Rub for Ribs

This rub is for baby back ribs. If I recall correctly, our friend Alison found it in Southern Living around 1995. We tried it and loved it.

Yeah, the first ingredient — chili powder — makes it sound like it’s spicy. But the long cooking time when I smoke ribs softens the tone so it’s non-spicy.

This version includes a new ingredient — coffee. I’ve seen other rubs that include coffee, so I added 2 Tbsp of coffee ground finely for espresso. The flavor is not directly noticeable, but the coffee adds a richness to the taste.

Rub for Ribs

  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp finely ground coffee (espresso grind)
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground red pepper

Mix all ingredients well. Store in airtight container.

Rub liberally all over ribs. Cook as desired.

Notes: Make double or triple batch; it goes quickly.

I smoke the ribs for 6 to 8 hours in a smoker. During the last 2 hours coat the top side of the ribs liberally with BBQ sauce. I use whatever is cheap — we’ve tried various ones — it all comes out the same.

New Variation:

I substituted 1 Tbsp paprika in the chili powder, and used Chipotle chile powder instead of ground red pepper. We’ll see how that works.





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