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Homemade Pulled Pork Rub

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Homemade Pulled Pork Rub is amazing on any smoked or barbecue pork dish! See the recipe here.

BBQ Pork Rub

Homemade Pulled Pork Rub

Are you tired of the same old store-bought barbecue rubs that lack that special touch? Well, it's time to take your pulled pork to the next level with a homemade dry rub that will have your taste buds singing. This easy and affordable recipe allows you to customize the flavors to your liking. This gives you complete control over your barbecue experience. Not only will you save money by making your own rub, but you'll also have the satisfaction of knowing exactly what goes into it. You even have the option of using all organic spices if you wish!

Simply coat your meat with olive oil or yellow mustard, apply the rub generously, and let it work its magic. The result? A flavorful bark on the outside and tender, juicy meat on the inside. So, get ready to impress your friends and family with your innovative take on homemade pulled pork. It's time to elevate your barbecue game to new heights.

Which seasoning is best for pork?

If you're wondering which seasoning is best for pork, whether that is baby back ribs, pork shoulder, or if you just looking for a good pork chop rub.  Let us guide you through the world of homemade pulled pork rubs. We can help you create a flavor-packed experience that will elevate your barbecue game to new heights. When it comes to pork, nothing beats a dry rub recipe that enhances the natural flavors of the meat. Whether you're cooking a pork shoulder, pork tenderloin, or any other cut of pork, a well-balanced spice rub is the key to achieving tender, juicy, and delicious results.

By creating your own pork rub recipe, you have the power to customize the flavors to your liking, using a combination of sweet, spicy, and savory elements. So, why settle for store-bought when you can create a homemade pork rub that will take your dishes to the next level? Pork is a blank canvas and most spices work really well. So feel free add some of your favorite spices and make it your own dry rub! For me the key keeping everything balanced. Not too sweet. Not to too spicy. Just right!

Homemade Pulled Pork Seasoning Bowl

How do you get a dry rub to stick to pork?

The first thing I do after I unwrap my pork shoulder pat it down with paper towels. To ensure your seasoning clings to the meat like a magnet, give it a gentle massage with a light coating of olive oil or yellow mustard before applying the flavorful bbq rub. This simple trick will create the perfect base for your dry rub for pork, whether you're making homemade pulled pork or seasoning pork chops. By using this technique, you'll enhance the flavors of your dry pork rub, allowing it to stick to the meat and infuse it with deliciousness. The homemade pork rub, with its sweet and spicy elements, will create a flavorful bark on the outside of the meat, while the olive oil or yellow mustard will act as an adhesive, making sure every bite is bursting with taste.

So, get creative with your dry rub for pork and elevate your dishes to a whole new level of scrumptiousness. To be fair there are plenty of people out there that don't use a binder like mustard for their pork seasoning. They just apply their homemade spice blends or store bought rub directly to the meat. I'm not saying that is wrong. I just use mustard when I smoke pork.

Can your dry rub sit on the pork too long?

When seasoning your pork, be mindful of the duration as leaving it on for an extended period could result in overpowering flavors that may not be to your liking. It is important to find the right balance to ensure that the dry rub enhances the flavor of the meat without overpowering it. Here are some tips to keep in mind when using a dry rub for pork:

– Experiment with different cuts of pork: Whether you're using a pork shoulder, ribs, chops, or loin, each cut will absorb the flavors of the seasoning blend differently. Try different cuts to find the perfect match for your taste.

– Use a well-balanced spice mixture: A good pulled pork rub should have a balance of sweet, spicy, and savory flavors. Experiment with different combinations of spices to find the perfect blend that suits your palate.

– Apply the rub evenly: Make sure to coat all areas of the meat with the dry rub to ensure even seasoning and flavor distribution.

– Let it rest: After applying the dry rub, let the pork rest for at least 1-2 hours before cooking. This will allow the flavors to penetrate the meat and enhance the taste.

