How much rub to apply to spare ribs, Please and Thank You!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by scottfitz1, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. I bought a MasterBuilt Smokehouse electric smoker this week and have been making rubs today. My first smoke will be 2 huge racks of Spareribs, one will be with 'MDM’s FINGER LICKIN’ RIB RUB' and the other rack will be 'Jeff's Naked Rib Rub' both using the mustard starter..  I plan on using the 321 method for my first smoke and using apple wood although I do have cherry and hickory as well.  I do not plan on saucing my ribs, i'm from the old school, if I even have to put steak sauce on a steak then something is wrong.  I love natural flavors and juices. It seems to me as if optimum temp is around 225??

      I have been doing some serious study to some ebooks and these forums and to friends and coworkers in preparation for his momentous event and cannot wait to start in the upcoming days. I am truly nervous about this first venture.

      I am very concerned about using too much apple for flavor as I am using wood chips and spritzing with apple juice as well.  I am mostly concerned about how much rub to apply to them.  It seems like it is about a cup each total, but am terrified of fouling things up by using too much.

      Please and Thank You so much to anyone in advance, I will begin posting pictures as soon as I start figuring out the menus in the forums.  And will also shorten my posts as well!!!
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  2. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I never spritz my ribs and just light olive oil enough rub to coat well,usally just some sauce on the side at most for me. It's usallt around 4 tablespoons approx per rack just right down what you do so you don't forget and you can adjust for your next smoke. I also never foil but many do experiment its part of the fun.
  3. Hey Scott and welcome to the site.

    A cup  of rub each sure sound like allot to me. I would suggest just a nice light even coating, as you don't want to over season them.
  4. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Scott - Welcome

    A rub is what it says - a rub. Apply sufficient to the surface of the ribs and rub it in. I usually start with a couple of tablespoons of rub on each surface and then rub it well in in all over - adding more if required. Then pick up the ribs and let any excess rub fall off - this can be collected and used on the next side.

    A couple of different types of rub and what they look like before I vac pack them for the fridge overnight.

    Trimmed ribs vac packed

    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  5. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The amount of rub will also be dictated by the ingredients. I make my own rubs and they are predominantly spices with fairly little salt and sugar. With bought rubs you need to look at the salt content and if it is high then use less. If salt and/or sugar is the first ingredient then my advice would be to avoid that product completely as it is then more of a seasoning than a rub.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  6. It is a matter of taste. As said above it isn't a breading it is a rub. Keep track of what you do so you can adjust for the next smoke, Remember to post a Qview.

    Happy smoken.

  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I agree with Mike!!

    I use rub heavier on Butts because a butt is a big thick hunk of meat.

    If you use rub too heavy on a slab of ribs, the top side is so close to the bottom side that your percentage of rub to meat is much too high---And will be too spicy. Half of the slab of ribs is bones too, making it even less meat to rub ratio.

  8. superdave

    superdave Smoking Fanatic

    I apply my rubs in multiple layers using different rubs but at the end of it, one can still see the meat through the rub.  I'm a fan of tasting the meat and think that folks can post smoke season their own to varying degrees using sauces.  I always serve my sauces as a side so that the ratio can be determined by the one consuming the meat. 
  9. Also depends on % salt, sugar, pepper, etc is in your rub. Jeff's rub is low on the salt content (best rub I found, but I do modify to my preference) so I go a little heavier with it on my ribs than I would if I used some other rub.
  10. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm not a fan of black crusty bark so I go a little lighter on rubs. Also, I've found a heavier coating can get pasty, leading to a somewhat unpleasant mouth feel. I also cook ribs at 275, so a lighter coat is less likely to scorch.
    Long and short is, as has been mentioned, it's a matter of taste. I like the rub to complement the meat and smoke flavors, not to steal the show. So for me, less is more.

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