Cuban Dry Rub for Boston Butt or Roast Recipe

In the mood for some succulent pork roast with a spicy twist? Look no further than my Cuban Dry Rub for Boston Butt or Roast Recipe! This recipe is an authentic Cuban-style dish that will leave you feeling satisfied, with its perfect blend of flavors and textures. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or entertaining a group of friends, this recipe is sure to impress.

With just a few simple ingredients and some easy-to-follow steps, anyone can pull off this delicious and flavorful dish. The dry rub of red pepper flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, adobo seasoning, black pepper, cumin, dried oregano, salt, and pepper perfectly complements the rich taste of the pork roast. Additionally, the orange juice and lime juice add a citrus note that cuts through the spice and enhances the depth of flavor in the marinade.

Not only is this recipe easy to make and crowd-pleasing, but it’s also economical since it does not require any expensive equipment or ingredients. You can make it in your slow cooker or oven – whichever method you prefer! And if you have leftovers, they will still taste delicious even when reheated.

So why not try this Cuban Dry Rub for Boston Butt or Roast Recipe today? It’s my go-to recipe when I want something filling and satisfying to eat without breaking the bank or spending too much time in the kitchen. With its amazing flavors and ease of preparation, you’ll definitely be hooked after just one bite!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Cuban Dry Rub for Boston Butt or Roast
Cuban Dry Rub for Boston Butt or Roast

Are you looking for a recipe that will have your taste buds dancing with absolute joy? Look no further than this Cuban dry rub for Boston butt or roast! This recipe is filled with flavorful ingredients that perfectly compliment pork shoulder, creating an explosion of savory goodness with every bite.

What makes this recipe so special? For starters, it’s based on the authentic Cuban lechon asado, meaning you can enjoy a taste of Cuba right in the comfort of your home. The dry rub consists of a blend of bold spices like cumin and black pepper, mixed with onion and garlic powder for an added depth of flavor. These spices and seasonings work together to give your pork a complex, zesty flavor that is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palates.

Not only is this recipe incredibly delicious, but it’s also versatile. It works great whether you’re cooking a boston butt roast in the oven or slow cooker, or simply preparing pulled pork for your favorite taco or sandwich recipes. Plus, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even use this rub on other types of meat like chicken, turkey or beef.

This Cuban dry rub is perfect for any occasion – from weeknight dinners to summer barbecues or family gatherings. With just a few simple ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, this recipe will become an instant classic that you’ll return to time and time again. So why not try it out? Your taste buds will thank you!

Ingredient List

 Get ready to have your taste buds transported to a Caribbean paradise with this Cuban dry rub recipe!
Get ready to have your taste buds transported to a Caribbean paradise with this Cuban dry rub recipe!

Let’s Gather the Spices and Rub

I’m excited to introduce you to my flavorful Cuban Dry Rub recipe for Boston Butt or Roast, which will take your taste buds on a journey to Cuba! Before we dive into the instructions, let’s gather all of our ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup of garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons of onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons of dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of adobo seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes (optional for a spicier rub)
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Aside from these essential spices, you’ll also need:

  • 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Juice of one lime (lime juice)
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil

Tip: Make sure all spices are fresh and haven’t been sitting in your pantry for too long. The flavor profile will be much better if the spices are not expired.

The Recipe How-To

 This Boston Butt is about to get a flavor makeover with this delicious rub.
This Boston Butt is about to get a flavor makeover with this delicious rub.

Step 1: Prepare the Dry Rub
– In a small bowl, I combine 2 tablespoons of garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of onion powder, 2 tablespoons of dried oregano, 1 tablespoon of ground cumin, 1 tablespoon of adobo seasoning, 1 tablespoon of black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes.

Tip: You may also mix these ingredients using a food processor to obtain a more consistent texture.

Step 2: Marinate the Pork
– Season your 4-6 pounds of cuban-style pork shoulder or boston butt with salt and pepper. Then, generously, apply the dry rub evenly onto all sides of the meat.

Tip: For better results, I suggest letting it marinate for at least one hour or overnight in a sealed plastic bag or covered container in the refrigerator.

Step 3: Preheat the Oven and Slow Cooker
– Whilst waiting for the pork marinade to settle, preheat your oven at 350°F (175°C).
– If using a slow cooker instead, set it on low heat.

Step 4: Bake or Slow Cook the Pork
– Place the pork shoulder in a roasting pan or slow cooker depending on your preference.
– Pour 2 cups of orange juice and lime juice evenly over the pork then add some garlic cloves and **bay leaves.
– Roast in the oven for up to four hours. Until thermometers read an internal temp of at least 145°F (63°C) when measuring its thickest parts. Or if you are using a slow cooker, cook on low for six to eight hours until tender enough.

