Rib rub the night before or the day of???

Discussion in 'Pork' started by bostonsmoke, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. I have heard two different ways to go about this and I'm curious as to what you all think. 

    Do you rub ribs the night before and wrap in foil or do you rub the ribs right before you smoke them?

    I've had a person tell me to do it right before because the salts in the rubs will dry the meat out over night, but others saying to do it the night before and wrap them in foil so the flavor penetrates.

    What do you guys/gals prefer?
  2. wngsprnt50

    wngsprnt50 Smoke Blower

    I have been rubbing the night before...so far.  I wouldn't say anything dried out, but if you are concerned about the salt drying the meat out, make a rub with minimal or no salt.  Its always fun making rubs from scratch!
  3. lucky13

    lucky13 Smoke Blower

    If I have an evening meal planned I usually rub it down early  morning and wrap in Seran wrap say 6 hours or so before I throw em on the smoker and have had good results.  I have not put on the night before.  So, if we are trying to eat at 6:00 or so I put on at 6:00 a.m. and then start with the 3-2-1 at about noon.  With butts etc. I put rub on the night before because there is a considerable amount of more meat for the flavor to absorb into. 

    BTW - Go Celts!
  4. I am also interested in this topic.  I usually try and avoid putting Rub on too early because I have always had concerns about the salt pulling the moisture out of the meat.  I think I may be robbing myself of some flavor by holding off, though.  I think I'm going to try some overnight to see if I notice a difference.  Keep us posted and I'll do the same.
  5. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A lot of it has to do with personal taste. If you put the rub on the night before your ribs will taste a lot like your rub all the way through.  But if you prefer to get more of the natural flavor of the pork, with an outer layer of rub flavor then do it just before you cook them. If you are going to do the night before, just make sure to cut back on the amount of salt in your rub so they don't come out to salty.
  6. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I apply rub while waiting for the cooker to get to temp. IMHO the rub is used to complement the flavor of the ribs, not dominate it and to me salt has a very dominant taste, a very little goes a long way.
  7. Appreciate the answers!!

    Thanks again!
  8. hbark

    hbark Fire Starter

    I always put the rub on the night before, leave covered in the refrigerator overnight.  Works out well for me, I've always made my own rubs.  Easy to do, fun to experiment.
  9. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I too put my rub on the night before.  I also add brown sugar to the rub
  10. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Night before, saran wrap and lots of brown sugar too.[​IMG]
  11. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    I too have read both ways...and I've concluded it is like most things when it comes to smokin', which is primarily personal preference and what your time schedule allows.  I normally rub the night before because I'm anxious to smoke and can't start...so I'll usually trim and rub my ribs the night before, wrap them in plastic wrap.  Prepare whatever else I can prep the night before etc.  

    I use Jeff's rub for my ribs and I haven't noticed at all that it dries out the meat.  A rub with a high salt content may be of concern, I'm not sure.  But just me thinking out loud...the longer you can allow your rub to penetrate the meat the better.  If it's only an hour while the smoker gets to temp, so be it...but if you have the time, why not?
  12. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    I rub them down the night before, then put them in a bag in the fridge. For dinner the next day by 6 I get them in the preheated smoker by noon. Then it's 3,2,1.  
  13. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    That's an easy fix . Quit using salt in your rub.

     I allways rub the night b4 and have never had a problem.
  14. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've done it both ways and really don't see a difference so now we rub right before we throw them on the pit.
  15. food science

    food science Newbie

    Know that salted rubs do not dry out meat. They actually hold moisture in. Initially the salt CRYSTALS will pull moisture out of the meat. As the crystals become wet they disassociate into ions of sodium and chloride then by osmosis are pulled back into the meat. The same way you can't have a half salty glass of water and the other fresh water. As heat denatures the meat proteins water is pushed out, but to a lesser degree because of the osmotic pull of the salt ions now in the fibers of the meat.

    Most visible example is with a whole chicken fryer. Salt the skin, put in fridge. Hours later the skin is wet and dripping from the water being pulled out. The next morning the skin will be taught and full as the water and salt ions were sucked back into the fryer.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
    brenth likes this.

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