Authentic Texas-Style Brisket Dry Rub

Texas-Style Brisket Rub
Claire Cohen
  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cup (12 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
21 Calories
1g Fat
4g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 cup (12 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 21
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1750mg 76%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 1g
Calcium 23mg 2%
*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.)

Use this Texas-style dry rub recipe to spice up beef brisket. As the name indicates, you want to rub the meat thoroughly so the spices stick and the flavor penetrates the 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 or it won't be an authentic Southwestern-style 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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  • 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 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ​hot chili powder
  • Optional: 1/2 cup brown sugar

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, oregano, hot chili powder, 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. Cook the brisket according to your recipe.


  • Do not put your fingers, spoon, or other utensil back into the dry rub after touching the meat to avoid contaminating the leftovers. This recipe makes enough for 5 pounds of meat, probably more than you cook for one meal, so keep any extra rub for later use.
  • Store the rub in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for several months. Don't store it in the refrigerator as prolonged condensation affects the flavor and consistency. 
  • 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.
  • 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.

Texas-Style Barbecue Meals

Serve barbecued brisket in thin slices 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). Or grill a barbecue brisket sandwich in a skillet on the stovetop or in a panini press.

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