Memphis Dust – Ingredients & Use

Organic Pork Rub - AKA Memphis Dust

When you find something great that works (and that everyone raves about) you stick with it.

We love slow smoking and grilling pork to make pulled pork tacos, and Memphis Dust has become legendary at our Sunday night family dinners. We hope you enjoy it.


  • dark brown sugar
  • sugar
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • black pepper
  • ginger powder
  • onion powder
  • rosemary powder

All ingredients are organic and gluten free.

How to use (at least how we use it):

Works great on any cut of pork.

If you end up liking it – try it on other dishes that go well with smoky sweet combinations.

It’s been known to be used on smoked salmon, stuffed vegetables, on the rim of Bloody Mary’s, and even popcorn.


The use is super simple.

  1. A couple hours before cooking (give it at least two hours) pat the thawed out roast or slabs of ribs dry, and cover with a fair amount of salt (kosher – 1/2 a teaspoon per pound of meat, table salt – 1/4 of a teaspoon per pound of meat). Cover and let it sit in the fridge.
  2. If you have time – about 20-30 minutes before cooking, mix the rub with olive oil or water, 1 tablespoon of rub and 1 tablespoon of oil or water per pound of meat and this will make a rather thick paste. (You can start with 1/2 tablespoon of rub and 1/2 tablespoon of water or oil per pound of meat, and see if makes enough to cover your roast, ribs, chops or other cuts of pork.)  Let this mixture stand to make the infused wet rub. (If you are cooking in the oven, you can substitute oil or water with a smoky alcohol of your choice, bourbon, single malt, etc. but go light, it may make the meat a bit mushy).
  3. After the paste has infused for 20-30 minutes then pat the meat dry with paper towels, pour the paste on and rub it in. You can cook right away.


  1. If you don’t have time to infuse the paste, you can use it straight away.
  2. Some people prefer dry rubs on their ribs – you can use rub dry, but sprinkle a little bit of water around the roast, to make the rub stick to it because it has bigger particles in it. You can cook right away.


We found that slow cooking ribs and roasts at 225 degrees cooks it evenly throughout, and by searing at the end of cooking it creates a thin crust – this produces a beautiful roast without grey rings of dry meat (We choose not to pre-sear to “seal-in-the-juices”, as doing so tends to produce those grey rings of dry meat). Ribs are cooked for 3-4 hours, and sometimes longer. We use the same rub for pulled pork, but that adventure usually takes over 12 hours (but there is a neat trick to achieve the same results in less time, read the blog post).

We cook on indirect heat. It can be simply accomplished by running one burner on the grill, covering the grill surface with foil with the gaps on the sides for airflow, and placing the roast on the top rack of the grill. (pictures of this can be seen in the blog post)

We maintain the temp of the air in the grill at 225-250, we let the meat come up to our desired temperature. USE A GOOD DIGITAL THERMOMETER with a “quick” probe. With pork – you want to cook it to the internal temperature that you are comfortable with and know is safe, and then sear on the direct hot flames until the outer crust is to your liking. Sugar will melt and caramelize, but watch out – it will burn, so sear it under supervision.