, pub-3283090343984743, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Magic Dust Rub
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Magic Dust Rub

If you’re planning a cookout and need a delicious seasoning recipe for your ribs or pork roasts, then you must try this Magic Dust Rub!

Ultimate Magic Dust Rub

This delicious dust rub strikes a perfect balance between earthy and sweet flavors. It’s the perfect BBQ seasoning for pork ribs, smoked pork shoulder, beef brisket, and chicken.

Who invented magic dust rub?

Magic Dust Rub was invented by the late Mike Mills, Pitmaster and owner of 17th Street Barbecue in Illinois. Mill’s seasoning mixture remains popular today and contains sugar and earthy spices like cumin and chili powder.

Meeting Mike Mills

I had encountered Mike Mills on a few occasions. He was a legend in barbecue. His 17th Street Barbecue in Murphysboro, IL, is on most people’s crawl list. The Murphysboro “Praise the Lard” BBQ Competition attracts the best of the best.

At the Jack (the Jack Daniel’s Invitation World Championship BBQ Competition), our meeting was more than a quick ‘hello’ in a crowded room. Jack Daniels had invited me to be a guest judge, and Mike was a perennial feature of that competition.

Mill’s Signature Style

One of the many traditions of the Jack is the apron signing. Every judge gets a black apron and a silver sharpie. While waiting for the first barbecue to be turned in, people talk and sign each other’s aprons, like yearbook day on the last day of the school year.

At this event, Mike walked straight up to me and asked for my autograph on his apron. The first one for that year. We swapped aprons and talked for a few minutes as people queued up for Mike’s signature. In turn, they got mine, and I got theirs. He asked me about what I do, we talked barbecue, and eventually, we sat down to start the job of judging barbecue.

Mike Mills passed away in December of 2020. His passing left a hole in the legacy of barbecue that will never be filled.

Magic Dust Rub Ingredients

Spices for BBQ Rub
  1. Paprika: Look for a sweet or regular paprika. If you’d like its smokier combine equal parts regular paprika with smoked paprika.
  2. Cumin: The powdered variety. You can also grind 6 tablespoons toasted cumin seeds for fresher flavor
  3. Chili powder: Use a mild American-style chili powder for this rub.
  4. Dark brown sugar works best for this rub, but you can sub with white sugar if needed.
  5. Salt: Regular salt or you can use coarse salt like kosher or sea salt. Don’t use any salt with a very large crystal.
  6. Black Pepper: A fine or medium ground is sufficient.
  7. Granulated Garlic: Substitute with garlic powder but cut the amount by half.
  8. Cayenne: This spicy powder provides the heat necessary that makes all the magic in this magic dust rub. You can halve the amount if preferred.
  9. If you are a visual learner, please watch my video below!

Using It

Combine all of the dust rub ingredients in a bowl. Sprinkle it on by hand, or fill a large metal spice shaker with the seasoning and apply it as pictured below. Remember to get both sides! Grill as directed.

applying rub

This versatile dust rub can be used on all cuts of meat, and vegetables. It’s amazing on corn on the cob and potato wedges! Or, turn it into a marinade with a little oil and vinegar.


Make a big batch of this Magic Dust Rub and store it in an air-tight container in the cupboard for up to 1 year, less if residing in humid climates. Check on it periodically to make sure that the sugar hasn’t clumped up. Give it a good stir, reseal, and store until ready to use.

Like this Magic Dust Rub? Try these!


Magic Dust Rub

If you're planning a cookout and need a delicious seasoning recipe for your ribs or pork roasts, then you must try this Magic Dust Rub!
Course Rubs
Cuisine American BBQ
Keyword bbq rub, magic dust rub
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 Cups
Calories 429kcal


  • 1/2 cup paprika (not smoked)
  • 1/4 cup sugar I use Turbinado Sugar
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup cumin powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated garlic or 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne (use less if preferred)


  • Combine rub ingredients in a medium bowl making sure to work out any clumps from the brown sugar. Use immediately.
  • Store any unused rub in an air tight container in the cupboard for up to 6 months after preparation. Give it a good shake before using to remix the ingredients.
  • Discard any remaining rub that has come into contact raw meat.
  • Double or triple the recipe and save for future uses!


Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 83g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 1200mg | Potassium: 1721mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 12424IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 442mg | Iron: 28mg

Apply your spice rubs like a professional with a spice shaker (aka Dredge). This one from Winware has a heavy build, is machine washable, and holds plenty of spice rub. Plus it costs about $7. Just make sure you don’t use this to store your rubs. It isn’t airtight.

The post Magic Dust Rub appeared first on BBQ & Grilling with Derrick Riches.

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