A Basic Recipe for Seasoning Baby Back Ribs

When you are new to smoking barbecue, it is wise to start with the basics and work your way up the learning curve. One great way to do this is to memorize some fundamental “ground” recipes for certain cuts of meat you intend to work with. A good choice for beginners are baby back ribs since they are an easy cut if meat to season and prepare well.

Continue reading to learn a rudimentary recipe for seasoning pork ribs.

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Whether you are cooking with a conventional smoker or Weber-style kettle grill, baby back ribs will turn out juicy and delicious if you use the right combinations of seasonings and technique. They are a real crowd pleaser, so mastering this recipe and then building on top of it will lay the foundation for you to become a meat smoking expert. There are infinite ways to season and dress pork ribs, so get familiar with this basic recipe, and then make it your own by changing it overtime!

Starter Baby Back Rib Rub:

Firmly-Packed Brown Sugar 1/4 Cup
Sweet Paprika 1/4 Cup
Black Pepper 3 Tablespoons
Coarse Salt 3 Tablespoons
Hickory-Smoked Salt 1 Tablespoon
Celery Seeds 2 Teaspoons
Garlic Powder 2 Teaspoons
Onion Powder 2 Teaspoons
Cayenne Pepper 1 Teaspoon


✏ This recipe calls for 2 to 3 teaspoons of seasoning per pound of meat, and makes around 1 cup.

✏ If you do not have hickory-smoked salt, you may use more coarse salt instead. If you are looking for hickory-smoked salt, you will find it with all the other seasonings in the grocery store.

✏ You can substitute hot paprika in place of sweet paprika if you want a spicier finish.

✏ Be sure to follow instructions for your smoker or grill to properly slow cook your baby back ribs.

✏ This seasoning recipe is also a great starter for pork shoulders, chicken, and other types of pork ribs.


Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl; no need to use a sifter or blender. In fact, your hands are the best tool you can use for this part. Just be sure to break up all the lumps really well. To store this seasoning rub, place it in an air-tight container and keep it in a cool, dry place. It will be good to go for up to 6 months.

Looking for Premium Baby Back Ribs in Carmel?

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ

Rackz BBQ offers a wide selection of delicious smoked meats and southern comfort foods that are sure to please the entire family. If you don’t have time to sit down at our Carmel BBQ restaurant, place a takeout order for a hot and fresh meal on the go! Contact us at 317-688-7290 to place a call ahead order, or to learn more about our menu selections, prices, and specials.