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Memphis Dry Rub Guide 

Memphis Dry Rub is mainly a mixture of spices and sometimes herbs, depending on the recipe used. This spice rub is usually used on pork ribs and pork shoulder before cooking. Cooking chicken and beef with this rub is also delicious.

You can make this rub simply in your own kitchen at home. You will probably find all, or some, of these herbs and spices in your spice rack. If you require any herbs and spices for these recipes then they are available online. The common herbs and spices found in this blend are:  chilli powder, ground paprika, black pepper, ground cumin, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, ground coriander and allspice

You can also buy Memphis Dry Rub pre mixed seasonings online. There are several different brands and each has its own style and flavour. These usually come in handy jars and bottles making storage easy. My suggestion is to try different rubs or recipes until you find the flavour that suits your taste best.

Memphis Dry Rub Cooking Tips

Cooking with this rub is normally done in one of two ways; either cooked dry or cooked wet. Traditionally the ribs of pork are cooked slowly using a pit. To cook the dry way is straight forward. Just apply the dry rub all over the meat or ribs and cook. When cooked this way they are eaten without any sauces.

When cooking the pork or ribs wet style a Memphis sauce is applied before cooking. Make sure the meat is completely covered during the cooking process and also when the cooking is completed.

I like to cook the ribs in the oven as I do not have a pit at home. The oven does a great job, just keep the temperature low and cook the ribs slowly. Once cooked I like to serve the ribs with a lovely fresh salad or with some pasta.Take a look at the recipe I use below.

Oven Cooked Memphis Dry Rub Ribs



3 tablespoons soft brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground sea salt

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon mustard powder

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 kgs meaty pork ribs


Using a whisk blend together all the spices, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder and the mustard powder.

Then take the ribs and remove the membrane on the back of the ribs. You can do this by using a cloth for grip and then pull it off.

Now cover the ribs with the dry rub, making sure they are completely covered and the seasoning is nicely rubbed in. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge over night if possible, or for a minimum of 2 hours.

Once ready to cook, remove the ribs from the fridge letting them come to room temperature and then pre heat the oven to 300°F or 150°C.

Remove the cling film and take a foil lined baking sheet and place the ribs bone side up and cover with some more foil. Now put them into the oven and leave to cook for 2 hours. Then remove the foil from the ribs and turn up the temperature to 370°F or 190°C and cook for a further 30 to 40 minutes or until cooked. The meat should be nice and tender with slightly crisp edges.