I have a very good dry rub that imparts an excellent flavor to pork, chicken and fish. It is pungent to the nose when in the bottle and is always made fresh. It is applied liberally, covering the surface of the meat being smoked. The situation is this: I apply the rub approx. an hour prior to cooking. This allows me time to get my charcoal heated and prepare my smoker. The smoker is kept at a constant 200-225 degrees and I use various types of wood (oak, hickory, maple, pecan) depending on the type of meat and flavor desired. When the meat is ready to come off the smoker I always try a small portion at that time and I find that the rub is almost flavorless, however if I allow the meat to cool down considerably the flavor begins to assert itself. My usual method is to cook the day before, put the smoked meats in the fridge in either a plastic storage bag or wrapped in foil, place the meats in foil pans, covered, and reheat the next day for 1.5 to 2 hours at 200 degrees, either in the oven or on the smoker. The flavor is magnificent and the aroma is to die for! I am just curious as to why the rub flavors are absent right out of the smoker. Thanks for your input.

  • Interesting question! The flavors cannot be absent, otherwise they wouldn't be there later. I suspect this is about smell and not taste, but I don't have an answer.
    – GdD
    Feb 24, 2020 at 19:40
  • 2
    Hmmm, this is definitely about smell - what most consider taste, is actually part of the sense of smell - the volatiles coming off food working their way to the back of the nasal cavity, where the smell receptors are. I wonder if it is about availability of volatiles - the hot smoked has come off ~6h of having volatiles evaporated, so those outer ones are lost, but the reheat has had only ~2h.
    – bob1
    Feb 25, 2020 at 0:33
  • Thanks guys, I appreciate the input. If anyone is interested I will offer to ship a 2 oz. size sample of my rub for you to try if you would be willing to do so if it is ok with the site rules. I can provide my email address so you can contact me or you can reach me on Facebook at facebook.com/john.mcgowan.9883739 Feb 26, 2020 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


Do you just sprinkle the dry rub over the meat and just throw it in the oven straight away? or let it marinate for few minutes?

I let the meat sweat a little and let it take in the spices into it. and surely I make cuts and incisions for the spices to get in the meat.

and there is old saying by my grans you heat the spices too much you lose aroma. so use the rub sparingly few times during cooking.

  • Thanks Ahmad, I usually apply the rub about an hour prior to cooking. I am going to try an idea I read about in which the rub is applied the day before, the meat is wrapped and refrigerated and allowed to warm up for about 30 min prior to cooking. Perhaps this will make a bit of a difference. Feb 26, 2020 at 18:52

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