Two Little Pigs Bespoke Pork Rub

by Ross Bowen, Tastemaker in Residence

I have been using commercial rubs during most of my competition BBQ career, in Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Louisiana. I decided it was high time we started bottling our own rub.

Steve Bennett helped me put together my new rub. He is the owner of Dipstix spice company in Minneapolis. Steve contributed his gooey ham recipe to The Spirited Table in December. We had a few meetings, surrounded by spices, and created a rub that is our own. In the future Two Little Pigs BBQ team will be using this pork concoction on ribs and butts, as well as any pork we cook at home.

Last weekend we had a taste test between our new rub and a commercial rub made by Slabs that we have used in competition. We cooked six racks of ribs, three with the old rub and three with the new rub. Our guests liked both, but we all agreed that in the future we shall be using Two Little Pigs Bespoke Pork Rub.

We’d like to add a little more heat to the taste, but here is the basic Two Little Pigs Pork rub.  


½ cup sugar
½ cup kosher salt
½ cup paprika
1 TBSP onion powder
I TBSP granulated garlic
1 tsp hickory (optional - you can order this from Amazon)
1 TBSP cumin
2 TBSP ground ancho chiles


  1. Mix all ingredients except mustard, together well.
  2. Rub the ribs down with mustard. (The mustard helps the rub to stick but does not leave behind a noticeable flavor). Shake a heavy layer of rub onto the rack (do not “rub”). Let the ribs sit for 30 minutes, then apply rub again, especially to the spots that you can tell are less sparsely covered.
  3. Cook as directed in the recipe we shared that won the NY State Rib Championship.