Tip: To achieve that signature Cuban crispy skin without drying out the meat, roast it initially at high temperature before lowering it down to finish cooking. You could remove the skin before seasoning if preferred.

Step 5: Let It Rest then Serve
– After removing from heat source, allow your marinated pork recipe to cool down for about five minutes. This allows all the juices to redistribute inside the meat.
– Cut it into small pieces or shred it using forks to serve as pulled pork recipe.

Congratulations! You have just made yourself some authentic Cuban Roast Pork!

Substitutions and Variations

 This beautiful Boston Butt is ready to be transformed into a culinary masterpiece!
This beautiful Boston Butt is ready to be transformed into a culinary masterpiece!

As with many recipes, there are different ways to make this Cuban dry rub to suit your taste or dietary needs. Here are some substitutions and variations you can consider:

– Spice level: If you prefer a milder rub, reduce the amount of red pepper flakes or omit them entirely. On the other hand, if you enjoy a spicier kick, increase the amount of red pepper flakes or add cayenne pepper or hot sauce.

– Adobo seasoning: While adobo seasoning is a common ingredient in Cuban cooking, it may not be available or suitable for everyone. If you can’t find adobo seasoning, you can substitute it with another Latin or Caribbean seasoning blend, such as Sazon, Goya or Jerk seasoning.

– Orange juice: The orange juice adds a tangy sweetness to the pork and helps tenderize it. If you don’t have orange juice, you can use lime juice or grapefruit juice instead. Alternatively, you can use pineapple juice for a tropical twist.

– Garlic: Garlic is a key flavor in this recipe, but if you’re not a fan of garlic, you can reduce the amount or leave it out entirely. You can also use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic cloves.

– Bay leaves: Bay leaves add an aromatic flavor to the rub and complement the pork well. However, if you don’t have bay leaves or don’t like them, you can leave them out without compromising on taste.

– Meat cut: While this recipe calls for Boston butt or pork shoulder roast, you can also use other cuts of pork such as boneless pork shoulder or fresh ham. Adjust the cooking time and temperature accordingly based on the size and type of cut.

– Cooking method: While this recipe provides instructions for making the Cuban-style roast in an oven or slow cooker, you can also cook it on a grill. Just ensure that the internal temperature of the meat reaches 145°F for safety reasons.

By experimenting with these substitutions and variations, you can personalize this Cuban dry rub recipe to your liking and create your own version of authentic Cuban-style pork roast.

Serving and Pairing

 This Cuban dry rub recipe is the perfect combination of sweet, smoky and savory flavors.
This Cuban dry rub recipe is the perfect combination of sweet, smoky and savory flavors.

Cuban dry rub pork is a flavorful dish that will have your taste buds singing. When it comes to serving, you have quite a few options. You can slice the pork and place it on a platter, or you can pull the meat and serve it piled high on a plate or roll.

This dish is often served with classic Cuban side dishes such as black beans and rice, yucca, avocado salad, or plantains. A mojo marinade is also often served along with the pork, adding another layer of zing to the already delicious dish.

If you’re looking for something lighter to balance out the richness of the pork, consider serving it with a simple green salad dressed in a citrus vinaigrette or roasted vegetables like eggplant and zucchini.

When it comes to pairing this dish with beverages, it pairs excellently with fruity red wine. The spicy and savory notes in the dry rub complement full-bodied wines like merlot or cabernet sauvignon. You can also pair this meal with a crisp beer like an IPA, which helps cut through the richness of the meat.

Whether you’re hosting a get-together or just enjoying a casual dinner at home, this Cuban-style roast pork will delight your guests and leave them asking for seconds.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Watch out! This Cuban dry rub is so good, it might just become your go-to seasoning.
Watch out! This Cuban dry rub is so good, it might just become your go-to seasoning.

After making this flavorful Cuban dry rub for your Boston butt or roast recipe, you might end up with leftovers that you want to store properly or reheat for later. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that you can fully enjoy the seasoned pork again and again:


If you plan on cooking the pork roast the next day, you can prepare the dry rub ahead of time and store it in an airtight container, so you only have to season the meat quickly before placing it in the oven or slow cooker. Remember to refrigerate the dry rub if made more than a day or two ahead.


To store leftover roasted pork, let it cool down first; then transfer it into an airtight container or plastic wrap. Keep it refrigerated for 3-4 days before reheating them. If you need a longer freezer life, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and store for up to 2 months.


