A good and simple dry rub recipe for pork ribs is available on About.com and uses paprika, sugar, black pepper, cayenne, dry mustard, salt and white pepper to accentuate the flavors of the meat. This basic blend of herbs and spices can dramatically change the end product.
The About.com basic recipe uses 1/3 cup of paprika, 1/4 cup of sugar, 3 tablespoons of black pepper, 2 teaspoons each of cayenne, dry mustard and salt, and 1 teaspoon of white pepper. Cooks need only mix these ingredients in a bowl and apply them to the meat up to 24 hours before cooking, and the website recommends application at least 12 hours before smoking.
The Food Network website offers a different blend of spices for a dry rub that works well with pork ribs, combining cumin, paprika, garlic, onion, brown sugar, chili powder, and kosher salt with white, black and cayenne pepper for a rich and savory flavor. The recipe comes from the Central BBQ restaurant. Martha Steward offers a similar selection of herbs and spices for the dry rub recipe on her webpage, whisking together chili powder and paprika with coarse salt, garlic powder, black pepper, ground cumin, cayenne pepper and 3 tablespoons of thyme.