Smoked Brisket Rub
When to Rub

Hi Hipshot! (Hope you don't mind me using your nickname - no disrespect intended.)

I'm new to smoked brisket but want to give it a shot so I've been gleaning as much info as I can. I have a brisket marinating right now - not sure if it's necessary, but I thought it might help keep the brisket from drying out during the long, slow cook/smoke. Could I ask a question?

How soon in advance would you suggest me putting the smoked brisket rub? I've seen where some guys do it as much as 2 days in advance, while others do it right before putting the brisket on the smoker. Both methods seem to make some sense to me and here's why:

For the "way in advance" method, I would think the rub has more time to work on the brisket and add flavor which sounds good. However, if the rub has salt in it (as mine does), wouldn't the salt tend to suck the moisture out of the brisket?

That's why the "right before you smoke" method seems to make sense. That way, the salt doesn't get much of a chance to suck the moisture from the brisket, and it can flavor the meat as it smokes/cooks. Therefore, I wonder if I could ask YOU for your thoughts on how soon to apply the smoked brisket rub?

Thank-you very much, Sir!

Very gratefully,

Hey Mickey,

Thank you for the question. Glad to hear you're getting into brisket smoking!

From what you've told me, Mickey, it sounds like you're ready to rub it and start smoking. Since you are marinating it now, you've already got some good flavor penetration going on. Besides... if you have a brisket of any size at all, it will smoke for several hours. And that's plenty of time for the smoked brisket rub to add its taste.

You also mentioned having salt in your rub. There's another reason to rub it and smoke it (as you also pointed out). Probably the only time I would leave a rub on for very long would be if no marinade was used and no salt was in the rub (the way I do steak sometimes).

Mickey, you have done an excellent job of gathering your information. You seem to already know enough about it to answer your own question. About the only thing I know to do is tell you what I think. I vote for the "right before you smoke" method. Rub it, smoke it, and enjoy.

All the Best
"Get another drink and try again." (hipshot)


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