Dry Rub for Baby Back Ribs

I made some baby back ribs yesterday following Alton Brown’s recipe. They were really good, but I’d like to make some that are a bit spicier and less sweet.

Does anyone have a good, kinda-spicy, not-so-sweet dry rub recipe for ribs?

I have used the linked recipe multiple times with very good results. The longer you let the ribs marinate with the dry rub applied, the spicier they become.

For cooking I use a weber kettle and slow cook using the indirect heat method (using charcoal). Usually try to keep the temp inside the grill at about 280 degrees.

I thought his recipe sounded a little sweet. I haven’t done it myself, but we are planning an open house later this month, and it sounds like an easy thing to do for a crowd. I thought about making the “last part” with some powdered mustard (Smokey Bones BBQ has taught me to loooove a mustardy BBQ sauce) and lowering the amount of sugar. I’ll be watching this thread for some more suggestions!

Yeah, so far everything I’ve seen seems to be based on brown sugar. I have one sweet recipe (Alton’s), but I’m looking for a spicy one to use also.

Great thing about dry rubs is that they are easy to tweek. If you are using Alton’s, just substitute some spices you like for some of the ingredients that are not so spicy. Have fun. Experiment. Recipes are not like racetracks where there is only one way to get where you are going, they’re like city streets, many different ways to get there, not always the same twice.

Sure, they’re easy to tweak… but the results take a while to get back, what with having to cook the ribs and all.

If I could find a recipe that was tried already, that’d save me having to experiment.

But…but…that’s the fun of cooking! :eek:

This is the one I use for spareribs (and for other grilled pork, too). It does have brown sugar in it, but not enough to overwhelm you with sweetness.

1/4 cup Salt
2 tblsp Paprika
2 tblsp Chile Powder (meaning ground chiles, ancho preferred)
2 tblsp Garlic Powder
2 tblsp Dark Brown Sugar
1 tblsp Cumin
1 tblsp dry Mustard
2 tblsp freshly ground Black Pepper
1-2 tsp Cayenne (to taste)
1 tsp ground Sage
1 tsp dried Oregano

It’s from Aidells & Kelly; THE COMPLETE MEAT COOKBOOK, Houghton Mifflin, 1998, which was worth every goddamn nickel.

Funny you should mention it… I too tried Alton Brown’s recipe over the weekend, and it was wonderful. Neither I nor my guests found it too sweet at all. Instead of chili powder, I used a mixture of 1/2 chili powder and 1/2 powdered anchos. For the “plus 1” part of the recipe, cajun seasoning. They came out beautifully on the grill. I found that most of the sugar sweated off into the barbecue sauce, where I want it to be, anyhow. Otherwise, just cut the sugar down by half, and I’m sure it’ll still work out well.

Oh, I forgot. The secret ingredient in the rub was Lapsang Souchong tea (a smoked tea.) I emptied a bag or two into the spice mix. Not really necessary if you’re grilling it up over hickory, anyway, but if you’re doing it in the oven, it gives the ribs a nice smoky flavor. Powdered chipotle will work, too.

I’m partial to Memphis Rub, the recipe for which I got from Steven Raichlen’s The Barbecue Bible, Workman Publishing, 1998. It also has brown sugar in it, but it’s not sweet by any means, and by varying the amount of cayenne pepper, you can make it as tangy as you like. I generally use two teaspoons, which I find doesn’t create a burning sensation so much as a tingle on the lips and tongue after eating. You can suit yourself, of course.

1/4 cup paprika
1 tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons Accent (MSG; optional)
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 to 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder.

This is not only excellent on ribs, but also on chicken, lamb chops, pork chops and beef.