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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 12-06-2013, 08:54 PM   #1
smokeswirl
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Default New to Smoking. HAve a Baby Back Ribs Question

I smoked some ribs from my family this past Tgiving and my sister-in-law loved them. But she did mention they tasted like ham :(

My sis in law loves ham but I dont think smoked ribs should taste like ham. This statement got me thinking about my rub and how long I have my rub on the ribs prior to smoking. My guess is having the rub on over night is curing the ribs giving it a hammy quality.

What is the longest amount of time the rub should be on before smoking?

Thanks for any insight
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Unread 12-06-2013, 08:58 PM   #2
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An abundance of salt in the rub sitting overnight could cause the ribs to slightly taste like ham, especially if the ribs were enhanced. If you ribs were enhanced they already contained a salt solution which they were already sitting in, putting you half-way to being "hammy".

I find that sometimes people who have not had true smoked meats often associate the smoke flavor with a ham taste. Doesn't mean they actually tasted like ham, maybe they did, maybe they didn't.

Only you can judge if they tasted like ham, or if they tasted like slow smoked pork ribs.


I always let the rub sit overnight in the refrigerator and have never experienced "hammy" ribs. I use OakRidge BBQ Rubs which are much lower in salt and sugar content.

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Unread 12-06-2013, 08:59 PM   #3
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Some guys do a few minutes, some a few hrs (me ) and some overnite - it all depends on your rub and your taste uds. Get. 2 racks or more and use same rub 1- overnite, 1-few hrs and cook them together but mark them somehow and see which one you like Best.
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Unread 12-06-2013, 09:21 PM   #4
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I've done overnight and right before they go on, and I really couldn't tell enough of a difference to make it worthwhile. I rub right before I throw them in the smoker now. I would definitely recommend trying some different rubs and see how you like them. Oak Ridge is great, I use Blues Hog on all my ribs now. Just find what you like, the test runs are a great excuse to cook!
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Unread 12-06-2013, 09:26 PM   #5
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I've cooked a lot of BB ribs, and I've never had anyone say they tasted "hammy". I have left the rub on overnight, and I have put the rub on right before they went into the smoker. I really don't think it makes a huge difference. (My current method is to just sprinkle on the rub right before I put them on the smoker.)

I tend to like IamMadMan's theory: she is confusing "smoke flavor" with "ham flavor".
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Unread 12-06-2013, 10:04 PM   #6
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The only ribs I've ever found to be "hammy" were enhanced.
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Unread 12-07-2013, 11:12 AM   #7
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For pork, I can't tell much difference between overnight, a few hours before, or right before it goes on the smoker. So these days I fire up the smoker and as it is settling in I trim and rub the pork, then throw it on the smoker. Sometimes overnight rubs with salt do give a bit of a hammy taste. Also sometimes the meat is packed with a high sodium content preserving liquid that can give it a hammy taste that isn't your fault. The worst ones I have found for this is the Tyson brand pork at wal mart.

Beef and chicken get treated differently, this is just for pork.
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Unread 12-07-2013, 11:15 AM   #8
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All good advice. Probably what IAmMadman said about smoke=ham, but to be sure, rub right before you put them on. There's not a lot of meat on BB ribs, and if your rub has much salt, it could begin curing your ribs if they sit too long.
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Unread 12-07-2013, 11:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajstrider View Post
For pork, I can't tell much difference between overnight, a few hours before, or right before it goes on the smoker. So these days I fire up the smoker and as it is settling in I trim and rub the pork, then throw it on the smoker. Sometimes overnight rubs with salt do give a bit of a hammy taste. Also sometimes the meat is packed with a high sodium content preserving liquid that can give it a hammy taste that isn't your fault. The worst ones I have found for this is the Tyson brand pork at wal mart.

Beef and chicken get treated differently, this is just for pork.
Tyson were the ones I was talking about above. Never again.
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Unread 12-07-2013, 11:26 AM   #10
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Were your ribs enhanced? This could lead to a hammy taste.

I put my rub on my ribs right before I get my pit going then put them in the fridge. After the smoker is at temp and putting out thin blue smoke, I take them out of the fridge and put them on the pit.
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Unread 12-11-2013, 11:58 AM   #11
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Thank you all for your thoughtful replies. Im not sure if the ribs were enhanced. They were bought at RD and the brand was smithfield.

Will have to try adding rub an hour before I smoke just to see if that makes the difference
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Unread 12-11-2013, 12:11 PM   #12
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I would guess rub on too long. I have cooked Smithfield often and they come out fine, unless I mess up.

For the record, I used to go to a place out here that did cure his ribs a bit, they were hammy and delicious.
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Unread 12-11-2013, 01:00 PM   #13
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Too much salt left on for too long, using TQ or enhanced pork all can cause a hammy flavor. My guess is just that they associate smoke with ham though. They have probably only had smoked ham. That is why folks claim that turkey tastes hammy when smoked. Pretty hard to make bird taste like pig, but that is what they associate with the flavor of ham.
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Unread 12-11-2013, 03:30 PM   #14
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I light my smoker and then rub the ribs while the cooker heats up. So probably an hour or so. I like to make sure it's long enough that the rub has a time to melt onto the meat.

Early on I rubbed the night before and they came out hammy. That was the last time. Although after reading this thread it has me wondering if my hammy ribs might have been Tyson from Walmart also. Pork butt being a bigger cut, I have gotten away with going overnight, although I don't feel that is necessary either.
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Unread 12-11-2013, 04:02 PM   #15
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Don't rub you ribs in advance, light the pit while it is coming to temp rub your bones. Hammy flavor can come two ways; Buying ribs that are enhanced( read the product ingredient label if it says anything other than protein don't buy 'em) or using a high salt rub applied to far in advance or a combination of the two.
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