Some of the best dry rubs for ribs are the Kansas City rib rub, Carolina barbecue rub and Memphis rub. The Food Network also offers a great rib rub that uses equal amounts of cumin, paprika, garlic, onion, chili powder and brown sugar seasoned with salt and pepper.
The Kansas City rub is a traditional rib rub derived from the city's food scene. Combine 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of paprika in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon each of salt, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper. Season with 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and blend everything together. Rub evenly over the ribs, and cook them on a low temperature. Top with barbecue sauce, and enjoy.
The Carolina barbecue rub works on ribs and pulled pork as well. Mix 2 tablespoons of sugar, brown sugar, ground cumin, chili powder and salt in a bowl with 1/4 a cup of paprika. Add 2 tablespoons of black pepper and 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper.
The Memphis rub gives ribs enough of a kick that barbecue sauce is optional. Combine 1/2 cup of paprika, 1/4 cup of garlic powder, 1/4 cup of mild chili powder and 3 tablespoons of salt in a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of black pepper, 2 tablespoons of onion powder, 2 tablespoons of celery seeds, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of cumin. Finish by mixing in the rest of the herbs: 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, 2 teaspoons ground coriander and 2 teaspoons ground allspice.