How to make Pork Rub

August 14, 2019


The beauty of a pork rub lies in the meat itself; there is simply no substitute for a high quality bone-in pork shoulder. It’s the canvas for the artwork, the highway for the BMW, the fairway for the tee shot. So we have a pork shoulder and a hot smoker, let’s get to the rub.

Professional barbecue outfits keep their pork rub a closely guarded secret, shown most prominently on the latest episode of BBQ Pitmasters. Nonetheless, there are basic ingredients and ‘best practices’ that are commonplace among the premium pork people.

First and most importantly, mix up your sweets, heats, and salts. It’s more brown sugar than you think, less kosher salt than truly needed, and more cayenne than you may believe. Try cumin for a unique flavor profile, white pepper for depth, chili powder and garlic powder for bite, or herbs and onion to add heartiness. We cannot give up our blend, but it’s best to mix your unique Pork Rub (not to mention, I made it pretty easy to decipher the main items, right?). With these easy suggestions, your pork rub will be a lot better than your know-it-all neighbor!

Pork Rub

Blending spices after adding all ingredients is a best practice.

Next, let’s cover a few techniques that seem obvious, or perhaps overkill. At Bayside Bull, our staff are trained to never mix the spice blend until all ingredients are added (see photo). This ensures you have not skipped any ingredients accidentally while cruising through the recipe, spice rack, and measuring cup drawer. Trust us, you do this enough, you’ll bet your wallet you added something that did not make it in.

Second, completely cover your pork shoulder with your pork rub before smoking. Cover it, completely. All sides, covered. Excellent.

Lastly, make enough rub to have a little left over. It takes a good bit to cover a pork butt, but having a little extra to add while pulling the meat can really add a flavor punch!

Now fire up your Big Green Egg, Weber Smokey Mountain, Kamado Joe, or try the Weber Snake Technique. Have fun, learn as you go, enjoy the ride.

For more ideas, visit our Catering page!

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Jim Cefaratti