When do you add your rub to ribs?


Edmund Caro

Is it better to rub your ribs right before you put them on the smoker? Or do you all like to rub them and wrap them overnight?
Yes. I dislike rubbing the night before. I did that once and woke up to ribs swimming in a pool of liquid. Never again.
I have always rubbed them the night before, and you are right about the juice. I always assumed it was because I used mustard on them before adding the rub.
No matter what you do, you cannot get the rub to penetrate into the meat. So I prefer to rub right out of the fridge and load up the meat after i get my Minion fire going. Ribs are thin so rub goes a long way. Better smoke ring this way too. JMO. Salted rubs suck out liquid overnight. Instead of mustard you might consider trying a thin coating of worcestershire sauce before patting on the rub spices. I never used mustard myself. Sounds messy.
I go light the chimney then come in and take the membrane off the ribs. I then put the rub on and by then it's time do dump the lit on top of the unlit. Assemble the WSM, load on the ribs, and we're off.
I used to overnight them. Up until a year or so ago. Now I take them out of the fridge and rub them while the smoker is getting ready.

Nice ring and no difference in flavor. Except if there is salt in the rub, then they are definitely better. IMHO

You still see a lot of recipes saying to use the overnight wait.

I found out (and watching experience on this site) that it just doesn't matter. Actually better if there's salt in the rub. I have had a "hammy" flavor to the ribs from overnight waits when there was salt in the rub.

I do the same for butts.

For both I salt first, which allows the meat to express enough water during the short period for the dry ingredients to adhere. So I don't use any oil coating either.
I rub everything right before I light the smoker ...seems to work well for me. I use mustard for butts, but for briskets and ribs, I just rub them on and go.
I use a mustard slather to help set the rub. I let the ribs sit out for an hour or so until the mustard goes tacky. This really helps make a crust I find.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Edmund Caro:
You even do that for your butts? Butts I think can hold up to an overnight rub down. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Yep. Everything (ribs, butts, picnics, brisket flats and packers, etc.) gets the rub put on while the coals are lighting in the chimney. Rub goes on about 20 min before the meat hits the grates in the WSM.
I do mine overnight, usually about 14 or 15 hours in the fridge. I use either the BRITU rub or Memphis Magic Dust, applied evenly but not excessively, place them on a baking sheet and cover with saran wrap. I never let them come up to room temperature either. From the fridge straight into the WSM and up to temp.

I've never found a liquid pool and unless the ribs are "enhanced meat," I almost never find them too salty.
my rub is rather salty, so I only rub about 1-2 hrs prior. and place it in the fridge wrapped in saran wrap. Pulling it out to get to room temp as I fire the smoker.