Great barbecue brisket is built layers of flavor. Those layers start with the barbecue rub. Brisket rubs can be simple or complex. These recipes are the best I have and represent a wide range of barbecue styles. Not every rub is going to match your tastes but by browsing these recipes you are certain to find something that fits your needs perfectly.
Before you start picking out a barbecue rub for your brisket, I would like to give you a few tips. First of all, how much rub do you apply? The... answer is how much the meat will hold. Yes, pat dry your brisket with paper towels and sprinkle with rub (no, you don't actually have to rub it on). Whatever adheres to the brisket is the amount needed. The second tip is about timing. When should you apply your rub? If the rub you are using contains a lot of salt, you will want to apply it right before you put the brisket in the smoker. If the rub is low in salt or doesn't have any then you can apply it several hours in advance to let the flavors sink in. Leaving a large amount of salt on meat will cause it to cure and the flavor will be more like jerky and less like barbecue brisket.
01 of 07
02 of 07
This rub is built on the basics of barbecue. The combination of paprika, sugar, and salt give it the color and the flavor effect you want while the other ingredients add depth. This is a simple rub and the perfect place to start if you are new to smoking brisket. This is one of my most popular rub recipes, not just brisket rub recipe.
03 of 07
This brisket rub has the spicy heat that makes Texas-style barbecue great. You can add sugar to this rub with you want an extra heat. This rub also has a rich layer of herbs and spices that will make your brisket really stand out.
04 of 07
This rub starts with a good portion of salt but don't worry. By using a coarse salt, it will absorb slower into the meat. This means that the brisket won't pick up too much of the saltiness. Don't apply this rub too early or the surface of the meat will begin to cure.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Chipotle chilies add a smokey heat that is perfect for brisket. Use dried chipotles to keep this BBQ rub dry. You can buy chipotle chili powder but that costs a lot more. The choice is yours. What ties that chipotle flavor together with this rub is a hint of orange in the form of a small piece of dried orange peel.
06 of 07
This is a wet rub, or as you might call it a spice paste. What ties the flavors of this barbecue rub together is a small amount of lemon juice. This acid helps break down the seasonings so that the flavors can be absorbed into the brisket. This recipe calls for hot chili powder, but you can switch to a mild one if you want to tone down the heat.
07 of 07
This is another basic barbecue rub for brisket. What this one adds is finely ground green chili. What you want to do is chop up the chili and then grind it into the other ingredients. By using a fresh chili, you get more than just a touch of heat. The green chili adds a fresh herbal flavor that really makes this rub stand out.