Do you coat ribs before rub or rub them naked?

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Mar 3, 2010
Sevierville Tennessee
Just wondering cause I have made ribs twice and both times I have rubbed mustard before the rub but these guys do it differently. What are the pros and cons of not using a coating?

I have not tried the mustard yet but have been really considering trying it soon.
Good question, the idea of the mustard is to hold the rub to the meat, you can't taste the mustard in the finished product.

I use the method you linked to and have had great results.
Just a side note,

I have used the method in the video in comps three times, and placed 2nd three times
I've tried mustard and it works well,holds the rub good and you can't taste it in the end product. I have also tried evoo instead of mustard,i like the mustard result better.
I've tried both ways with and without couldn't really notice a difference in the ribs. I usually marinate now and have been brinning the ribs I cook for a short time with a light brine before. If you wanted to try sometime, I don't know why it is but instead of using olive oil, soybean oil seems to do something for the ribs. If you like going the mustard route, the addition some fresh lemon gives it a little bite and brightens up some of the heavier flavors of rubs.
I started using the yellow mustard some time ago, and I do think it helps hold the rub on more evenly.  I've never noticed a mustard-y taste though.  All in all it probably doesn't make that big of a difference, but I'll keep doing it anyway.
The sight of mustard makes the Woman unhappy.

So I do naked.

I also get all the deviled eggs!

I usually prep my ribs and butts the night before a smoke and just apply the rub directly on the meat. While the meat sits wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge, the salt in the rub will pull moisture from the meat and turn the rub into a paste. The day of the smoke, I sprinkle on some more rub and then the meat goes into the smoker. 

On the rare occasion the the smoke is a last minute thing, I'll rub the meat with yellow mustard and then apply the rub.
I like using mustard just before I put the rub on.. it helps the rub to stick really well, helps to create a nice bark and I think it helps with the color formation a little.
I'm lazy, I do the mustard thing.  And with a good mustard, I think it goes nice with the pork flavor if you get any mustard flavor. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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