Perfect Memphis Rib Rub. #1 Best Memphis Dry Rub. Hands Down!

This is a picture of a memphis rib rub in a doubled stacked white porcelain bowl on a wooden table.

The Memphis Rib Rub

Memphis BBQ, in my opinion, is the most balanced and delicious type of BBQ the United States has to offer.  Again, this is purely my opinion. The best part about their BBQ is the Memphis dry rub or “Memphis rib rub”.

I wasn’t always a vegan, so I was fortunate to be able to try some REAL Memphis BBQ. I realized after being a vegan for some time, that i dont have to miss out on that flavor, I just need a good Memphis style rib rub recipe!

A little background…

Memphis was incredibly lucky due to its geographical location. Since Memphis is a port town, there was a wider variety of ingredients to choose from. Memphis also had the Mississippi river, which was the main route for shipping molasses. Obviously, molasses made its way into the Memphis BBQ cuisine.

Memphis BBQ originally started right after WWII. People started to open up small commercial “joints” with specialized BBQ pits for slow cooking meats. Many of these “joints” were located in low income areas and began to gain notoriety because they reflect the Memphis culture.

Memphis BBQ became widely known after they began hosting the World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest each may. A lot of different food chains have developed in Memphis making Memphis BBQ rubs known all over the country.

Memphis Rib Rub Ingredients

  • Chili Powder
  • Granulated Garlic
  • Salt
  • Brown Sugar
  • Onion Powder
  • Paprika
  • Black Pepper     
  • Cayenne

How to Use a Memphis Rib Rub……. Like a Vegan


Choose wisely the vegetables you decide to spice up with this recipe! You may not like them any way else!

I have found that this Memphis rib rub for smoking goes particularly well with root vegetables. Carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, turnips, and beets are absolutely exceptional with this additive. Cauliflower, Summer and winter squash, and broccoli are other vegetables to try.

This spice pairs very well with beans and peas as well. Cook your beans low and slow with this spice.


This Memphis dry rub in particular is awesome on potato chips, sweet potatoes chips, yucca chips, etc. To get this spice to really stick to chips, the best thing to do is blend it to a fine powder.


Toss on to candied nuts or just toasted nuts and really set off your garnishes!

The best memphis dry rub in a white porcelain bowl on a wooden table with a wooden spice scoop.

Tricks and Tips For The Best Memphis Dry Rub

Quality of Ingredients

When using seasonings to boost up the flavor in your recipes, you should always seek the best spices to mix. Spices can be a little expensive, but you are paying for quality and freshness. So, keep that in mind when you a thinking about going with the cheaper alternative.

Also think about specialized spices. Instead of buying chili powder, buy the smokey chipotle powder or the dark chili powder. If a recipe calls for paprika, buy the smoked paprika or the sweet pimenton. These are ways to separate yourself from the rest.


Be sure to carefully consider the sugar you use in these recipes. If you are going to change a sugar or substitute it, make sure you convert properly. I have also found that using brown sugar is greatly beneficial in these spice mixes, but if you use brown sugar be sure to blend the entire spice mix in the blender. This will evenly distribute the brown sugar and make it easier to work with.


Think about how you are going to use these spices in your recipes, it may change how you prepare the mixes themselves.  If you are putting the spices on chips or fries, if it best to blend the spices in a blender into a fine powder to they can grab ahold of the potato better.

If the spices have dried herbs in them, then it is best to add them in the beginning stages of your recipes to increase the amount of time the herbs are cooked. Dried herbs release their flavors over time. If you like more spice in your seasoning, then bump up the cayenne or chili powder. This can give you the desired effect you are looking for.


Its best to store your memphis rib rub in airtight containers to preserve freshness.  It is also best to keep spices in a dark area. A container over the oven may be advantageous, but since spices and flavors decay when presented to warmth, light, and dampness, it is not the best spot to keep them.

The best stockpiling temperature for spices and flavors is one that is genuinely steady and under 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If you store flavors in the cooler or fridge, then return them speedily after use.

A decent stockpiling framework keeps spices and flavors dry and in obscurity too. Golden glass containers with hermetically sealed covers are ideal. You may likewise keep them in a cabinet or cabinet, spread the containers with enormous dark names or utilize a window ornament to cover them

Shelf Life

Spices that have been in your cabinet for a while may look ok, but you need to check the use by date. Using out of date spices is not the end of the world, but it will definitely affect the end result. Your food will seem to fall flat or have a stale taste/ aroma.  Spices stay fresh for about 6 months to a year. Try to keep your collection constantly rotating.

Equipment Needed

  • 1 Mixing bowl
  • 1 Whisk
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Measuring Cups
  • 1 Blender (optional)
Memphis rib rub recipe. This is a picture of the finished spice mix in a wooden bowl made from an oak tree.

Memphis dry rub “Memphis Rib Rub”

Chef Mason Bostwick
Very balanced. A bit of heat followed by a sweet smokiness with a zesty finish. Beautiful.
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Condiment, Enhancement
Cuisine American, BBQ, Vegan
Servings 20 servings


  • 3 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 3 Tbsp Granulated Garlic
  • 3 Tbsp Salt
  • 6 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 3 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Paprika
  • 2.5 tsp Black Pepper
  • 0.5 tsp Cayenne


  • Mix in a mixing bowl thoroughly.
Keyword best memphis dry rub, memphis dry rub, memphis rib rub, memphis rub

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