– Adjust to your taste: Feel free to adjust the amount of dry rub used based on your personal preference. Start with a smaller amount and add more if desired. I put my dry rub on pretty heavy. I feel like it gives me a nice crust and a little extra flavor when I make pulled pork.

By following these tips, you can create a delicious and flavorful pulled pork using your homemade dry rub. Get creative and explore different combinations of spices to elevate your pork dishes to new levels of innovation.

Do you rinse off dry rub?

When using a dry rub for pork, it is not necessary to rinse it off before cooking. In fact, leaving the dry rub on the meat will enhance the flavors and create a delicious crust. The combination of smoked paprika, black pepper, and other spices will infuse the pork loin with a burst of savory and spicy goodness. As the pork cooks, the dry rub will meld with the natural juices of the meat, creating a mouthwatering and flavorful experience. So go ahead, coat your pork loin generously with the dry rub and let it work its magic. Your taste buds will thank you.

Do you oil pork before seasoning?

Enhance the tenderness and juiciness of your pork by lightly oiling it before applying the flavorful homemade rub, resulting in a mouthwatering and succulent dish that will leave your guests begging for seconds. Imagine sinking your teeth into a perfectly seasoned pork roast, pork butt, or any cut of pork, so tender and juicy that it practically melts in your mouth – all thanks to a simple step of oiling the meat before seasoning. 

To achieve this level of perfection, follow these steps:

– Start by patting dry the pork roast with a paper towel.

– Lightly coat the entire surface of the meat with a high-quality olive oil.

– The oil will act as a binder, allowing the dry rub to adhere to the meat.

– Once the meat is evenly coated with oil, generously apply the homemade dry rub, ensuring that all areas are covered.

– Allow the seasoned meat to rest for at least 1-2 hours before cooking, allowing the flavors to penetrate and enhance the pork's natural juiciness.

By oiling your pork before seasoning it with the homemade dry rub, you'll create a delicious bark on the outside while sealing in the moisture and flavors, resulting in a truly unforgettable dining experience.

You would use either oil or yellow mustard… NOT BOTH

How to make dry pork juicy?

Achieve juicy and succulent pork every time by following these simple steps. To make your dry pork juicy, start by using a homemade spice blend, such as the dry rub mentioned earlier, to add flavor and moisture to the meat. Ensure that the pork is well-coated with the rub, paying special attention to the areas that tend to dry out more easily, such as the exterior and any exposed bones. Next, consider using a slow cooker or smoker to cook the pork. These methods allows the meat to cook slowly and evenly, resulting in tender and juicy pork. Additionally, using a coarse salt in the rub can help draw out moisture from the meat, making it more juicy and flavorful.

I always cook my pork shoulder to an internal temperature of 201 degrees. I use a bluetooth temperature probe that connects to my phone.This way I don't have open the lid of the smoker to check the temperature of the pork. Then let it rest in a covered aluminum pan in the oven for an hour before I pull it. This allows the juices in the pork to to reabsorb in the meat.

Dry rub for pork: Homemade pulled pork rub

To ensure your pork is bursting with flavor and succulence, imagine a symphony of spices dancing on your taste buds, harmonizing with every juicy bite. That's exactly what you'll get with a homemade pulled pork rub. This dry rub for pork is the secret ingredient that will take your pork sandwiches to the next level. With its perfect blend of spices, it creates the best flavor, giving your meat a smoky and irresistible taste.

The beauty of this homemade rub is that you have full control over the ingredients, allowing you to create a rub that suits your personal taste preferences. Whether you're using a smoker, roaster, oven, or slow cooker, this rub will form a flavorful bark on the outside of the meat, ensuring that every bite is packed with deliciousness. So why settle for ordinary when you can elevate your pork to extraordinary with this homemade pulled pork rub? I always make a big batch of this and keep it in the spice cabinet for next time! The best way to keep is in an air-tight container. 

What ingredients do I need?

