Ask A Chef: A Rub for Pork Ribs


I’m going to smoke pork ribs. Do you have any good rub recipes? – Derrick

Derrick, my go-to rub combines a base of yellow deli mustard upon which a sprinkling of brown sugar and spice is added. It may sound weird in applications other than a hotdog, but the acid in the deli mustard helps to tenderize the meat and cut through the fatty pork. Here’s the recipe for one rack of ribs.

Rub spices for smoked pork ribs.
Rub spices for smoked pork ribs.

¼ cup yellow deli mustard
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch cayenne pepper

Rub the ribs with the a thin coating of the deli mustard.

Mix together the sugar and spices then sprinkle this mixture all over the ribs.

Smoke at a low heat, 200 to 225 degrees Fahrenheit, for 4 to 5 hours. Assume the ribs will take roughly an hour per pound, so a 4 pound rack will take 4 hours to achieve tender meat that still has some meaty chew to it.