Best Pork Rub

Written by Mike Futia | Updated October 28, 2023

This pork rub goes amazing with pork chops, pork tenderloin, pulled pork, and even smoked chicken.

pork rub

Pork Rub Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Pork Rub Recipe Instructions

pork rub ingredients
  1. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Mix well until all the spices are evenly distributed.
  3. Generously apply the rub to your pork.
  4. Allow the meat to marinate in the rub for at least 1 hour.

Pork Rub Recipe Notes

With this unique pork rub blend, brown sugar isn't just a sweet counterpoint—it's the secret to achieving that irresistible, slightly crispy exterior when you grill or roast your pork.

While paprika is a common ingredient in many rubs, in our version, its role is more subtle. Instead of just choosing between sweet or smoked, we've dialed back the paprika to let the other spices shine, creating a more balanced flavor profile.

Spice Enthusiasts, Take Note

Our rub introduces a subtle kick with the inclusion of ground cumin, a spice not commonly found in traditional pork rubs. This adds an earthy undertone that complements the heat from the chili powder, which itself is milder and more savory than outright spicy.

By focusing on balance and introducing an unexpected element like cumin, our rub offers a unique yet approachable flavor experience.

Applying the Pork Rub

smoked pork chops on plate

Before applying the rub, try scoring the surface of your pork lightly with a knife. This allows the rub to penetrate deeper, giving the meat with more flavor. Then, go ahead and apply the rub liberally on all sides.

Our recipe yields approximately 5 tablespoons, but don't hesitate to double the batch. It's versatile enough to season not just pork but also other proteins like chicken thighs.

pork rub

Best Smoked Pork Rub

This pork rub recipe offers a balanced blend of sweet and savory spices, including a unique touch of cumin. Ideal for pork, but also great for tofu and vegetables.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Side Dish
Servings 5 tablespoons
Calories 28 kcal


  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1.5 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin


  • In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients.
  • Mix well until all the spices are evenly distributed.
  • Generously apply the rub to your pork.
  • Allow the meat to marinate in the rub for at least 1 hour


Calories: 28kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 0.5gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 494mgPotassium: 65mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 772IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Mike Futia

Hello, I'm Mike Futia, a passionate griller and BBQ enthusiast. I'm the creator of Grill Frenzy, and I'm committed to sharing my knowledge of grilling and smoking with you. I believe that BBQ and grilling should be accessible to everyone. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, I'm here to guide you on your grilling journey. Welcome!


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