can you leave a rub on for too long?

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Dec 5, 2010
Spokane Washington
hey gang,

I noticed that you should leave a run on for roughly 12 hours ( based upon the pork sticky on this forum)

but i was curious if you could leave it on longer?

i don't see any immediate problems with it being on longer but thought i would ask since this is my first butt.

going duck hunting tomorrow and planning on doing the butt on saturday so time is a bit of a crunch. Thought I would rub her down tonight and leave it till saturday morning...

any thoughts?

thanks in advance

You should be fine with it often times I will put it on the day before and then apply another coat of rub just before I put it in the smoker
Welcome! from a west-sider.  I've left them on for as long as 48 hours when the weather didn't cooperate. I suppose it's possible that there are some spices that could MAYBE get a little bitter, but I haven't met them and I put all kinds of spices in my rubs. With the weather report we just got, I may be altering my weekend plans again.  Plenty of people just rub and put them right in the smoke; that works, too.
A rub with a high salt content and heavy application will draw more moisture to the surface over a longer period of time, and this will result in a pasty rub...a marinade of sorts, if you will. No real harm in doing this with larger cuts of meats, but small cuts, especially if lean, may suffer enough moisture loss to the surface to become drier after smoking to finished temps.

As Pineywoods mentioned, a second application of the dry rub for a double dose and you'll be set to go.

Never thought about any possibility of bitterness as BarbeQueen mentioned...guess it could happen depending on the ingredients...possibly a reaction with the salt from the rub and moisture from the meat...don't know. I generally rub within 30-60 minutes of hitting the smoker, and often hit with a second dose immediately prior to smoking. I have done a few overnight or longer, depending on time constraints if I had quite a bit of meat to prep...putting smokes on hold due to weather is never an issue for me anymore...I'm sheltered well from Mother Nature.

Smoke on, Alex!

good to know guys thanx again,

it is a smaller cut of meat boneless boston shoulder (butt) from fred meyer weighing in right at 9lbs so should be a fun filled day of christmas lights and smoke!

the weathr could be a deterrent on the x-mas lights but not even thinking of letting it spoil the smoke plans!

I'm so stoked i'd leave the windows open and smoke it in the living room if i have to!

You should be fine and you will learn that red meat is very forgiving too.
Yes you can leave rubs on longer but be careful if theres a high salt content, it will dry out the surface area.
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