This flavorful Pork Rub is perfectly suited to virtually all cuts of pork, whether it’s ribs, roasts, chops, or more. I most often use this for pulled pork, and love having it on hand in the pantry. It only takes 5 minutes to mix up a batch!

A glass jar with pork rib rub in it on a wooden board

I am a huge fan of making my own homemade spice blends and keeping them in the pantry.

While it’s true you can buy pre-made mixes at the grocery store, often times they have extra additives I don’t like. Plus, they are marked up quite a bit in a cost.

It’s easy to mix up a big batch of seasoning every once in a while, and keep your cabinet stocked. Then you have all kinds of different flavors at arm’s reach for quick meals.

I keep Cajun SeasoningSazon SeasoningEverything Bagel Seasoning, Taco Seasoning, and Fajita Seasoning on hand, and use them all regularly.

Spoonfuls of dry spices for pork rub recipe on a plate

This dry rub recipe uses a blend of 8 ingredients, and includes paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, ground chipotle pepper, ground cumin, and dried thyme.

It is the perfect blend as a standard pork seasoning, whether you need a bbq rub or just a little pork chop seasoning for searing a couple chops in the skillet.

Tips for Best Results

Use fresh spices – Spices tend to lose their flavor rapidly as they sit in the pantry. The general rule of thumb is that they will stay potently fresh for 3 to 6 months after opening. They won’t necessarily be “bad” at that point, but less flavorful. So try to use freshly purchased spices here for optimal flavor.

Store in an airtight container – A glass jar or container is my favorite for keeping air and moisture out. This ensures that the spice mixture doesn’t cake together. I don’t recommend a ziptop plastic bag, because they tend to puncture easily and can be too breathable, especially if not stored in a dry place.

All that you need to do is combine the 8 ingredients into some kind of mason jar, plastic bag, or airtight container of your choice, and shake it all up to combine.

A small glass jar of pork rub on cutting board

You’ll notice that there is no salt here in this recipe, but rather just a combination of spices and dried herbs.

Spoonfuls of various spices and herbs on a plate

Why No Salt?

I personally do not add any sea salt when I make my own seasoning, and I actually think this is one of the biggest benefits of making your own dry rub. Doing it this way allows you to season the meat appropriately according to its size (I usually do 3/4 teaspoon per pound of meat).

The trouble with adding salt to the mix is then you have no idea of the salt content you’ve already added to the meat via the pork rub seasoning. It’s best to keep the salt and spices separate.

A small glass jar of pulled pork rub with pulled pork butt in background

How to Use It

This pork rub can be used on virtually any cut of pork. Here are a few different ways to cook with this simple spice rub.

Pork ribs – Rub this onto baby back ribs, spare ribs, or country-style ribs before cooking to add extra flavor. Try with my Spare Ribs recipe.

Pork shoulder – I most commonly use this as a pulled pork rub for pork shoulder (aka Boston butt or butt roast). I will occasionally put it on the smoker, but most often make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork.

Pork roast – A boneless center cut roast will greatly benefit from this rub. Pork loin in particular is so lean and needs extra flavor. Try it with this Rosemary Bread Crumb Roast Pork Loin.

Pork chops – Season both sides before frying in the skillet or grilling. Try with my Pan Seared Pork Chops.

Pork tenderloin – Use for seasoning, especially if making a Roasted Pork Tenderloin. Tenderloins tend to be very lean and definitely need extra flavor. 

Gift it: Mix batches of this spice mix and give it as a Christmas gift. You can pair it with some cute measuring spoons too! I’ve always been a big fan of consumables for Christmas because they’re useful too. It’s easy to keep in the spice cabinet.

Also, no matter what kind of meat you rub it on, make sure the exterior is not overly wet. Blot the meat somewhat dry with paper towels first, to ensure the best flavor and sear.

Recipe FAQ and Tips

Can you substitute any of the ingredients?

If you can’t find ground chipotle chili pepper, you can try cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes in its place. Dried oregano also works well in place of the dried thyme, especially for Mexican flavors.

How do you store it?

Store in a cool dry place at room temperature for up to 1 year, in an airtight container or bag.

Can you add sugar?

I generally don’t add sugar to my seasonings but you absolutely can. Just be mindful that it is more prone to burning during cooking. If you want to add dark brown sugar, I recommend starting with 2 tablespoons.

Can you use this with other meats?

This is a great rub for chicken breasts as well. I find this isn’t as well suited for red meat like beef.

Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. Or, follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest!

A small glass jar of pork rub on cutting board

Pork Rub

This flavorful pork rub is great on virtually any cut of pork, whether it's a roast, ribs, tenderloin, and more.

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  • 2 tbsp paprika*
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp ground chipotle pepper**
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsp dried thyme


  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  • Or, place all ingredients in a resealable plastic bag or jar, and shake.


*If you’re not smoking the pork, you may consider using smoked paprika instead of regular paprika.
**Ground chipotle (smoked jalapeños) should be easy to find at most grocery stores, and it has an incredible flavor. If you can’t find it, you can substitute cayenne pepper, but the flavor is not as good.
Scaling: Use the slider in the recipe box to scale the amounts as desired. I mix up a big batch and keep it in the pantry.
Storage: Store pork rub in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 year.


Calories: 22kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Sodium: 26mg, Potassium: 117mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 0.4g, Vitamin A: 1286IU, Vitamin C: 0.4mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.