 3 Eyz Original BBQ Spice Rub.
This award-winning spice blend has been used by KCBS Team of the Year in 2012 and can help you achieve amazing results with ribs, chicken, pork and more.
- Perfect balance of sweet and heat
- Developed by KCBS Team of the Year (2012)
- For pork, beef and chicken
- Barbecue Rub
- 1 pound bag
Add a How To Choose The Best Rib Rub To Buy
Here are a few considerations when sorting & choosing the best rib rub.
Quality of Ingredients
The most important thing to look for when choosing a rib rub is the quality of ingredients. A good rub should contain salt, sugar, and any spices you prefer (onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper).
Sugar is one of the most important ingredients to look for when choosing a rib rub because it increases flavor and creates that iconic, crispy, caramelized crust.
Salt is another important ingredient to look for when choosing a rib rub because it also increases flavor and has preservative properties that prevent bacteria growth. We have a preference for kosher salt.
Additionally, salt can help activate the Maillard reaction – a chemical process involving amino acids and reducing sugars that takes place when cooking food above 118°F, which is what causes the flavor-enhancing browning of meat.
Spices are also important to look for when choosing a dry rub because they create complex and bold flavors that can really take your meat to the next level.
Other Flavoring Items
Other things you may look for in a good rib rub are ingredients like garlic or onion powder, liquid smoke, or others you may prefer.
If you want to add these ingredients in granulated form (instead of a liquid) it is best to pick a rub that includes salt and sugar already because they can help everything stick together better.
Your Sides & Flavoring Profile
Think about what kind of meal you want to build around your ribs – what pairs well? There are so many good sides for ribs – but some go with certain flavor profiles (ie, richer vs. lighter; sweeter vs. savory, etc).
Final Thoughts on the Best Rib Rubs
Rib rub is a spice mix that can be used to season ribs before cooking. There are many different types of rib rubs (just like brisket rubs), but most contain sugar and salt as well as spices like garlic or onion powder.
There is a whole world of rib rubs, but the best will have quality ingredients and fit a flavor profile that is both familiar and novel. Grab your tongs and get to it!