Growing up, my family made pork spare ribs a bunch of different ways; my mother’s specialty was to cook them in a tomato based stew so that the meat literally fell off the bones, my father slathered them in sauce and cooked them on our gas grill (sometimes – I even shudder to think of it now – he would boil them first – I know, the horror).
The problem was, no matter what they tried, they were never able to match my all-time favourite ribs (which came from a locally owned restaurant): they were grilled dry, without any sauce on them, and covered in a savoury rub that made them exquisite on their own, and even more amazing when coupled with a sweet-hot sauce (added on your plate as a condiment would be).
A few years back, I decided I would recreate this rub, or at least something approximating it. After some trial and error (which, let’s be honest, were not terrible errors because… grilled meat) I came up with something we all love, and keeps them coming back for more.
As with all recipes, adjust the proportions to suit your tastes. We use white pepper as it adds a warm heat as opposed to the sharp heat from black pepper. The Lawry’s is a great multi-purpose seasoning, especially for pork, but you could probably get away with some combination of table salt and paprika (or better yet, my new favourite: smoked paprika), and increasing the onion and garlic powders. Also, since all the ingredients are seasonings, this mixture will keep well indefinitely if stored in a dry, air-tight container or bag.
Dry Rib Rub
this amount will cover two racks of ribs quite well
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose seasoning salt (we prefer Lawry’s)
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 0.5 teaspoon white pepper
- 0.5 teaspoon ground cumin
Simply combine all ingredients well in a bowl or for longer term storage, see the tip above.
Stay tuned for our Ultimate Guide to Grilled Ribs as well as Corn Bread that makes a perfect side dish!
This post was written by my hubby! He says he is “A husband, a father, and an engineer. In that order.”