Rub ribs the night before or not?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by pandemonium, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

    Which is the best way should they sit in fridge all night rubbed? or just rub right before putting in smoker? Gonna make a few racks on Saturday while i am at the grant bbq fest so i will have food when i come home.
  2. irishteabear

    irishteabear Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I haven't found that it really makes any difference in taste as to when the rub has been applied. If I have time, I apply the rub the night before, if not, then I do it that morning.
  3. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I actually like to rub the night before then apply another light amount again just before going into the smoker. Try them each way and see what you like best
  4. bbq engineer

    bbq engineer Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    If I rub them the night before, it is because some cosmic anomaly happened, and I suddenly had some free time! I do prefer to let them sit in the fridge all rubbed up overnight, but it is more about my involvement and the anticipation that it brings thinking about the next smoke, more than any real difference in the end result. The majority of the time I rub them as the charcoal chimney is doing it's magic, and they are every bit as tasty!

    This gives you an excuse to do two racks, side by side in a controlled rubbed the night before, and one right before you put them on. Never miss an opportunity for more BBQ! Let us know what you think.
  5. danbury

    danbury Smoking Fanatic

    I usually rub the night before but not until very late if the ribs are going on early in the day. If later in the day I rub in the morning. To be honest, I'd be hard pressed to tell which is which in the end. It's just a ritual for me. I do know that if I rub the night before, I cut back on the salt. I don't like the way salt starts pulling liquid out.
  6. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    Same here. Last batch (3 racks babybacks) was rubbed an hour prior to going on, and they were as good as any I've ever made.
  7. bigbaldbbq

    bigbaldbbq Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I've done both, didn't really notice too much of a difference.
    magnus likes this.
  8. seandje

    seandje Fire Starter

    I usually rub them the night before. Of course, I plan a few days early and create a timeline for everthing I'm going to do up until the meat goes in the smoker. I sound a bit Obsessive/Compulsive? [​IMG]
  9. I do mine the night before just so im not doing alot before the smoke so i can slow down and relax plus ill be drinking lol

    but try both ways and find out what you like
  10. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    Makes no differance. I use olive oil instead of mustard. IMHO, the oil will dissolve some of the spices, and they permeate the meat much better than using Mustard. However, mustard will give you a much better bark, so take your pick.
  11. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Actually haven't noticed a big difference...

    The night before if possible.

    Sometimes you just get that sudden urge and decide to smoke at the last minute.

    Then I usually leave them set for a couple hours with the rub while getting everything ready.
  12. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    after my experment i won't rub least not with sal or sugar in the rub. this is more of a curing process and that's why the moisture is draining off.
  13. danbury

    danbury Smoking Fanatic

    Exactly.... That's why I always take the meat out a head of time and set out to let some of the moisture dry off of it. I most always put a little fan on the meat to help it along as well as to knock some of the chill off.
    Wet meat does not take smoke very well and I'm a firm believe in that the first part of the smoke is the most important as for as smoke penetration.
  14. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I sgree with most everyone here and I like to rub my ribs the night before but it's not going to stop me from smoking them. Sometimes I just thaw them and rub before the smoke but I always try let them hang out rubbed as long as I can.
  15. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Been there and done that myself, it works for me.
  16. gnubee

    gnubee Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I like to have it all done, the removal of the membrane, the mustard and rub applied the night before. Then I just have to pre heat the Smoker the next day and toss them in the smoker and relax. Doing the entire process at the last minute just takes to long and is boring so I like to split it into two different operations. I have not noticed any difference between doing the rub the night before or doing it just prior to the smoke. But then again I don't think I ever conciously gave it much thought. Story of my life. [​IMG]
  17. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

    thanks for the input!! i will probably rub them in the morning
  18. I make no claim to being much of a smoker yet, as I am certainly a newbie at it.

    On 2 seperate occaisions I have done my ribs this way. The night before, I rub them good with what we have here in Washington called Johnnys seasoning salt and also granulated Garlic. I then wrap the ribs pretty air tight in Saran Wrap and put in the fridge.

    The next morning I remove the wrapped ribs from the fridge, take off the Saran Wrap, anf let the ribs sit / air dry on the counter for a couple hours befor putting them in the preheated smoker. I keep my smoker temp ot to 220 to 250 degrees and when the I T of the ribs hit 160 degrees, I pull them from the smoker and put them on my grill with Baby Rays BarBque sauce for maybe 30 minutes.

    Right or Wrong, Both time I have done them this way i have had nothing but praise from my family when they eat them.

    My son was here fro utah for last Christmas, he has been grilling ribs for years, says he learned how to grill them from his Phillapino wife, and feels he is a master at ribs, BUT, even he admitted that what I fixed at Christmas time was better than his.

    He has since bought a smoker and is getting the bug as the most of us have done.

    Thanks Rich
  19. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I don't really notice any difference, but there is no salt in my rub. I mostly do it the night before, for the convenience of being able to pull them out of the fridge & put them right on the smoker. That being said, I have pulled them out of the freezer, thawed them in a pan of water & rubbed them down & put them right on the smoker. Total time from freezer to smoker 1 hour. They were as good as any I have done.
  20. hbark

    hbark Fire Starter

    I'm trying a new approach tonight/tomorrow for a single rack (that had been in my freezer for a while and it's about time to cook it!).

    Last Christmas I got a book about smoking meats etc. and the author's approach is to marinate in plain old apple juice overnight.  Then put the rub on the next morning, while the smoker's getting fired up.

    What the heck, apple juice is cheap, I'll give this a shot -- and report back on here, of course!

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