Authentic Texas-Style Brisket Dry Rub

Texas-Style Brisket Rub
Claire Cohen
  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Servings: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
488 Calories
28g Fat
12g Carbs
45g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 488
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 11g 56%
Cholesterol 160mg 53%
Sodium 1668mg 73%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 45g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 54mg 4%
Iron 5mg 27%
Potassium 484mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Texas-style dry rub recipe is an easy way to spice up beef brisket. In true Tex-Mex style, this rub gets a kick from cayenne pepper and hot chili powder. Adjust the heat to your liking, but be sure to retain some of the heat from the chiles or it won't be an authentic Southwestern-style rub.

As the name indicates, you want to rub the meat thoroughly with the seasoning so the spices stick and the flavor penetrates the brisket. If you're finding the rub isn't sticking to the meat, you can drizzle a bit of olive oil over the brisket and then add the rub, using your hands to evenly coat the meat.

This recipe makes enough for 5 pounds of meat, possibly more than you cook for one meal, so keep any extra rub for later use. To make an authentic Texas barbecue meal, serve thinly sliced brisket with sides such as baked beans, coleslaw, or potato salad. You can also enjoy slices of brisket on a bun with the barbecue sauce of your choice—as long as it isn't a Carolina-style vinegar sauce (Texans would object).

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Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons paprika

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley

  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/4 teaspoon hot chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1 beef brisket, trimmed

Steps to Make It

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, dried parsley, cayenne pepper, cumin, coriander, hot chili powder, oregano, and if desired, the brown sugar until thoroughly mixed.

  2. Pat the brisket dry on all sides using paper towels. With a spoon, sprinkle the rub liberally onto the meat. Simultaneously press it in and rub it with your fingertips until it adheres to the entire surface. Turn the meat and repeat on all sides.

  3. Let the brisket sit for up to 24 hours (in the refrigerator) or cook immediately according to your recipe.

Tips

  • Do not put your fingers, spoon, or other utensils back into the dry rub after touching the meat to avoid contaminating the leftover rub.
  • Adding the optional sugar tames the heat without eliminating it completely. The sugar in the rub also crisps to a nice brown crust on the meat, but it does burn easily so keep dry-rubbed meat away from high flames. Low and slow is the name of the game with barbecue.

Recipe Variation

Try adding dry mustard or ground chipotle pepper to the rub. Feel free to experiment with the spices to find a combination that suits you best.

How to Use Texas-Style Brisket Dry Rub

You can use this rub on other cuts of beef or for other meats such as pork, lamb, and venison, or poultry and seafood. When you cook poultry, you want to work the rub both underneath and on top of the skin.

How to Store Texas-Style Brisket Dry Rub

Store the rub in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. It will last for several months, but the flavor will diminish over time. Don't store it in the refrigerator as prolonged condensation affects the flavor and consistency. 

What's the Difference Between a Dry Rub and Wet Rub?

A typical dry rub starts with brown sugar, granulated white sugar, or turbinado sugar and salt. After that, you can decide which dried spices and herbs to use. A wet rub contains liquid, usually oil or water, and often gets a little sweetness from molasses, honey, or other liquid sugar. The resulting thick paste sticks to the meat more easily than a dry rub, but it also chars more easily on a grill, where it can drip and cause flare-ups. Many backyard chefs claim a strong allegiance to one style or the other, but there's room on the picnic table for both.

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