Take a journey to the barbecue heartland with our Kansas City Barbecue Dry Rub recipe. Kansas City is known for its rich, smoky meats and signature dry rubs that impart the perfect balance of sweetness and heat. Whether you're preparing baby back ribs, spareribs or pulled pork, this dry rub will transform your backyard barbecue into a Kansas City-style feast. Join us as we explore the not-so-subtle art of barbecue seasoning, where this rub tells a story of tradition, flavor, and the unmistakable allure of Kansas City BBQ.
This is a versatile, slightly sweet, Kansas City barbecue dry rub that is great on everything from ribs to pork shoulder. I live in Austin, Texas and this is definitely NOT a Texas style dry rub. Texans pride themselves on being purist, which means for most BBQ, they like a rub made with salt and pepper. That's ok, I like it anyways, particularly on pork.
This dry rub recipe is my adaptation of a recipe by Steve Raichlen in his book, Barbecue Bible Sauces Rubs and Marinades, Bastes, Butters and Glazes. Steve says that he was given the recipe by the Kansas City Barbecue Society. I have modified it a bit for my tastes, but special thanks to both Steve and the Kansas City Barbecue Society.
- Brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Seasoned salt
- Smoked salt
- Onion powder
- Celery salt
- Black pepper
- Chili powder
- Mustard powder
- Ground ginger
- Ground allspice
- Cayenne pepper
See recipe card for quantities.
This is absolutely the simplest set of direction for anything on the Austin Eats website.
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor. Then pulse several times to combine.
How is that for short and sweet?
Play around with the spices a little to make your own signature Kansas City Style dry rub. If you have trouble finding celery salt, just omit it. I have a son who is allergic to celery so I leave it out if he is coming over for dinner. Honestly, I'm not sure I could tell the difference between rub with celery salt and one without.
A food processor does a great job making a well-blended dry rub without lumps. The dry rub in the photo below was made in a bowl with a whisk. Not only is it not well blended, but there are a lot of lumps of brown sugar. Using a food processor is a better way to go.
Store dry rub in an airtight container, away from light and heat, in the pantry for up to 2 months.
Try this rub on EVERYTHING. It is really quite good.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
- Mastering the BBQ: Baby Back Ribs with the 3-2-1 Method
- Easy Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends on Your BBQ
- Mastering St. Louis Spare Ribs With the 3-2-1 Method
- Brined and Smoked Chicken Wings - Texas Style
- Smoked Beef Dino Bones with Bourbon BBQ Sauce
- Smoked Brisket and Burnt Ends - The Ultimate Texas BBQ
- Homemade Texas Hot Links - Spice it Up
- Best Homemade Bourbon BBQ Sauce for Pulled Pork
Kansas City Barbecue Dry Rub
- ¾ cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup paprika
- ¼ cup seasoned salt like Lawry’s
- ¼ cup smoked salt
- ¼ cup onion powder
- ¼ cup celery salt
- 2 tbls black pepper freshly ground
- 2 tbls chili powder
- 2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Place all of the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse several times to combine. Store in an airtight container, away from light and heat, in the pantry for up to 2 months.