  •  Kosher Salt–  Using kosher salt will help form that nice bark on your pork shoulder. It has a strong salt flavor that will stand up to the other spices. You can use sea salt but the salt intensity may not be the same.
  • Brown sugar–  This gives you the sweetness the pork loves! I use dark brown sugar but any brown sugar will work.
  • Smoked paprika–  If you don't have smoked paprika regular paprika will in a pinch. You just won't have that extra smoky flavor.
  • Chili powder–  Using chili powder is a great way to get a little spice without over powering everyone.
  • Black pepper–  I use the course ground black pepper but feel free to use whatever you have. 

 Just mix the above in a small bowl and you are ready.

Customize it

Depending on what I'm making and who I'm making it for. I will add the combinations of the following:

The cinnamon and cocoa powder just give it a little something extra. They will taste something that they like but can't tell what it is! This is a great recipe to make your own. You could swap out the smoked paprika for sweet paprika for example. You can even use less brown sugar for a more savory flavor. These simple ingredients can deliver a ton of flavor to your favorite recipes. That's what great about this all purpose pork rub.

I always have this seasoning mix in my pantry. It keeps me from running to the grocery store and buying a dry rub. You can taylor it to your personal preferences easily! Also make sure you are using fresh spices. Spices will lose their flavor over time. 

Exact amounts for measurements and full recipe will be at the bottom of this post. This is such a good dry rub that I have even used on it chicken breasts! 

Make It:

This pork rub has all the usual elements… you need some sweet and spicy of course! 

I will usually make a large batch so I'm able to keep this in the pantry, ready to go.  One recipe should cover one pork shoulder or 1-2 racks of ribs.

Homemade Pulled Pork Seasoning Mix 2

Mix the rub well and pour via kitchen funnel into a mason jar. Don't forget to label the top!!I have to say, I am really bad at skipping on the label. I always think I will recognize it by the smell or just where I put it. Nope! I tend to forget. If you get several DIY mixes and line them up together in the kitchen, chances are eventually they will get mixed up. Save yourself the trouble by labeling. I will usually just write on the top of the mason jar with a sharpie, but you can find some  decorative labels here.

Homemade Pulled Pork Seasoning Jar

Smoking the Pork with Homemade Pulled Pork Rub

Indulge in the mouthwatering experience of smoking your pork to perfection with this irresistible homemade rub. Elevate your barbecue game with the flavors of this homemade pulled pork rub. Here are three reasons why smoking the pork with this dry rub is a game-changer:

1. Intense flavor infusion: The combination of sweet and spicy elements in the homemade pulled pork rub creates a tantalizing explosion of flavors that permeates every juicy bite of the meat.

2. A perfect bark: The rub forms a delectable crust, known as the bark, on the outside of the pork. This creates a delightful contrast of textures, with a caramelized and slightly crispy exterior giving way to tender and succulent meat.

3. Long-lasting freshness: Store the homemade pulled pork rub in an airtight container spice jar, such as a mason jar, to keep it fresh for future use. Then put that in a cool dry place. The flavors will remain vibrant, allowing you to enjoy this incredible rub time and time again.

So, fire up your smoker and let the homemade pulled pork rub work its magic. Get ready to impress your guests with an innovative and unforgettable smoked pork experience.

Smoked Pulled Pork

What temperature do I smoke a pork shoulder to?

I'm not a pork expert by any means, but just after making many of these over the years, I know it's best if the internal temp reaches at least 198 degrees. I usually pull the pork off the smoker at 201 degrees. The temp goes up a couple degrees as the meat rests. Be sure to note, while cooking, the meat can “stall” its temp around 165-167 degrees F. At this point we wrap it in foil tightly. 

When you remove the pork from the smoker be careful, since a lot of the fats have broken down at this point and the meat is softer. Use heat-resistant gloves or a good grilling set of tongs so it doesn't fall apart!

Additional Information about Smokers and Smoking Meats:

Unlock the full potential of your smoker and embark on a flavor-filled journey as you explore the art of smoking meats to perfection. When using the homemade pulled pork rub, your smoking experience will reach new heights of deliciousness. This dry rub, packed with a blend of organic spices, will enhance the flavor of your pork, creating a mouthwatering bark on the outside.

