Is there such thing as too much rub on ribs (St. Louis)?


 

JBail

New member
I did my 2nd set of ribs this weekend and it didn't turn out the way I liked compared to my first. Of course I was BBQing for a group

I did a dry brine with coarse salt followed up a few hours later with a "Memphis Dust" rub (Amazing ribs recipe) and sat overnight. Went on the smoker for almost 6 hours at temp set to 225f (varied between 225/250). Even though the meat was juicy and tender, the bark was very hard. Everyone gave me compliments but I was not happy with it.

There were only two major differences between the cooks. I went a little heavy on the rub and instead of 2 full racks (divded in halfs) I did three. I am just wondering if adding too much rub would make a hard bark? The only other thing I can think is since I have a small smoker, the edge of the meat was too close to the edge of the smoker.

I don't have any pictures. Sorry.
 

Brad VA

New member
In my opinion, yes- especially when using rubs with a high amount of salt. I once laid down a generous layer of rub (Byron's Butt Rub + a dusting of cayenne on top) on a rack of ribs I did a while back and it just overpowered any sort of pork flavor that could have been there. Really just tasted like salty meat with some spice and didn't turn out well at all. Now I use probably about a 1/4c of rub per rack (plus the cayenne) and it turns out really well balanced.

As for the bark question, I think it has more to do with how long it was on the smoker. I used to smoke my ribs just open for ~5-6hrs and had some really hard barks, but since migrating to the 3-2-1 method, it's been smooth sailing.
 
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Len Dennis

TVWBB Diamond Member
Yes indeed. Once you put your initial sprinkling on, thats it. When it starts to dissolve, you will think you missed some spots. Don't fill in those gaps.

I did it once. Never again.
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I make my own rub or if I'm lazy I'll use Weber's regular rub. I do low heat / high heat cooks so getting to much rub becomes a case of concrete bark if you put to much on. So just a lite layer is all I put on.
 

Geo S

TVWBB Super Fan
It was probably hard due to the time in the smoker, I usually get mine done in under 5 hours, last ones were taken off in 4 and they were over done, and they had a hard bark, but the smoker temp was pushing 300,
As for the memphis dust, Eh, I know meathead says its the greatest rub going , and its pretty good, but whatever flavor it has gets lost in the smoke in my opinion.
 

timothy

TVWBB Olympian
Barky bark is what some like on Butts ( which taint bad cause you mix it in) and brisket, but it's on the end of a long slice.
Ribs I like bite thru with a little tug. I never salt or rub them overnite, just rub as I'm firing the WSM.

I know this is a controversial one, but I do spritz my ribs with FAJC. You do it enough it adds layers of flavor, and color.

Tim
 

Dustin Dorsey

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I like bark on my ribs. If you don't then try wrapping or do a lot of spritzing. Also, try to learn to take a compliment! I'm terrible about this myself. If someone compliments my food, I will the proceed to tell them everything wrong with it. The best thing is just to say "Thank you!"
 

J Hasselberger

TVWBB Pro
It's easy to put too much rub on ribs, and it's easy to put too much salt on, too. Most rub recipes are pretty heavy on the salt to begin with. The surface area to meat weight ratio is very high for ribs, so going easy on both isn't a bad idea. If you make your own rub, you can leave out the salt. That way you can control the amount of salt based on the size of the hunk of meat (light salt on ribs; heavy salt on a butt).

Jeff
 

Steve Haack

TVWBB Member
If you didn't like it, then it's too much.

There's no objectively right answer, just your answer. If you're a bbq logger, measure out how much you use and keep doing it the way you end up liking best.
 

Bob Correll

R.I.P. 3/31/2022
Dry brining ribs is new to me, so I must ask why?
There's not that much meat on them to begin with, and IMO it could have been part of your problem when the rub, with salt, was applied.

edit, looks like Jeff's already got the over salting issue covered.
 
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Steve Haack

TVWBB Member
The Amazing Ribs rub recipe doesn't have salt in it, because they advocate salting separately from seasoning (and dry brining in general).

There's still enough meat on ribs that salting in advance will retain moisture.
 

Bob Correll

R.I.P. 3/31/2022
I trust what I've learned from Chris Allingham more so than Meathead. :)
Never had a problem using Chris' methods.
 

timothy

TVWBB Olympian
The Amazing Ribs rub recipe doesn't have salt in it, because they advocate salting separately from seasoning (and dry brining in general).

There's still enough meat on ribs that salting in advance will retain moisture.

And so does Kevin Kruger. ( they prolly learned that little trick from here);)

Adding salt overnite on ribs makes them taste hammy IMO, not for me.:)

Tim
 

JeffB

TVWBB Pro
I know this is a controversial one, but I do spritz my ribs with FAJC. You do it enough it adds layers of flavor, and color.

Tim


Tim, I assume FAJC is Frozen Apple Juice Concentrate? Is that correct? Is there a good reason to use FAJC over say, plain apple juice, or another liquid such as apple juice + cider vinegar blend? Thanks!
 

JBail

New member
Thanks for the insight. I guess It's personal taste but I am not a fan of ribs that have a hard crust I have to knaw on.
 

timothy

TVWBB Olympian
Tim, I assume FAJC is Frozen Apple Juice Concentrate? Is that correct? Is there a good reason to use FAJC over say, plain apple juice, or another liquid such as apple juice + cider vinegar blend? Thanks!

Yes it is, and because it's concentrated I like it over reg AJ.
Those little cans are cheap, and one fits in a spray bottle and lasts a few weeks in the fridge.

Tim
 

 

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