Johnny Trigg Rib Rub Recipe

Discover the legendary Johnny Trigg rib rub recipe! Elevate your BBQ game with this flavor-packed secret. Get ready for a taste sensation.

Johnny Trigg Rib Rub

    Johnny Trigg Rib Rub

  • Cuisine: American
  • Category: Main Course
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 20
  • Calories: 0 calories (depends on ribs)

About this recipe

Johnny Trigg's rib rub is renowned in the world of barbecue for its mouthwatering flavor and its role in helping him win numerous BBQ competitions. This special blend of seasonings and spices is a reflection of his expertise as a pitmaster.

The rub starts with a base of paprika, which provides a rich, smoky flavor and a beautiful reddish hue to the ribs. Brown and white sugar add sweetness, while kosher salt enhances the meat's natural flavors.

Chili powder and black pepper contribute a hint of heat and a touch of spiciness, balanced by garlic and onion powder for depth and complexity. A subtle cayenne kick and a dash of ground cumin round out the mix.

When applied to racks of ribs, this rub forms a flavorful crust that helps seal in the meat's juices and create a succulent, smoky barbecue experience. It's known for its balance of sweet, savory, and spicy elements, making it a crowd-pleaser at any BBQ gathering.

Johnny Trigg's rib rub has become a staple for those looking to achieve that signature championship BBQ flavor, and it's a testament to the art of grilling perfected by one of the most respected pitmasters in the business.

Origin of Johnny Trigg Rib Rub recipe

The Johnny Trigg rib rub recipe is associated with Johnny Trigg, a legendary barbecue pitmaster. Johnny Trigg is a well-known figure in the competitive barbecue world. He has won numerous awards and competitions, including the American Royal World Series of Barbecue, which is one of the most prestigious BBQ events.

While the specific origin of his rub recipe may not be documented in great detail, it's a reflection of his many years of experience and experimentation in the world of barbecue.

Over time, Johnny Trigg has honed his rub recipe to perfection, and it has become a signature component of his award-winning BBQ technique.

Johnny Trigg's success and reputation in the BBQ competition circuit have made his rub recipe sought after by BBQ enthusiasts looking to replicate the championship-level flavors he's known for.

His background and achievements in competitive BBQ have solidified his place as an authority in the world of barbecue, and his rub recipe is a testament to his expertise.

Why make this recipe?

Making Johnny Trigg's rib rub recipe is a fantastic choice because it brings award-winning barbecue flavors to your own grill. Here's why you should try it:

  • Championship Flavor: Johnny Trigg's rub is known for its winning taste. It combines sweet, savory, and spicy elements, making your ribs truly special.
  • Proven Success: This rub recipe has helped Johnny Trigg win numerous BBQ competitions, making it a trusted choice for BBQ enthusiasts.
  • Customizable: You can adjust the spice level and sweetness to suit your taste, so it's versatile and accommodating for your preferences.
  • Restaurant-Quality BBQ: With this rub, you can create restaurant-quality BBQ ribs in the comfort of your own backyard.
  • Impress Your Guests: Serve up a barbecue feast that will impress your family and friends, and make you the BBQ hero at gatherings.
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed: The satisfaction of enjoying tender, flavorful ribs that you've seasoned yourself is unparalleled.

So, give it a try and savor the delicious results of Johnny Trigg's rib rub recipe – your taste buds will thank you!

What does Johnny Trigg Rib Rub taste like?

The Johnny Trigg rib rub offers a well-balanced and mouthwatering flavor profile that combines sweet, savory, and slightly spicy elements. Here's what you can expect:

  • Sweetness: The combination of brown sugar and white sugar in the rub imparts a delightful sweetness that caramelizes as the meat cooks. It creates a beautiful crust and adds a pleasing contrast to the savory elements.
  • Savory Depth: Paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin contribute to a savory and slightly smoky flavor that forms the backbone of the rub. It complements the sweetness and enhances the overall taste.
  • Heat: The rub has a subtle heat from the cayenne pepper and black pepper. It's not overly spicy but adds a pleasant kick to the flavor profile.
  • Complexity: The blend of spices in Johnny Trigg's rub creates a well-rounded and complex taste that evolves as you savor it. It's not just sweet or spicy; it's a harmonious fusion of flavors.
The taste of Johnny Trigg's rib rub is designed to be a crowd-pleaser. It's one of the reasons why it's so highly regarded in the world of barbecue. The sweet and savory balance, with a touch of heat, creates a mouthwatering, championship-level flavor that's hard to resist.

What would you need for this recipe?

