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Dry brining

by Jim
(Texas)

Dry brining pulls the liquid from the meat to the meat's surface and makes it wet.

Would this be the best time to apply my rub?

I believe the rub and the liquid will mix, leaving the rub on the surface, but the rub flavored liquid will be pulled back into the meat.

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Sep 22, 2020
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Dry Brining
by: Joseph

Hello Jim,
Thanks for your question.

Unfortunately, the molecules in the rub ingredients are too large to be pulled into the meat. Even if they're in a flavorful liquid.

Salt molecules are smaller, so they go slightly into the meat through pores, cut muscle fibers, and capillaries.

What the salt does is pull moisture from the meat. This moisture is then drawn back into the meat due to pressure, not osmosis like most people think.

The water just wants to equalize itself, so some of it goes back into the meat.

This gives the impression of meat that's juicy and flavorful all the way to the bone. It's the salt and moisture at the surface. If you didn't salt the meat, the surface moisture would evaporate while the meat is cooking.

To illustrate this, America's Test Kitchen took 3 chickens.

One was wet brined, one was soaked in plain water, and one was left unadulterated.

The chicken cooked right out of the package retained 82% of its original weight.

The one soaked in water weighed in at 88% of its original weight.

But the chicken that was brined kept a whopping 93% of its original weight!

I know you're dry brining, but the same principles apply; Salt retains water.

You can put your rub on at any time. Just make sure it's tacky or moist before you put your meat on the grill, smoker, or what have you, so it doesn't fall off while you're cooking it.

It takes an hour at most to become tacky.

I suggest salting first, then putting your rub on at the same time. This saves you time and makes cleanup easier.

If you leave the meat in the fridge until right before you cook it, you'll get a better smoke ring.

Hope this helps. If you have any more questions about this or anything else, please let me know.

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