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When to rub?

shmoonyshmoony Posts: 17
edited February 2012 in EggHead Forum
Any thoughts on the benefits of rubbing ribs the night before. I had always done the mustard, brown sugar and dry rub the night before, but I read somewhere recently that you should only rub them right before smoking. It said that marinating has no benefits, and may actually toughen the meat. What do you guys think?

Comments

  • Village IdiotVillage Idiot Posts: 6,959
    edited February 2012
    Personally, I only marinate meat for Chinese wok cooking and fajitas. I think it is easy to over marinate, and then, you lose the flavor of the meat.

    I always apply the rub to my briskets just before putting them on the Egg.  That's just me.  I don't have any scientific reason for doing it -- Stike is the mad scientist around here. 
    ^:)^
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious


  • Some people feel that the salt sucks the moisture out of the meat if you rub them early and leave it over night.  In theory I agree, but I have put rub on meats the night before cooking several times, and I haven't noticed a difference.

    I normally just rub the meat down while the fire is getting ready.  I have the timing down pretty good.  I just rub stuff the night before if I am in a time crunch and am cooking a lot of meat on the big cooker.
    Large BGE Decatur, AL
  • IrishDevlIrishDevl Posts: 1,390
    I typically rub 12 hours or so before.  Not for any specific reason, I just do - haven't had an issue yet.  I would assume the moisture would come out in the cook anyway, so a bit of salt doesn't seem to hurt.
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 19,606
    Personally, I only marinate meat for Chinese wok cooking and fajitas. I think it is easy to over marinate, and then, you lose the flavor of the meat.

    I always apply the rub to my briskets just before putting them on the Egg.  That's just me.  I don't have any scientific reason for doing it -- Stike is the mad scientist around here. 
    ^:)^
    I do this way because Gary told me toooooooooooooooooooo.
    Salado TX & 30A  FL: Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max when they came out (I'm good for now). Plus a couple Pit Boss Pellet Smokers.   

  • You're a good boy, Mickey.
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious


  • EZEGGEZEGG Posts: 49
    I usually only rub just before or up to one hour prior to the cook.  

    However, I did rub some thick cut pork chops intending to cook them, and had something come up.  
    I finally got to cook them a couple days later and I think they were the most flavorful and tender chops I have probably had....
    Eric O. RMBBQA Member Blog - http://smokeontherockies.com/ Large Big Green Egg
  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 942
    I usually do the rub the night before but I have done it after lighting egg and waiting for it to come up to temp.  I can't honestly say that I remember one as being obviously better than the other.  My routine is to get the ribs or shoulder ready the night before or if I do an overnight shoulder to get it ready that afternoon and start the cook sometime between 11 and mid-night.

    Gerhard
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 6,239
    What are you rubbing? And what is in the rub? There's no one answer.

    One comment I've read is that overnight for ribs may give a "hammy" flavor, because the salt and sugar will give the meat a little bit of cure. I've gone overnight several times, and sometimes the flavor was "hammy," and other times "bacony." Now I usually just put the rub on between 2 and .5 hours before the rack foes on. Long enough for the rub to melt, and adhere.

    For butt, just before. They will be sitting in the Egg long enough, I don't see how an additional 8 - 12 hours will make a big difference.

    As far as marinating via rub, it might "denature" some of the protein, which means that it will lose moisture faster during the cook. The should be less denaturing than with a full marinade, because those are usually quite acidic.

    If there was salt in the mix, first the salt draws the water out of the meat. Then, after a time, the process reverses, and the dissolved salt is pulled back into the meat, where it holds moisture better during cooking. The timing is important. Fatty meats react differently than lean. About an hour per pound is the rule of thumb.

    The amount and time can have an effect. I rubbed a pork loin, intending to cook it at the end of the day. Something came up, and it was the next day before it was cooked. It was edible, but as salty as any ham I've had.

    Briskerts are sometimes rubbed with sugar the night before. I tried that, but the only thing I had to go by was a picture that showed a brisket blanketed in sugar. Way too much. The brisket did not turn out any more tender, and was extremely sweet. Think beef taffy. Urk.

    Corned beef can make a good pastrami. It needs to be soaked for 24 - 48 hours, and then rubbed in pastrami spices over night.  Doesn't turn out dry, or salty, and has a good taste.


  • I remember reading somewhere that if you let the rub dry on the meat that it gives you a better bark.  I usually rub while I'm waiting for the heat to come up.
    Thomas Bubba's BBQ and Harris Family Catering Pigs on the Run Competition BBQ Team Medic-Que BBQ Team, LBGE, Party Q
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i do a lot of curing and drying and i can tell you that you could bury that thing in salt overnight and you wouldn't suck out any apporeciable water.  it just doesn't 'dry out' the meat. 

    and you certainly can't cure it overnight. there's just not nearly enough salt in the rub to do anything.  nitrite (in smoke) will effect a cure (smoke ring).  andthat  nitrite does more to change the meat texture and flavor than salt does.  if the salt cured it at all, the nitrite in the smoke would steamroll that 'cure' anyway, since it (nitrite) is the more aggressive curing agent. and everyone loves a smoke ring anyway

    don't sweat it. do what works for you.

    it is not possible to dry out meat by sprinkling it with salt.  burying it in salt overnight wouldn't even do it, and you certainly aren't doing that....


    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 942

    it is not possible to dry out meat by sprinkling it with salt.  burying it in salt overnight wouldn't even do it, and you certainly aren't doing that....


    Years ago when I bought my first propane BBQ my brother-in-law gave some tips and his main advice was no to season before you cook, I followed this for quite a few years since it seemed to be generally accepted wisdom that the salt would draw the moisture out of the meat.  I have since taken to liberal use of salt and pepper prior to grilling steaks and they definitely taste a lot better and like Stike I don't believe that it dries the meat one bit.

    Gerhard
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    yep.
    gerhard nailed it.

    "I have since taken to liberal use of salt and pepper prior to grilling
    steaks and.... I don't
    believe that it dries the meat one bit."

    most steakhouses will salt liberally before cooking.  you can improve a cheapo steak by salting well for about an hour or so, letting it do its thing, then rinsing off. 

    when you make duck prosciutto, you bury an entire breast in kosher salt, overnight.  take it out 24 hours later and wash the salt off, pat dry, and that thing is still moist and flexible.  salty (prosciutto, after all), but not at all dry.  even though it has lost a lot of water.

    if meat is 90% water, you have to really do a lot to it to dry it out.  45-day dry-aged steaks are still moist, and they've lost 20% of their weight (all water).  salting before cooking a steak can't come close to sucking out 20% of the weight.

    salt away, folks!
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • European chefs do an overnite salt on steak.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    what do diminutive quasi-european canadian chefs do?
    :-\"
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Wish they were tall Americans I think

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • I agree with the salt and sugar, I have never ran into any problems? I do have a way I like. I have a FoodSaver vac with several canisters. One canister will hold 2-14 bone racks cut into 3rds. I pull a vacuum and let them set in the fridge 24 hours. They turn out great and sometimes I jsut let them sit alone and kiss all night? It's jsut a matter of how I feel.
    Located in Western North Carolina
  • Wish they were tall Americans I think
    After I looked up the word "diminutive", this cracked me up.   :-))
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious


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