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5 Best Store Bought Dry Rub for Ribs & How to Use Them

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If you visit your local grocery store, online retailers, or specialty shops, you’ll find that there are plenty of dry rub options you can buy for your ribs. However, while the wide variety is nice to have, it can also be difficult (sometimes even daunting), to know where to start – especially if you’ve never used dry rubs before. In this blog post, we will discuss what to look for in a good dry rub, my top 5 best store bought dry rubs for ribs, and how best to apply the rubs for the best ribs ever!

What is a dry rub?

A dry rub is a mixture of herbs and spices that is rubbed on meat before cooking. Dry rubs add flavor and help to keep the meat moist.

A dry rub can include a variety of spices and seasonings, including chili powder, cayenne powder, salt, pepper, and many more.

What is the purpose of dry rub?

The main purpose using dry rubs in cooking ribs is to add another layer of flavors. The dry rub will infuse this added flavor by soaking into the meat while you let it sit for the time before cooking.

Another reason people like to use dry rubs is because it creates a sort of crust on the outside of the meat during the cooking process. This crust helps to seal in the moisture during cooking and adds a nice texture to the meat when it is done.

What is the difference between a dry rub and a wet rub?

As the name implies, the difference between a dry rub and a wet rub is, well, one is dry and one is wet!

A dry rub consists of a blend of seasonings that you use to coat the outside of your ribs that help create a crust or outer texture on the meat.

A wet rub is very similar to a dry rub as it can contain a lot of the same ingredients but also incorporates some wet ingredients such as oil, vinegar, beer, and other ingredients that are more typical of brine.

What to look for in the best store bought dry rub for ribs

When it comes to choosing the best dry rub for ribs, here are a few factors to consider:

  • Type of meats
  • How much time you have
  • Spice preference

First, consider what type of meat you’ll be cooking with and let that determine the type of dry rub you use. For example, if you are cooking ribs, you might not want the same rub that you would use on a whole chicken.

The best dry rub for ribs will be heavily seasoned with salt and pepper. Ribs are often cooked over low heat, so the best store-bought dry rub should also contain ingredients that can help keep them moist while cooking.

A good place to start is a mixture of brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. These ingredients will help to add flavor and sweetness to your ribs. Herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and oregano are also great additions to a dry rub for ribs.

Next, you will want to consider how long you have to prepare your meat. You might choose a different dry rub for your ribs if you only have an hour to marinate it compared to if you plan to marinate it overnight.

Also, if you are looking for something spicy, consider a mix that contains cayenne pepper. There are a ton of different rubs that have a great amount of spice to them that will not only add flavor, but heat to your dish.

5 Best Store Bought Dry Rub for Ribs

2 Gringos Chupacabra Original Fine Meat Rub

The 2 Gringos Chupacabra Dry Rub, is an award-winning blend of salt, garlic, brown sugar, and chile peppers that’s perfect for in the kitchen or on the grill. It is versatile enough to be used on any type of meat, but especially delicious on ribs!

The 25 oz bottle is the perfect size to get multiple uses out of.

All of their seasoning blends are deliberately packaged in larger bottles in order to allow ample room for shaking and mixing of the ingredients, ensuring the proper taste profile.

Jack Stack Barbecue Dry Rub Seasoning Variety Pack

You can add a bit of Kansas City flavor to your next barbecue cookout with Jack Stack BBQ Seasonings!

Their All-Purpose rub is perfect for seafood and vegetables, while the Steak Dry Rub is great for briskets and ribs. The pack also comes with the Meat & Poultry Spice, which is just right for chicken, pork, and more.

Made in small batches with the finest ingredients, Jack Stack BBQ Seasonings will give your food that delicious hometown taste.

Kosmos Q Cow Cover BBQ Rub

The Cow Cover BBQ dry rub has won awards for a reason. It tastes incredibly delicious on beef, including beef ribs, brisket, and more!

The dry rub uses a blend of spices that is both savory and smoky. If you love a bit of heat with your ribs, this one’s for you!

We think it’s truly one of the best store bought dry rub for ribs because it adds such a highly reviewed flavor explosion!

Lambert’s Sweet Rub O’ Mine

Lambert’s Sweet Rub O’ Mine is perfect for world-class BBQ! This dry rub was perfected by three-time World Champion BBQ Pitmaster Mark Lambert, and it goes great on more than just pork ribs.

With its perfect balance of flavors, this rub will bring out the best in your backyard cooking or at your next competition.

The Salt Lick Original BBQ and Garlic Dry Rub

If you’ve never heard of Salt Lick, let me tell you that it’s one of the absolute best barbeque restaurants ever!

Since customers have been begging for their secret rub, Salt Lick released their own line of the best dry rubs that works great on ribs, briskets, and more!

And if you’re not convinced, just read through the 1,139 positive reviews of this dry rub on Amazon!

How do you get dry rub to stick to ribs?

The best way to get a dry rub to stick to any kind of meat is to take some paper towels and blot your cut of meat.

This will help remove any unnecessary moisture, which will allow the dry rub to be generously applied to the meat, ultimately to help create that famous crust that dry rubs are known for.

How to apply a dry rub to ribs

  1. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. Blot the ribs with paper towel until dry.
  2. Generously season both sides of your ribs with the dry rub.
  3. Once your ribs are nicely coated with your favorite store bought dry rub, place them in a roasting pan and cook on low heat. A good rule of thumb is that if your meat thermometer reads 175 degrees F, your ribs are done. You can also grill them.
  4. Once they’re finished cooking, remove the dry-rubbed ribs from the oven and let them cool slightly.
  5. Divide the ribs into equal portions, then serve them with your favorite sauce (BBQ sauce is always a good option) or enjoy by themselves.

When should you apply a dry rub?

You should apply a dry rub to your meat the day before you plan on cooking to allow time for your dry rub to stick and season your cut of meat before cooking.

Can you put a rub on meat overnight?

Yes, you can apply the dry rub to meat the day or night before you plan on cooking.

This is the standard amount of time that most grill or pit masters go by when preparing the bbq or other dry rub meats.

Is dry rub better than marinade?

Not necessarily, both a dry rub and a marinade have their distinct uses.

A dry rub is used to season the meat and create a crust on the meat during the cooking process whereas a marinade or brine helps to tenderize your cut of meat.

Our Favorite Places to Buy Ribs:

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If you enjoyed reading our 5 Best Store Bought Dry Rub for Ribs, please drop a comment below! Or if you think we missed a dry rub that should be on this list, let me know!

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