Skip to Content

All Purpose Sweet Smoky & Spicy BBQ Pork Rub

This all purporse sweet, smoky & spicy homemade pork rub will take your favorite pork recipes to the next level… Package it up in a pretty glass jar and you’ve got an awesome mason jar gift idea for your favorite grill master!

a sweet, smoky, and spicy pork rub that will up your grilling game

Pork Rub

I have a confession to make… I’ve become a bit lax about making my own spice mixtures these days. There was a time when I made it my goal to DIY every last one of them, but times have changed… Organic spice blends are more widely available and are fairly affordably priced these days. So sometimes it just makes more sense to buy a pre-made blend, especially if it contains a small amount of a spice I don’t use frequently.

But there are still two that I make religiously — my tried and true homemade taco seasoning and this pork rub I’m sharing today. Both blends are super versatile, and I use each of them pretty much weekly. I even took my blends on vacation last year, and I have every intention on doing the same this year.


grilled pork tenderloin with an easy pork tenderloin rub and BBQ sauce

Dry Rub For Pork

So why do I prefer to make my own dry rub for pork? Honestly, it’s a control issue — for flavor, for heat, and certainly for quality. I was surprised to find that most store bought dry rubs have salt as the first ingredient. But I guess it makes sense… I mean, salt is pretty inexpensive compared to spices. However, I want spicy flavor, not just saltiness. You know?

On the other hand, I was not so surprised to find added ingredients to help keep the rub fresh on the shelf for lengthy periods of time. There’s just no need for these fillers when making your own dry rub at home.

This homemade dry rub for pork will keep for at least six months in an airtight container, but I highly doubt you’ll have it sitting around for that long. The perfect balance of sweet, smoky, and spicy flavors will have you rubbing it on a wide variety of cuts of pork. Try it as a pork rib rub, a pork tenderloin rub, a pork chop rub, I even use it as a pulled pork rub when making a pork roast in my Instant Pot. See, I wasn’t lying when I said it was versatile!

this dry rub for pork is perfect as a pork rib rub, pork chop rub, pork tenderloin rub, or a pulled pork rub

Dry Rub Recipe

But the number one reason to make your own pork rub? Well, I’d say it’s so you can adjust the spicy heat to your personal tastes. Everyone’s heat tolerance differs, so you can absolutely decrease the heat in this recipe if it’s too spicy for you.

My family likes some heat, and I feel like this dry rub recipe as written walks the line between “Oh, that has a bit of a spicy kick to it!” and “OMG, my mouth is on FIRE!!!” just perfectly. However, if you’re sensitive to capsaicin or have young children, start with half the ancho chili powder and cayenne pepper and adjust from there.

PRO TIP: Be sure you’re using smoked paprika and not sweet paprika or hot paprika. There is a world of difference between the three, and a good smoked paprika is what will give your pork that rich cooked in the smoker all day flavor without the time consuming smoking process.

quick and easy pork tenderloin rub on two pork tenderloins

How To Use This Pork Rub Recipe

My rule of thumb for using this pork rub recipe is to use about 2 tablespoons of pork rub per pound of pork. Pat your meat dry with a paper towel, coat it with a little olive oil, and sprinkle the pork rub over the outside. You don’t necessarily have to rub it in, but I do press it down all over to make sure it sticks to the meat.

The new USDA guideline for cooking cuts of pork (not ground) is to cook them to an internal temperature of 145 degrees, followed by a 3-minute rest period. Don’t freak out if your tenderloin, chop, etc. is still a little pink inside, this is totally OKAY. I recommend investing in a digital meat thermometer — it will up your grilling game for all meats tremendously!


pork rub recipe in a mason jar with a wooden measuring spoon

Sweet Smoky & Spicy BBQ Pork Rub

Yield: 1.5 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This sweet, smoky & spicy homemade pork rub will take your favorite pork recipes to the next level... Package it up in a pretty glass jar and you've got an awesome mason jar gift idea for your favorite grill master!



  1. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Transfer to a clean container with a tight-fitting lid for storage. Store in a cool, dry place for up to six months.
  3. Use this pork rub recipe in your favorite pork recipes. I recommend using about 2 tablespoons of pork rub per pound of pork. We love this grilled pork tenderloin and these crockpot ribs that are finished on the grill!


  • For a less spicy dry rub for pork, reduce the ancho chili powder and cayenne pepper.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 32Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 7mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 0g

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

Have you tried this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag it @unsophisticook and hashtag it #unsophisticook!

this dry rub recipe for pork features a lovely sweet, smoky, and spicy flavor profile

Pork Rub Mason Jar Gift

Homemade spice blends make awesome mason jar gifts, and this pork rub is no exception. How perfect would this dry rub be as Father’s Day gift from the kids?! And you truly don’t even need a fancy label for it. I honestly prefer the old school look of an embossing label maker or even just a handwritten freezer tape label. Any Dad that enjoys grilling out is sure to adore it!

Did you make this pork rub or use it in an amazing pork recipe? I’d love to check it out… Tag me @Unsophisticook on Instagram or use the hashtag #Unsophisticook. Enjoy!

Skip to Recipe