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Mustard Rib Rub

While I typically reach for sweet and spicy rib rub recipes to season mouthwatering ribs, whip up this delicious mustard rib rub for fall-off-the-bone beef or pork ribs infused with flavor. Once you’ve made ribs in the oven, grill, or Instant Pot – try one of these side dishes to help you decide what to serve with ribs

The finished product of mustard rib rub on ribs.

What Does Rubbing Mustard on Ribs do?

Incorporating mustard into your rib rub allows the vinegar in mustard to tenderize the meat, gently breaking down the fibers without overpowering the overall flavor of the rub. It also acts as a binder for the flavorful dry spices.

Ingredients You’ll Need

The spices for the mustard rib rub on a plate.
  • Mustard: Yellow mustard adds subtle flavor and helps the rub stick to the ribs. Use Djion mustard if you prefer a more tangy aftertaste.
  • Spices: Elevate the mustard rib rub with warm ancho chili powder, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and coarsely ground black pepper.
  • Brown Sugar: Brown sugar enhances the flavor and encourages caramelization on the ribs as they cook. It also helps to cut the bitterness of some of the other spices. You can also replace brown sugar with honey.

How to Apply Mustard Rib Rub

Begin by coating the ribs with a thin layer of yellow mustard on both sides. Then, generously sprinkle the spices and brown sugar mixture onto the mustard-coated ribs. Spread the seasoning evenly, and let the ribs rest with the rub for a few hours in the fridge for the best results.

How to Make Mustard Rib Rub

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Add the spices and brown sugar to a small bowl and stir to combine. Set it aside.

Spice rub mixture in a small bowl.

Step 2: Prepare the ribs by removing the membrane. Then, coat them with a thin layer of yellow mustard on both sides.

Coating the ribs in mustard.

Step 3: Sprinkle the reserved spice mixture over the ribs, spreading the rub evenly on both sides.

Cover the ribs with plastic wrap and let them rest in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or overnight.

Coat the ribs with the spice mixture.

Expert Tips

  • Start with fresh spices – this makes all the difference since spices lose their flavor over time, especially ground spices.
  • Leave the mustard rib rub on the ribs for 1-2 hours or overnight. 

If you enjoy this rub, try one of these BBQ recipes!

Serving Suggestions

Here are some ways to put our deliciously flavorful mustard rib rub to good use:

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Storage: Transfer leftover dry rib rub to an airtight container. It will keep in your pantry or cabinet for up to 6 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

When to put mustard on ribs?

Apply a thin layer of yellow mustard to the ribs before adding the dry rub, as it helps the spices stick to the ribs for maximum flavor. 

However, there is a select group of BBQ pit masters, including Melissa Cookston, who swear by coating the ribs in dry rub before adding mustard (or binder of choice) before finishing the ribs with turbinado sugar, brown sugar, or honey for tasty caramelization.

What kind of mustard for rib rub?

Yellow mustard is my go-to for rib rub with mustard, but Dijon mustard add tangy flavor, so it comes down to preference.

What are some alternative to mustard?

Consider using Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, soy sauce, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, or mayonnaise as an alternative to mustard in a rib rub.

More Spice Blend Recipes:

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The finished product of mustard rib rub on ribs.

Mustard Rib Rub

Tressa Jamil
Whip up delicious mustard rib rub for the best fall-off-the-bone beef or pork ribs infused with tangy flavor.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Sauce, Spice Blends
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Tablespoons
Calories 25 kcal
Equipment
  • Small Bowl
Ingredients
  
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • 1 rack ribs, membrane removed
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar or golden monk fruit
  • 3 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • teaspoons black pepper, coarse ground
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
Instructions
 
  • Add the spices and brown sugar to a small bowl and stir them to combine. Set it aside.
  • Prepare the ribs by removing the membrane. Then, coat them with a thin layer of yellow mustard on both sides.
  • Sprinkle the reserved spice mixture over the ribs, spreading the rub evenly on both sides.
  • Cover the ribs with plastic wrap and let them rest in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or overnight.
Notes
Expert Tips:
  • Start with fresh spices – this makes all the difference since spices lose their flavor over time, especially ground spices.
  • Leave the mustard rib rub on the ribs for 1-2 hours or overnight. 
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Tablespoon | Calories: 25 kcal | Carbohydrates: 6 g | Sodium: 687 mg | Potassium: 30 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 4 g | Vitamin A: 1 IU | Calcium: 1 mg | Iron: 2 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
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