Copycat Famous Dave’s Rib Rub

I was hankerin’ for some tender, almost-fall-off-the-bone smoked ribs, and lo and behold, spareribs were on sale at our grocery store. So I grabbed a few racks, trimmed them up St. Louis-style and started contemplating how I was going to cook them. Normally, it means an overnight rub down with some Memphis rib rub, then onto my Weber Smokey Mountain smoker using the 3-2-1 cooking method. This time, I decided to try a copycat of Famous Dave’s rib rub (the one they use in the restaurants for making their totally outstanding ribs) and cook the ribs low-and-slow for 6 hours.
Copycat Famous Dave's Rib RubThis copycat Famous Dave’s rib rub is outstanding. It has a little heat, a little sweet, and a little saltiness. And celery seeds, which I think are just about required in any rub. And just a hint of cloves, which I don’t think I’ve seen in a rub before. It’s amazingly complex, and oh so good.

Although I sauced my ribs, I easily could’ve eaten them ‘dry’, without sauce. I cannot wait to use this same rub on a pork butt in the very near future. With just one cook it has become my go-to rub.

Copycat Famous Dave's Rib Rub

Course Spice Mixture
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 6 cups
Author Mike


  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup lemon pepper
  • 1/4 cup onion salt or powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed or ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Original


  • Note: The version of this rub stated above uses less salt than the version you'll find on the internet. Add more (or use less) salt as you desire.
  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
  • To use, spread liberally on ribs (or pork shoulder or butt), wrap in foil, and let refrigerate 12 hours before smoking or grilling.

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