When to put rub on brisket before smoking

Last Updated on: 26th June 2023, 06:59 pm

Brisket can be as delicious as any premium cut of meat if smoked properly.

The most critical part of brisket flavor is the rub applied to it.

Rubs help us increase the flavor and tenderness of brisket.

But there are some misconceptions when it comes to applying the rub on brisket. One of these myths is when to rub the brisket before smoking it.

Smoking is a delicate procedure, and even a small error can produce unpleasant flavor.

We will go through every step of applying rub on brisket in detail in this post.

The topic of when to rub your brisket is not one with a clear-cut right or wrong answer.

varied pitmasters have varied perspectives on this, but in our view, the brisket should be rubbed for anywhere between two hours and overnight during smoking.

Being an enthusiastic pitmaster, I encounter these circumstances frequently.

When using a dry rub, I like to let the brisket sit for 2 hours to 6 hours, and when using a wet rub, I like to let it sit for 4 hours to overnight.

Brisket usually loses 30 to 40 percent of its weight while smoking. So you need to give rub enough time to sink into the deeper part of brisket. Here is our complete guide on how much weight does brisket lose when smoking.

Before choosing the amount of time to rub, you should preferable consider the texture of the brisket.

A person’s preference for brisket’s rub time.

There is no absolute law about this.

You should experiment with many options before choosing your favorite.

However, it’s preferable to first apply for a shorter period of time and then, if you want to, extend it.

To ensure that the brisket fully absorbs the flavor, some folks prefer to rub it the night before smoking.

However, in our view, it is not necessary to rub the brisket for an entire night because, typically, when the brisket is heated, the rubs penetrate into the pores of the meat.

Factors affecting rub time

Rub time is a hotly debated subject in the smoking industry, and many pitmasters have differing viewpoints on it.

The length of time the brisket is rubbed before smoking depends on a number of factors.

These parameters often include rub kind and brisket texture.

It may be necessary to apply the rub for a longer period of time if you plan to smoke brisket since it will require more time for the rub to thoroughly penetrate the meat.

Such a brisket can be rubbed for anything between three hours and overnight.

Every other component is just as crucial as the rub’s quality. When putting the rub on the brisket, you should make sure it is not clumped. here is a complete guide on how to avoid avoid the clumping of rub for more information.

The rub kind you intend to utilize should be taken into consideration when choosing the rub time.

Wet rubs and dry rubs are the two primary types of rubs used in smoking.

Both of these need various lengths of time to really sink in.

When to apply dry rub

The dry rub is dry, as implied by the name, and is applied on the brisket to improve flavor and provide a nice bark.

if rub is applied effectively and the temperature of brisket is high enough, then the brisket will get bark in two to five hours. you can also read our detailed guide on how much time it takes for brisket to get bark here

The typical dry rub time might be anything between two and six hours.

To allow the dry rub adequate time to absorb, some pitmasters choose to apply it for extended periods of time.

But in our view, the dry rub seeps into the brisket as it is cooked and the pores of the brisket open, thus further time is not required.

The rub penetrates in and adheres to the surface of the brisket after expanding the pores of the meat.

Brisket might turn scarlet if you give it extra time when applying dry rub.

Both the flavor and the presentation of the smoked brisket are crucial.

The deeper area might lose flavor since the brisket is thick and the dry rub can remain on the surface.

In order to ensure that the rub adheres to the brisket correctly and penetrates as far as possible, it is preferable to give it a little more time.

Applying dry rub to a hard brisket while giving it a rough massage is an efficient approach.

Consider making a fist out of your hand and bashing the brisket with your knuckles.

The brisket will be able to absorb the rubbed as a result.

When to apply a wet rub

Wet rub is the second kind of rub that is most frequently used while smoking hard brisket.

The liquid form is implied by the name, and the brisket is immersed in it to allow the rub to properly permeate the meat.

Additionally, it enhances the flavor of brisket.

However, it is typically used to make brisket more tender. It has little impact on the texture of bark.

Brisket usually absorbs less smoke after smoking for some time. but applying rub on brisket can increase its moisture and allow it to absorb more smoke.

As a result, it takes longer for the juices to penetrate the brisket and raise its moisture level.

Because the hard brisket might dry out when smoked for a long time, a moist rub is typically applied to it.

Because it needs extra time to soak in and adhere to the brisket, the ideal wet rub cooking period might be anything from 2 and 8 hours.

Can you leave a rub on too long?

Since so many people have varied perspectives across time, there is no clear-cut solution to this topic.

Therefore, a lengthy rub time for you can be a standard rub time for someone who prefers the taste of the rub to that of the brisket.

  • Normally, brisket should be rubbed for two to eight hours. The decision to apply for an even longer period of time is a personal one.
  • It depends on whether you want to savor the flavor of the brisket or whether you’re using it as a vehicle for the flavor of the rub.
  • It’s well known that leaving the rub on longer produces additional flavor. If left for too long, though, it can have an impact on the brisket’s look.
    No one wants to taste a wonderful piece of brisket that appears sloppy, so you should think about aesthetics.
  • Additionally, if the rub is applied for a longer period of time, it may change into a paste-like structure.
    The brisket’s interior moisture is absorbed by the rub, which increases the likelihood that it will dry out while being smoked.

If you’re still interested in using rub for a longer period of time, you should take the following factors into account.

  1. First, you should think about using a low-salt rub since one with a greater salt content may absorb the brisket’s moisture, causing the brisket to dry up throughout the smoking process.
  2. Second, if you are smoking a tough, thick brisket, you should only use the rub for a longer period of time.
    Lean brisket doesn’t need to be rubbed for very long, while thick brisket often tastes better when it is rubbed for a longer period of time.

Personally, we would advise always being cautious about the rub duration because it has the power to either improve or degrade brisket flavor.