These are the ingredients needed to make Johnny Trigg Rib Rub:

  • Paprika: Paprika provides a smoky flavor and a rich reddish hue to the rub. It's a staple in BBQ rubs for color and depth of taste.
  • Brown Sugar: Brown sugar adds sweetness and helps create a caramelized crust on the ribs during cooking. It's a key component for that BBQ glaze.
  • White Sugar: White sugar further enhances the sweetness, and it also contributes to the caramelization of the meat, adding complexity to the flavor.
  • Kosher Salt: Kosher salt enhances the natural flavors of the meat while helping to season it evenly. It's coarser than table salt and adheres well.
  • Chili Powder: Chili powder adds a touch of heat and depth to the rub. It's an essential ingredient for achieving that balanced sweet and spicy flavor.
  • Black Pepper: Black pepper provides a subtle kick and complements the other spices, contributing to the overall flavor complexity.
  • Garlic Powder: Garlic powder offers savory notes and depth. It's a convenient way to add garlic flavor without the texture of fresh garlic.
  • Onion Powder: Onion powder contributes to the savory profile of the rub. It's a versatile ingredient in many spice blends.
  • Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne pepper adds a bit of heat without overwhelming the palate. You can adjust the amount to control spiciness.
  • Ground Cumin: Ground cumin adds a hint of earthy warmth and depth, enhancing the overall complexity of the rub's flavor.


  • Mixing Bowl: A mixing bowl is essential for combining the dry ingredients. Substitute: Any clean bowl or container.
  • Whisk: A whisk helps in thoroughly mixing the dry ingredients. Substitute: A fork or a spoon for mixing.
  • Measuring Spoons: Measuring spoons ensure accurate amounts of spices. Substitute: Regular kitchen spoons (but be cautious with measurements).
  • Plastic Wrap: You can use plastic wrap to wrap the seasoned meat for refrigeration. Substitute: Aluminum foil or an airtight container.
  • Grill or Smoker: A grill or smoker is necessary for cooking the ribs. Substitute: You can adapt the recipe for use in an oven by baking the ribs.
  • Wood Chips or Chunks: If you're smoking the ribs, you'll need wood chips or chunks to add smoky flavor. Substitute: If using an oven, liquid smoke can provide some smokiness.
  • Tongs: Tongs are handy for turning the ribs on the grill. Substitute: A spatula or a fork can be used carefully.
  • Basting Brush: If you choose to baste the ribs with sauce, a basting brush is helpful. Substitute: A regular kitchen brush or a spoon for brushing.

How to make Johnny Trigg Rib Rub

Now, unlock the Secrets of Championship BBQ with Johnny Trigg's Rib Rub Recipe – A Flavor Explosion for Your Next Grill Adventure!


  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and whisk them together until well mixed.
  2. Pat your ribs dry with a paper towel and remove the membrane from the back of the rack if it's still attached.
  3. Generously coat the ribs with the rub on both sides. Press the rub into the meat to ensure it adheres well.
  4. Let the ribs sit for at least 30 minutes, but for best results, wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  5. Prepare your grill or smoker for indirect heat at around 225-250°F (107-121°C) and add some wood chips for smoke flavor.
  6. Place the rubbed ribs on the grill, bone side down, and cook them low and slow for 3-4 hours, or until they reach your desired level of tenderness. You can use the 3-2-1 method (3 hours smoking, 2 hours wrapped in foil with a little liquid, and 1 hour back on the grill) for spare ribs.
  7. Baste the ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce during the last 20-30 minutes of cooking, allowing it to caramelize slightly.
  8. Once the ribs are tender and have a nice crust, remove them from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes.
  9. Slice and serve your delicious Johnny Trigg-inspired ribs!
  10. Enjoy your barbecue adventure!

How do you serve Johnny Trigg Rib Rub recipe?

To serve Johnny Trigg rib rub, you'll want to use it as a seasoning for ribs or other meats. Here's how to do it:

  • Prepare the Meat: Start with the meat you want to season. Ribs are the classic choice, but you can also use this rub on pork butt, chicken, or even brisket. Make sure the meat is clean and pat it dry with a paper towel.
  • Apply the Rub: Generously coat the meat with the Johnny Trigg rib rub. You can use your hands to massage it into the meat, ensuring an even distribution. Be sure to cover both sides of the meat.
  • Let It Rest: For the best results, let the seasoned meat rest for at least 30 minutes. For even more flavor, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight to allow the rub to penetrate the meat.
  • Cook the Meat: Depending on the type of meat, you can cook it on a grill, smoker, or in the oven. Follow the appropriate cooking method and temperature guidelines for the meat you're using.
  • Optional Basting: While cooking, you can baste the meat with your favorite barbecue sauce, especially during the last 20-30 minutes of cooking. This will create a flavorful glaze.
  • Rest and Serve: Once the meat is cooked to your desired level of tenderness, remove it from the grill or oven and let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute. Slice or pull the meat as needed and serve.

Enjoy your Johnny Trigg-inspired BBQ masterpiece with your favorite sides and sauces!

Rated: 4.9 of 5.0 from 438 reviews.