To achieve the best results, it is recommended to use either a Komado smoker or an electric smoker. These smokers are known for their flavor-enhancing capabilities and require less active time. Preheat and maintain your smoker at around 240 degrees Fahrenheit for the perfect cooking environment. With these additional tips and information, you'll be able to create the most succulent smoked meats using the pulled pork rub and your favorite smoker.

Other Uses and Additional Information

In addition, this versatile spice blend can be utilized to enhance the flavors of a variety of pork dishes, such as succulent ribs, tender BBQ pork chops, and juicy pork loin. Here are four innovative ways you can use the homemade pulled pork rub:

1. Pulled Pork Tacos: Season your slow-cooked pulled pork with the dry rub and serve it in warm tortillas with your favorite toppings like salsa, avocado, and cilantro for a delicious twist on traditional tacos.

2. Smoky Pulled Pork Sliders: Use the rub to season your pulled pork and pile it high on slider buns. Top it off with tangy BBQ sauce, crispy coleslaw, and a pickle for a flavorful and satisfying bite-sized sandwich.

3. Spicy Pulled Pork Nachos: Sprinkle the rub over your pulled pork and layer it on top of tortilla chips. Add melted cheese, jalapenos, and sour cream for a spicy and indulgent nacho dish.

4. Pulled Pork Pizza: Spread BBQ sauce on a pizza crust and top it with the seasoned pulled pork. Add shredded cheese, red onions, and fresh cilantro for a unique and delicious homemade pizza.

These creative uses of the homemade pulled pork rub will take your pork dishes to the next level and impress your guests with their innovative flavors.

So there you have it, your very own homemade pulled pork rub! By making your own rub, you have the freedom to customize it to your liking and save money in the process. With its sweet and spicy elements, this rub is perfect for pork shoulder, ribs, chops, and loin. Just remember to pat dry your meat, coat it with olive oil or yellow mustard, and apply the rub generously. Now, the only question left is, when will you be firing up the grill and enjoying some mouthwatering pulled pork? What are some of your favorite pork recipes? 

Homemade Pork Rub and Pulled Pork

Homemade Pulled Pork Seasoning Jar Featured

This easy pork rub will have you wanting to make barbecue at home!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of cumin (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp of cocoa powder (optional)
  • -----
  • 1 Pork Shoulder, bone-in preferred
  • 2 TBSP Yellow Mustard


    Mix dry rub according to recipe. Seal and label.


Instructions For Pulled Pork:

    Take the pork shoulder and pat dry in a shallow dish or large cutting board.

    Put the pork shoulder in the dish and coat with about 1-2 Tbsp of yellow mustard. You can alternately use olive oil or Mayonnaise.

    Next, use about 1/4 cup of your rub to gently shake over the pork shoulder on the top and sides. Before you flip over the meat, "rub" the seasoning into the pork.

    Insert Internal Temp Thermometer for Smoker.

    The mustard coating will hold it on, and then you can flip over and coat the other side. Some of it will come off into the 9x13 pan, but you can just pick it up and rub onto any sides that need more rub.

    Smoke at about 240 for 12-14 hours with preferred chips., until internal meat temp is 198-200 degrees F.

    If meat stops climbing in temp for longer than 20-30 minutes, consider wrapping in foil tightly. You can remove the pork shoulder from the smoker breifly to wrap, or just cover well. Close the smoker and let the meat continue cooking.

    After meat reaches desired temp, remove and make sure it's wrapped tightly in foil. Let rest 30 minutes.

    Shred into small bits, that can be stacked on a sandwich. Mix to allow bark to be evenly distributed through pulled pork mixture.

    If desired, add back in meat drippings from inside of the foil, or 1-2 TBSP preferred barbecue sauce.

    Serve immediately or cover and keep warm in a slow cooker, Instant Pot, or Stoneware dish.

    Refrigerate after 2-3 hours/and any leftovers.


This dry rub can be also used for Pork Ribs, BBQ Pork Chops, Pork Loin, and More!

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment if you love this recipe!

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