How far in advance do you rub your butts before smoking?


Tom Raveret

So I got lucky this week and really didn't have the time to smoke butts but was at the store ( piggly wiggly in the Milwaukee area ) and they had butts for .99/ lb. I haven't made butts in almost a year and haven't seen a price like that in a few years. These were huge, a pair of them were 23 lb the other pair 18lb. Farmland pork. So having nothing fresh to make "a butt rub for Jane" recipe and everything going wrong this week I finally got to the spice house. Got home, rubbed em up and put them on a couple of hours ago.

What do you think will be lost in not rubbing them say this morning or last night?

How far in advance do you prefer to rub them and why?


Vincent Carrocci

TVWBB Super Fan
Whether at home or at a competition, we typically put the rub on pork about an hour before putting the meat into the cooker. That's long enough to let it sweat a bit. Since we always use some kind of injection, we've never had any need to put the rub on earlier, i.e. dry brine.

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to this question.


TVWBB Olympian
Yep, usually when the coals are starting I add the rub, then put them on.
I rubbed and wrapped them in Saran wrap the night before one time and they had a hammy taste, not bad but not what I'm used to.
I guess it depends on whats in your rub?



I usually rub a butt the night before (around 9 or 10 PM) and I start smoking around 2 AM. So a couple hours here. No need to go any longer than that.

Dwain Pannell

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I like to trim most of the fat off and rub the night before so the rub forms a paste which produces the type bark I like. But if time doesn't allow I'll do it while the chimney is engaging but I feel rushed on those occasions.

T Waite

TVWBB Super Fan
I rub just before putting them on. I have done it both ways, right before and well in advance, and noticed no appreciable difference.

Typically trim and dry brine the night before, rub just ahead of putting them in.


I usually rub them about an hour to 30 minutes before.

Yup. This is part of my prep ritual. I will assemble the WSM for lighting, start a chimney then go inside an prep the butt(s) which includes trussing them because I use boneless butts from Costco. The meat is in the low 40s when they hit the grate. I tried prepping them the night prior or morning of... I can't tell the difference in taste.