Marinating brisket question.

Discussion in 'Beef' started by keystonesmoke13, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. Hey yall, i have a question hopefully one of you fine folks can help me out with. Is it true that by marinating a brisket with dry rub a day before smoking will make it taste more on the salty side? Ive always marinated the brisket 12-24 hours with my dry rub and here lately ive noticed a salty taste to it. Ill be smoking a brisket tomorrow, i was going to pat the rub on about 2-3 hours before i throw it on the smoker to see if i notice a difference. Anyways thanks for the feedback. Happy smokin'!!!
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've heard that too about meat being more salty if rubbed the night before.  It is a common practice and recommendation though.  A salty rub will pull liquid out of the meat and can pull it back in too if left long enough. 

    Personally, the only thing I'll treat meat with the night or day(s) before is brine, injection, or liquid marinade.   If not brining, injecting, or liquid marinading, I apply the rub just before the meat goes on the smoker.

    I prefer to brine/inject/liquid marinade poultry, pork butts, shoulders, and loins/tenderloins.  Chuckies I'll inject with creole butter then rub just before going on the smoker.  Briskets can be treated the same way but I like my briskets uninjected and rubbed with SPOG just before going on the smoker.  Any ribs, beef or pork, are treated the same way as the brisket, using different rubs though.

    It's all about personal preference.  Experiment and see what you like best.  If you're trying to duplicate a regional BBQ though you might have to follow the traditional practices.  Since I'm from California, tradition doesn't hold much sway out here. I'm ALWAYS experimenting.      
  3. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey there....I found this post from a Texas native very interesting on preparing a brisket and maybe it will give you some insight on yours. Simple is often better and this sounds legit. It looks like some pictures will follow or perhaps you could PM him for more info.....HTH, Willie
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    In general if your meat is Salty after applying Rub and letting it rest over night...You are using too much Salt in the Rub. Alton Brown and some well known sites recommends 8 part Sugar, 3 parts Salt and 1 part each other stuff. That is NUTS! That is A LOT of Salt even for the Dry Brine guys. I use 8 parts Sugar in rubs, that I'll put it in, but only 1 part Salt, Pepper, Onion and Garlic then 1/3 part or less, strong Herbs and Spices. There are exceptions. If using little to no Sugar, I will bump the Salt to 2 parts but ONLY use Kosher Salt. Table Salt, measured by volume, is so fine it's twice the amount called for in most recipes. Below is an example of my Basic Rub and my Brisket Rub for comparison. I also added a reprint from the Extension, Research Based Learning Network on the activity of Salt in Meat, Pork specifically but the same applies to other meats...JJ

    Mild Bubba Q Rub  (All Purpose)

    1/2C Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado)

    2T Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)

    1T Kosher Salt

    1T Chili Powder (contains some Cumin and Oregano) Ancho Chile is same without cumin, oregano etc.

    1T Granulated Garlic

    1T Granulated Onion

    1tsp Black Pepper, more if you like

    1/2tsp Grnd Allspice

    For more heat add Cayenne or Chipotle Pwd to taste, start with 1/2tsp and go from there. Makes about 1 Cup

    Apply your desired amount of Rub to the meat, wrap in plastic and rest in the refrigerator over night.or longer. The day of the smoke, pull the meat out, add more Rub and go into your pre-heated Smoker...

    Bubba Beef Rub

    Good on anything Beef. Burgers and Steaks too!

    2T Turbinado Sugar

    2T Kosher Salt

    2T Black Peppercorns

    1T Coriander Seed

    1T Dill Seed

    1T Dry Minced Onion

    1T Dry Minced Garlic

    1T Dry Lemon Peel

    1tsp Allspice Berries

    1tsp Dry Thyme Leaves

    3 Bay Leaves, crumbled

    2ea Whole Chipotle Chiles, stems and seeds removed or 1tsp Chipotle Powder

    Add Cayenne if more heat is desired.

    All Spices are Whole and are toasted in a dry pan over Medium heat until fragrant. The Garlic and Onion do not need to be toasted.

    Let the Spices cool then Grind in a cheapo Coffee Grinder until slightly less than Coarse. Mix with the Salt and Sugar. Store in an air tight container. Makes about a Half cup...JJ

    Salt or sodium chloride

    The use of salt in meat to increase shelf-life and enhance flavor is an old practice. It also is used to improve water-holding capacity and results in subsequent improvements in purge loss and cook yields. It is usually the second ingredient on the label statement behind water and it is a conventional non-meat additive. Sodium chloride acts to improve water-holding capacity by lowering the isoelectric point of meat proteins and works without changing the meat pH. The swelling of meat proteins has been attributed to their ability to bind more water. Meat proteins have the ability to swell to twice their size in salt concentrations that are used in meat processing.

    Sodium chloride addition contributes to the swelling of the proteins and similarly, the chloride ion has been shown to bind to the meat protein filaments and increase the electrostatic repulsive force between them. By increasing the repulsive forces, the protein structure matrix then unfolds and swelling occurs. The swelling provides a higher number of protein side chains that can bind water and therefore, water-holding capacity in increased.

    Sodium chloride addition to meat has been associated with its antimicrobial properties. Historically, salt was added to meat to preserve it when refrigeration was not available. For this application, salt levels were very high and traditionally, salt was added either by rubbing the salt on the exterior surface or placing the meat in a high concentrated salt brine for a extended period of time. Salt levels used in enhanced and marinated products may have limited antimicrobial effects; it is the ability of salt to increase waterholding capacity that drives its use in enhanced pork products.

    Sodium chloride addition also enhances meat flavor, has been associated with increasing basic salt taste and it has been shown to increase lipid oxidation. Sodium chloride is often added in combination with SP. The challenge is to balance the amount of sodium chloride addition with the amount of SP that is added to maximize water-holding capacity without getting too high of a salt flavor or altering texture. At too high of levels, pork will be too soft or it will have a more processed meat-like bite.

    Note...SP is Sodium Phosphate
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014
  5. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member LOL......oops. Thanks to JJ for catching my CRS moment...Now, I HTH....Willie
  6. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member LOL......oops. Thanks to JJ for catching my CRS moment...Now, I HTH....Willie
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member


    BTW...Been there done that, welcome to the club...JJ
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
  8. Thanks everyone for the feedback! I got the brisket on now, its stalling at 160° got it wrapped and steady at 250° pit temp. I put a new dry rub on about 2 hours before I put it on the smoker. And used less salt this go round. Being that im from Austin, TX.. now living in Pennsylvania I have really been homesick for some good smoked brisket!!

    I try to stick with keeping it simple. I feel like bbq has definitely become a stress reliever for me lol and if it doesnt turn out just right thats okay, I look forward till the next time :)

    I'll try to post some Q views in a bit.

    Happy smokin'
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    If it is Rub you made, you can manage the salt easily but Commercial Rubs are just loaded with salt. My wife had gotten a Johnny Trigg gift set of rubs and sauces from her old job. I tried it recently. The sauces were just ok and very generic but the rubs got thrown out! Terrible! So much salt as to make them inedible...JJ
  10. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Brisket is my favorite and I've done an awful lot of them over the years. I've gotten over rubs and gone to simple coarse salt, butcher grind black pepper, maybe a bit of onion and garlic powder and cumin. And it goes over a thin layer of olive oil an hour or so before smoking. I never overnight seasonings anymore as I believe that the meat should be the star..... and because it can become salty overnight.
  11. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not to beat a horse to death but salt is very prominent in these commercial rubs because it's CHEAP and fills the jar.....making your own is so much better

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