If you want to reheat your Cuban-style roast pork without drying them out, be careful not to overcook them. If using a microwave, heatcovered with a paper towel sprinkled with water on top.

If using an oven, preheat your oven at 300°F, cover your pork roast loosely with foil and heat with some broth or juice for about 20-25 minutes or until heated through. You can also reheat the roasted pork on the stovetop by adding some broth and gently simmering it over low heat until heated through.

It’s important to remember not to reheat more times than needed as this makes meat tough and dries them out. When done right, your stored though leftover meats will still taste fresh and flavorful after reheating!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Nothing beats the smell of a perfectly seasoned roast, especially with this Cuban dry rub.
Nothing beats the smell of a perfectly seasoned roast, especially with this Cuban dry rub.

As an assistant for a BBQ chef, I have had plenty of experience working with dry rubs for pork roasts. Here are some tips that will help you achieve perfect results with the Cuban Dry Rub for Boston Butt or Roast recipe.

1. Marinate the meat overnight

For best results, marinate the meat in the dry rub mixture for at least 12 hours before cooking. This will allow the flavors to penetrate deep into the meat and make it more tender.

2. Use a food processor

To save time and ensure an even mixture, I recommend using a food processor when preparing the dry rub. Simply combine all of the ingredients and pulse until they are well mixed.

3. Choose the right cut of meat

While this recipe can be used with various cuts of pork, I personally recommend choosing a Boston Butt or Pork Shoulder. These cuts are typically more tender and work well with the flavors in the dry rub.

4. Keep a close eye on the temperature

When cooking pork, it’s important to keep a close eye on the temperature to avoid overcooking or undercooking. Use a meat thermometer to monitor it closely.

5. Let the meat rest before serving

Once you’ve cooked your delicious Cuban-style roast pork, let it rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing or shredding it. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and make it more tender.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a succulent Cuban-style roast pork that is sure to impress everyone at your next BBQ!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Cuban Dry Rub for Boston Butt or Roast Recipe is a fantastic addition to any BBQ chef’s repertoire. With a tasty blend of red pepper flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, adobo seasoning, black pepper, cumin, dried oregano, and more, your pork roast will be bursting with flavor. Whether you’re looking to create an authentic Cuban-style pork recipe, or simply spice up your slow-cooked pulled pork, this dry rub will not disappoint.

By following the detailed instructions and tips outlined in this article, you’re sure to achieve perfect results every time. And with plenty of options for substitutions and variations, you can customize the recipe to your liking.

So fire up that grill or slow cooker and get ready to savor the delicious aroma of roasted pork spiced with a Cuban-style dry rub. Your guests (and taste buds) will thank you for it!

Cuban Dry Rub for Boston Butt or Roast

Cuban Dry Rub for Boston Butt or Roast Recipe

Ok I was trying find a way to cook a boston butt that DIDN’T involve barbecue sauce. It’s too typical and I don’t even like the stuff. So I found this and tweaked it a bit to suit me. Stay literal and use as a "dry" rub or you can use several bases. I prefer yellow mustard because it adds a little extra punch of flavor, but olive oil is good too, or yes even barbecue sauce (if you’re into that kind of thing…haha). This is great for any kind of roast as well or if you really want to go cuban, season a flank steak and throw some chimichurri on it. Yum. 😉 This is good for about 8-10 lbs.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cuban
Servings 1 9lb boston butt
Calories 22.5 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons adobo seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes


  • Rinse, dry, and remove as much fat as is reasonable from boston butt, roast, or whatever meat of choice.
  • *optional* Cover meat with your base of choice. If using olive oil you’ll need about 3 tablespoons and if using mustard or barbecue sauce you’ll need around a half a cup.
  • Generously coat meat with rub. Don’t be stingy! In this case more is more :).
  • Using your hands, mix the rub and base together and make sure you get all that flavor into every crevice.
  • Cook using your favorite method. An oven preheated to 325º for several hours (depends on lbs) or a crock pot on low overnight are my favorites.



Serving: 7gCalories: 22.5kcalCarbohydrates: 4.5gProtein: 0.9gFat: 0.5gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 4.8mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 0.3g
Keyword Caribbean, Cuban, Easy, Meat
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Shara @The Bird BBQ

Shara loves to experiment with different flavors and techniques when it comes to BBQ. She has been perfecting her craft for years and loves hosting backyard BBQs with friends & family. She often comes up with creative recipes that her guests rave about.