Recipe Tags: Johnny Trigg Rib Rub, Johnny Trigg Rib Rub Recipe, Recipe, Easy, Homemade, Top rated

What to serve with?

Johnny Trigg's Rib Rub pairs well with a variety of classic barbecue sides and accompaniments. Here are some ideas for what you can serve with your delicious ribs:

  1. Coleslaw: A refreshing coleslaw with a creamy or vinegar-based dressing complements the richness of the ribs.
  2. Baked Beans: Savory and slightly sweet baked beans are a barbecue staple that goes perfectly with ribs.
  3. Cornbread: Serve cornbread, either in muffin form or as a slice, for a delightful and slightly sweet side.
  4. Potato Salad: Creamy potato salad, loaded with herbs and seasonings, is a great choice for a side dish.
  5. Macaroni and Cheese: Creamy mac and cheese is always a crowd-pleaser and provides a comforting contrast to the smokiness of the ribs.
  6. Grilled Vegetables: Consider grilling vegetables like corn on the cob, bell peppers, or asparagus for a healthier side option.
  7. Pickles and Onions: Serve pickles and sliced onions for a tangy and crunchy element that cuts through the richness of the ribs.
  8. BBQ Sauce: Offer a variety of barbecue sauces, from sweet to spicy, for dipping or drizzling over the ribs and sides.
  9. Green Salad: A simple green salad with fresh, crisp greens and a tangy vinaigrette can provide a light balance to the meal.
  10. Fruit Salad: A fruit salad with fresh, juicy fruits is a refreshing way to finish the meal.
  11. Potato Chips: For a simple and convenient side, potato chips or kettle chips add a satisfying crunch.
  12. Garlic Bread: Serve garlic bread or cheesy garlic toast to soak up those flavorful rib juices.

My recommendations and tips

  1. Quality Ribs: Start with high-quality ribs. Look for meaty, well-marbled racks for the best results.
  2. Membrane Removal: Don't forget to remove the membrane from the back of the ribs before applying the rub. This helps the seasonings penetrate the meat better.
  3. Even Coating: Ensure that you apply the rub evenly on both sides of the meat. Use your hands to press the rub into the meat for good adhesion.
  4. Resting Time: Let the seasoned meat rest for at least 30 minutes. For optimal flavor, refrigerate it overnight, wrapped in plastic wrap.
  5. Low and Slow: When cooking, maintain a low and consistent temperature (around 225-250°F) for a long cooking time. This low-and-slow approach helps tenderize the meat and infuse it with smoky flavors.
  6. Use Wood Chips: If you're smoking the ribs, consider using wood chips or chunks to add a smoky element. Hickory and applewood are popular choices.
  7. Basting: While optional, basting the meat with your favorite barbecue sauce during the last part of the cooking process can create a delicious glaze. Just be careful not to do it too early, as the sugar in the sauce can burn.
  8. Rest Before Serving: After cooking, allow the meat to rest for a few minutes. This helps the juices redistribute, resulting in juicier and more tender ribs.
  9. Adjust Heat: Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper in the rub to control the level of spiciness based on your preference. Feel free to experiment with the spice level.
  10. Experiment: Don't be afraid to experiment with the rub and make it your own. You can adjust the proportions of the ingredients to suit your taste, adding a little more sweetness, heat, or smokiness if you like.
  11. Sides and Sauces: Consider serving your ribs with classic BBQ sides like coleslaw, baked beans, cornbread, and pickles. Offer a variety of barbecue sauces for guests to choose from.

Potential ingredients substitutes

  1. Paprika: If you're out of paprika, you can use smoked paprika or a combination of chili powder and a mild, sweet paprika for a smoky and slightly sweet flavor.
  2. Brown and White Sugar: Brown sugar adds sweetness, while white sugar adds a bit of sweetness and helps with caramelization. You can substitute with honey, maple syrup, or even a sweetener like agave nectar or molasses.
  3. Kosher Salt: You can use regular table salt as a substitute, but use less of it since table salt is finer and more concentrated.
  4. Chili Powder: If you're out of chili powder, you can use a combination of cayenne pepper, cumin, and paprika to achieve a similar flavor.
  5. Black Pepper: If you don't have black pepper, white pepper can be a milder substitute. Be mindful of the heat level, as white pepper can be spicier than black pepper.
  6. Garlic and Onion Powder: If you're out of these powders, you can use fresh minced garlic and onion, although it will provide a slightly different texture. Alternatively, use garlic and onion salt, but adjust the amount of salt in the recipe accordingly.
  7. Cayenne Pepper: Adjust the amount to control the level of spiciness. If you prefer milder ribs, reduce or omit the cayenne pepper.
  8. Ground Cumin: You can substitute with ground coriander for a different but complementary flavor.

Final Remark

In conclusion, Johnny Trigg's rib rub is the key to BBQ perfection. Bring championship flavor to your grill and savor every bite. Happy grilling!

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