This traditional brisket rub is most commonly used in Texas. Though simple to make, this rub recipe contains what you need to make a delicious smoked barbecue brisket. Think of it as a perfect starting point if you are just beginning to experiment with making your own barbecue rub. It uses everyday, pantry staple ingredients that you likely already have (or can easily buy and will use again and again). It is easy to double or triple the recipe and once made, can be stored in a sealed container in your spice cabinet. Then it will be ready anytime you need it.
Once you taste the flavors of this rub, you can decide if you want to change the ratio of any of the spices or add additional spices for other homemade rubs. As you learn your preferences, you can add more salt, heat, or other flavors like smoked paprika, cinnamon, or anything else.
Think beyond just brisket with this tasty Texas rub. This rub can also be used on steaks, ribs, and other cuts of meat. The point of rubs is twofold. They are meant to infuse the cut of meat with distinct flavors and also help form a crusty surface as the meat cooks.
Applying the Rub
After you have made your rub, be sure to apply it to the meat correctly (otherwise it will not stick and do its job). First, pat the meat dry with paper towels. Then sprinkle the rub over the entire surface of the meat. Gently pat it into place on the meat and then proceed with cooking. Some rub will fall off, but if done correctly, plenty of rub will be on the meat to flavor it and create the tasty crust.
Depending on your preference, the cut of meat, and the success of the rub, you may not even want any barbecue sauce with your barbecue. Some regional dishes, like Memphis ribs, use only the rub to flavor the meat and do not serve any sauce. Other areas, like Kansas City, use a rub and a sauce to flavor the meat. Either way, homemade barbecue sauce is easy to make, open to a multitude of taste preferences and ingredients, and something to add to your brisket (or any meat).
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Work into the surface of the brisket, especially over the exposed meat. Cook as directed. This rub may be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for several months.
Double or triple the recipe if you intend to smoke a few briskets. Make sure that you portion out what you will be using and save the rest as instructed above. Discard any remaining rub that has come into contact with raw meat.