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Is longer Better???


Joined Oct 12, 2010
Will it help the flavor of pork if I rub it longer than 24 hours, or is that about the max for flavor penetration?


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Aug 27, 2008
Interesting question, indeed...

I'm not sure about a maximum time frame for enhancing the flavor...considering how curing takes place, spread out over long periods of time, the meat should continue to absorbe the flavors of the seasonings, but I would have to consider the possible safety issues with a re-packaged meat. The longer you wait to cook the meat the greater risk for contamination problems, IMO.

I have done 8-12 hours many times in the past. The main thing with rubs which can adversly effect the product when applied a long time prior to cooking is that salt will draw moisture from the meat. More time and more salt draws more moisture. It eventually can turn into a marinade of sorts, simply because of such large quantities of water being present on the surface. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but the rub may not adhere to the meat very well at that stage in the process.

Here's a few thoughts to consider: increased sodium reduces biological risks, but in turn causes the drying issue. My first though was to suggest using a reduced salt blend for a dry rub for anything beyond 12 hours, but then, the bacterial risk comes into play.

It may be a compromise if using a normal salt content, as you will loose quite a bit of rub before the meat ever sees a smoke chamber grate, however, the seasonings will have absorbed more deeply into the meat. My experiences with home-cured/smoked corned beef pastrami indicate that the spices can absorbe very deeply over long periods of time. If in doubt, I'd just use Morton's Tender Quick instead of salt in the dry rub. That would remove any thoughts of biologocal issues from my mind, allowing days upon days for you to get the meat cooked during it's long soak in spices.

In either situation, if you want a really nice bark on the meat, you may want to apply a second coat of dry rub (using a reduced or no-salt rub) immediatley after unwrapping the meat (while still moist) and go straight to the smoker with it...should work out great.

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Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jun 5, 2009
Also don't forget.... if you put to much "flavor" on (rub, inject, brine, ect. ect.) you run the risk of completely covering up the actual taste of the meat. Personally I really like the flavor of the meat with smoke and a hint of the rub vs. a mouthfull of rub flavor, smoke, and a hint of meat.


Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
Joined Feb 3, 2009
Last weekend i rubbed down 1 packer 2 butts and 3 racks of trimmed spares at noon on fri. for an early am sat. smoke. My MES crapped out while preheating so the meat sat in the fridge wrapped in saran wrap till sun. am at 5:30 am around 41 hrs of sitting w/ rub on it.

 I do not use any salt in my rubs so i cant help w/ what the long rest would do.

I did rerub right b4 putting the meat in the smioker

 The flavors were great but the butt and ribs did not take the smoke flavor like they nomally do.

 The brisket was fine.

My thoughts.

I pulled the meat out the fridge on sun and hit w/ more rub and a heavy coating of brown sugar .

My pig rub allready has alot of sugar in it. It seems to me that the heavy coating of rub and sugar kept the meat from absorbing much smoke. I don't use sugar in my brisket rub so even though it was also rubbed twice it had a nice smokey flavor.

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