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Meathead's Memphis Dust


Meathead's Memphis Dust is the perfect recipe for a good grilling and BBQing rub. Use this recipe on the meat of your choice for a sweet, spicy, and smoky addition to any meaty meal. I typically use about 1 tablespoon per side of a slab of St. Louis cut ribs, and a bit less for baby backs. Store the extra in a zipper bag or a glass jar with a tight lid.

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  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup paprika or smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary powder
  • up to 2 tablespoons crushed dried chipotle, cayenne, chili powder, or other hot pepper, optional


Servings 3
Preparation time 15mins
Cooking time 15mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Mix the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. If the sugar is lumpy, crumble the lumps by hand or on the side of the bowl with a fork. If you store the rub in a tight jar, you can keep it for months. If it clumps just chop it up, or if you wish, spread it on a baking sheet and put it in a 250°F oven for 15 minutes to drive off moisture. No hotter or the sugar will burn.

For most meats, sprinkle just enough on to color it. Not too thick, about 2 tablespoons per side of a large slab of St. Louis Cut ribs. For Memphis style ribs without a sauce, apply the rub thick enough to make a crunchy crust, about 3 to 4 tablespoons per side (remember to Skin 'n' Trim the back side). To prevent contaminating your rub with uncooked meat juices, spoon out the proper amount before you start and seal the bottle for future use.

Wrap your ribs in plastic wrap, and refrigerate them overnight before cooking.

Keep your powder dry. To prevent cross-contamination, one hand sprinkles on the rub and the other hand does the rubbing. Don't put the hand that is rubbing into the powder.

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