Memphis Rub Recipe -
Memphis Rub Recipe
  • READY IN 10 mins

Memphis Rub

Recipe by  

"This zesty rub will bring out the best in ribs and other meats. Try it on chicken!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 0.5 cup Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins

    10 mins


  1. In a small airtight container, mix paprika, dark brown sugar, white sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, celery salt, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, dry mustard, garlic powder and onion powder. Seal and store in a cool dark place until ready for use.
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jul 21, 2006

WOW! I am so glad I tried this recipe. Typically when BBQing, I use a sauce but find that the sauce burns easily. I saw a program on Food Network that talked about using rubs on meat when I decided to try one. I had all the ingredients needed for this recipe along with a nice slab of pork ribs. I mariniated the ribs for about 3 hours before grilling. I grilled the ribs approximately 1 1/2 hours. They were perfect. The meat fell off the bone and my family pratically licked the platter clean. The only change I made to the recipe is to NOT use MSG.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Aug 03, 2009

Three stars as written. I'm lucky enough to enjoy real Memphis rub (in Memphis!) about 3-4 times a year and, looking over the ingredients, I knew instantly this needed some tweaking. It just didn't seem to have the zest or the complexity of Memphis rubs I've become familiar with and love. First, if you've got a good blend of spices to begin with, the MSG isn't necessary - so I left it out. I also reduced the cayenne by half and used a sweet paprika. The ingredients listed were fine, it's just that it was clear there were also some seasonings glaringly missing. I don't profess to be a Memphis rub expert, but after I added (for a half recipe) 1-1/2 T. of chili powder, 1 tsp, cumin, and 1 tsp. each of dried oregano and thyme, this rub came alive. Hubby grilled our ribs with it, low and slow, then served them with BBQ sauce on the side. Delicious. Wish I would have made the full recipe!

Jun 24, 2003

I am from Memphis and I see many recipes claiming to be a "Memphis Rub". This is the real deal. Perfection!

May 23, 2007

I guess since I just made my second batch yesterday it's time for a review! This rub is fantastic. So far I've used it on grilled chicken breast, beef tenderloin, hamburgers, pork tenderloin, and salmon. I don't doubt that it's fabulous on ribs too. Like others, I omitted the MSG and used meat tenderizer instead. And you can always make it a bit peppier by increasing the cayenne and/or dry mustard. However, I have to disagree with one reviewer who said it was like the rub used by the Rendezvous restaurant in Memphis. If you like Rendezvous ribs then add a bunch of cumin and it'll be close. Thanks for a great recipe that also saves me a ton of money!

Apr 01, 2007

I omitted MSG (gives me migraines) and added meat tenderizer. The ribs were tender and everyone liked them!

Jul 14, 2003

What a awesome rub! You're right it's great on a roasting chicken. I rub it on in the AM and cook it for dinner. The flavors sink into the meat and it always comes out juicy :o)

Jul 24, 2003

Excellente! If you live in a town where specialty rubs are not plentiful, try this...even if you do have rub availability. I rubbed my pork and wrapped it in wax paper, ziplocked it and kept it in the frig overnite then smoked it the next day. Perfect!

Jan 27, 2008

I was just going to search for "rib rub" or similar, until my husband mentioned the best ribs he ever had were in Memphis, so I searched for "Memphis Rub" instead. I'm so glad only one recipe came up since I didn't have time to check out a bunch, read reviews, etc. This rub was fantastic! I didn't have the MSG & I'm not sure what it could have added to the flavor. I can't wait to try it on other meats! So all I can say is, "Thank you, thank you very much!" for a little taste of Memphis.


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  • Calories
  • 62 kcal
  • 3%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 12 g
  • 4%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 1.3 g
  • 2%
  • Fiber
  • 3 g
  • 12%
  • Protein
  • 1.6 g
  • 3%
  • Sodium
  • 1786 mg
  • 71%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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