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Pulled Pork Dry Rub

Pulled Pork Dry Rub

I titled this recipe Pulled Pork Dry Rub because it’s what I use it on most often, but it’s very versatile. I’ve used it for Smothered Pork Chops, pork tenderloin, and also on chicken and turkey, too. It works well in place of the seasonings called for in my Eastern NC BBQ Pulled Turkey, too.

I don’t believe in assigning spices to proteins in general, but I’ve done enough reading to know that this blend of ingredients is perfect to bring out the best flavors pigs have to offer.

Pulled Pork Dry Rub Ingredients

Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Pulled Pork Dry Rub recipe:

  • Light brown sugar: Dark brown will suffice, too. If you decide to sear meat after using the Pulled Pork Dry Rub on it just keep in mind that sugar burns and factor that into the cook time.
  • Kosher salt: Using kosher is important, as always. If you use fine salt your blend will be too salty.
  • Smoked paprika, hot paprika: Paprika doesn’t impart too much flavor all on its own, but use enough of it and it definitely makes an impact! Smoked paprika gives off just a touch of smokiness, and hot paprika just isn’t deseeded before being dried and ground so it gives off a slight heat.
  • Coarse black pepper: For bite, and heat. Make sure it’s coarse ground, not cracked. That’s too big.
  • Dry mustard: Alone, it tastes like next to nothing. Combined with everything else, when the juices from the pork start seeping it’ll kick into high gear adding a nice zip to the flavor profile.
  • Ground cumin: Cumin is my favorite spice. It’s warm, earthy, slightly nutty and slightly lemony, and just completely unique. It adds a warm, wholeness to this blend.
  • Dried Oregano: For a little peppery herbaceousness!
  • Onion powder, garlic powder: Our spice cabinet’s favorite workhorses. Pretty self explanatory.
  • Cayenne pepper: For heat, but just a tad, to serve as a springboard for some of the richer flavors in this Pulled Pork Dry Rub. With the amount of brown suar in this recipe it isn’t spicy at all.
  • Ground ginger: Like cumin it’s warm and peppery, but that’s about all it has in common with it. Slow-braising will bring out the best in it.

How to Make Pulled Pork Dry Rub

Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Pulled Pork Dry Rub recipe:

  • Just make it! I feel so weird posting this as a recipe because it’s so straight forward! Grab a bowl, dump all the measured seasonings into it, and shake or stir until they’re evenly distributed.
  • Store it. Keep this Pulled Pork Dry Rub in an airtight container like a mason jar, and keep that in a cool, dark, dry place like the pantry. To prevent the brown sugar from clumping together add a marshmallow to the container. It will help, and it will not affect the flavor, trust me. This Dry Rub will last a good 6 months, but use it within a month to get the best flavor.

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Pulled Pork Dry Rub

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  • Author: María
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: about 2 cups 1x


  • 1 C light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 C kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp hot paprika
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coarse black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground ginger


  1. Mix everything together very well. Dassit!
  2. Oh, store it in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place to keep it fresh. To prevent the sugar from getting hard add a marshmallow. It sounds weird, but it works I promise!
  • Prep Time: 5
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