Hot and Spicy BBQ Rub for Ribs or Chicken

This image courtesy of Mark T. Shapiro

I can never go to Memphis, Tennessee, without having ribs! This city is known for their dry rub ribs. Here is a similar rub for you to try.

NotesRub keeps stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

If the mixture becomes hard and dry, just place in the microwave on Low for 3 minutes and stir.

Makes2 cups (500 mL) rub

Cooking Methodbaking


Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, game day

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Equipmentfood processor


Taste and Texturehot & spicy, meaty, spiced

Type of Dishdry rub


  • 1 cup (250 mL) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) chili powder
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) paprika
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) garlic salt
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) coarse sea salt
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) whole cloves
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) onion powder
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) cornstarch
  • Whole racks of spareribs, as needed


  1. To Make the Rub:

  2. In work bowl fitted with metal blade, process brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, garlic salt, sea salt, peppercorns, mustard seeds, granulated sugar, ginger, cloves, turmeric, onion powder, garlic powder and cornstarch until finely ground, about 3 minutes.

  3. To season and cook ribs:

  4. I like to parboil my pork ribs first in a boiling pot of water for 5 minutes. Then place the ribs in a single layer on a baking sheet and cover with an even coating of the Hot and Spicy BBQ Rub, about ¼ cup (50 mL) per full rack. Cover and let stand in the refrigerator for 45 minutes. Bake ribs in a preheated 300°F (150°C) oven until fork tender, 75 to 90 minutes.

  5. To season and cook chicken: Rub about half of the mixture on a 2- to 3-lb (1 to 1.5 kg) whole chicken. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Bake in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven or barbecue chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh reaches 180°F (82°C), about 15 minutes per pound (33 minutes per kilogram).

  6. Variation:

  7. Add 2 cups (500 mL) Homemade Ketchup or store-bought to make this rub a wet sauce.


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