To acquire the most flavor from the rub, you need think about using it at the right moment.

The brisket texture and rub type indicated above should both be taken into consideration when determining the rub duration for a brisket.

You shouldn’t let the rub sit on your brisket for too long if the weather is terrible.

Do you put rub on both sides of the brisket?

Everyone wants the same flavor in every bite of the brisket, thus the answer to this question is always the same: simply and plainly, yes.
Even if you accidentally leave a piece of brisket without the rub, it could taste bland when you bite into it.
However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to just two sides of the brisket because certain fat brisket portions, like the brisket, might have more than two sides.
Therefore, you must rub the smoked brisket evenly and with the same taste throughout.
Since lean brisket has a smaller surface area and is simple to rub for improved flavor, it doesn’t entail as much intricacy.
Because hard brisket might have numerous sides and the rub may not penetrate, the actual issue comes when rubbing it.
Applying rub to a thick brisket is best done by knuckle-massaging it.
It will enable the rub to penetrate deeper layers of the brisket and evenly distribute flavor across the whole piece.
Make cautious to ensure that no side is left dry or unrubbed.

Can you leave rub on brisket overnight?

Because brisket has a firm texture and needs extra time for the rub to thoroughly absorb, the answer to this question will always be yes.
The brisket becomes more flavorful and tender after being rubbed over night.
It’s up to you how long to rub time on the brisket.
Consider experimenting with various rub times and selecting the one that works best for you.
It is possible that overnighting the rub will increase its flavor and decrease the flavor of the brisket.
When a dry rub is put to the brisket’s surface, the salt inside it draws other rub ingredients with it as it penetrates the meat deeper.
While submerging in salt, the brisket loses moisture.
As a result, the surface of the brisket develops a paste-like look of rub.
Instead of freaking out at this stage, you ought to think about allowing yourself more time to rub.
Because the brisket’s surface moisture will ultimately seep within the meat.
It will result in more flavorful meat and improve the brisket’s softness at the same time.
Some pitmasters speed through the process without giving the rub much time to work, which leads to a disappointing final product.
Applying the rub for 3 to 24 hours is ideal since it will give it ample time to absorb into your skin without causing any problems.
If you don’t want to smoke straight immediately, you can leave for the night.

Can you leave wet rub on brisket overnight?

Wet rub is often placed on the brisket overnight since it needs more time to soak in.
To make the brisket more tender and moist, a wet rub is applied.
The brisket won’t dry out during smoking if you give it extra time to rub since there will be more moisture present.
Smoking brisket is lengthy process and is often smoked overnight. if you apply rub overnight too, then it is going to affect the texture of brisket

Can you leave the dry rub on the brisket overnight?

Since dry rub is often applied on the surface of the brisket in order to produce nice bark, there are no advantages to keeping it on overnight when using dry rub.
The clumping of rub is another consideration. you read our guide on How do I keep my rub from clumping? for more information.
Applying dry rub for more time can make the appearance more reddish.

How long before smoking should I put the rub on the brisket?

You might be wondering how long it will take until you should rub the brisket now that we’ve cleared up the bulk of misconceptions about the rub period.
Hard brisket can be rubbed for 2 hours to overnight, while soft brisket can be rubbed for 2 hours to 8 hours.
Hard brisket needs longer time since the main goal of the wet rub used on them is to raise the brisket’s moisture content and prevent it from drying out while smoking.
Therefore, it needs longer time to absorb and effectively carry out its role.

Is the brisket oiled before rubbing it?

Another myth surrounding the application of brisket rub is whether or not the brisket should first be rubbed with olive oil.

The quick answer to this is usually “yes,” since it aids in keeping the rub on the brisket’s surface.

It’s up to you whether you dry rub the brisket first or first apply olive oil.

Some individuals like substituting mustard for olive oil.

Any of the aforementioned items can be used because their primary function is just to aid in rubbing the brisket’s surface.

Olive oil, in our opinion, is preferable to mustard since it is simple to use, aids in sticking the rub to the surface of the brisket, increases moisture content, and prevents the brisket from drying out.

Simply slathering excessive amounts of olive oil over the brisket’s surface and giving it a good massage is the best technique to prepare it.

Then you may proceed with adding your dry rub and smoking the brisket as you had intended.

Can you put too much rub on a brisket?

Rubs can surely help us enhance the flavor of the brisket, but sometimes you may get confused that if you are putting too much rub on your brisket, it can do more harm than good to the brisket flavor.

You can normally put 1 tablespoon of rub per 1 pound of brisket .

But if you are not able to follow this ,then you can add rub on the brisket surface as long as it sticks to the surface of the brisket and doesn’t fall off.

The most simple answer to this question is that you can’t go wrong with the amount of rub on your brisket.

You can put as much rub on your brisket as you want.

It can only result in enhancing the flavor of the brisket.

But you should be careful about the composition of the rub.

If one component of the rub is more in excess than usual, then it can result in bad flavor.

You should consider mixing the right amount of rub components yourself or buying a commercially available rub.

The main components of rub that you should be really careful about are salt and sugar.

If your rub has too much sugar, then it can result in the burning of the brisket.

While adding too much salt can cause the brisket to dry out due to moisture loss.

Final Verdict

There is no right or wrong time for when to put rub on brisket before smoking.

You can apply rub for around 2 hours to overnight or even longer if you want to.

You should preferably test different rub times yourself and decide what suits you.

Although overnight rubbing will increase the flavor of the brisket, it can also help to increase the tenderness of brisket.

In our experience the taste of brisket rubbed overnight and the one rubbed for a couple of hours is not same.

Moreover rubbing overnight doesn’t damage the flavor in any case.

It’s your personal decision to select which one to go with.

Jakob miller