Beef Brisket Rub
Great beef brisket is built on layers of flavor and those layers start with the barbecue rub. Brisket rubs can be simple or complex and a great rub creates a crunchy, flavorful, rich crust which is known as the bark.
Beef rubs and pork rubs are not created equal and shouldn't be interchanged. While pork rubs tend to be rely on a base of sweetness (lots of sugar) smoked brisket rubs are built more on a foundation of salt and pepper. Rubs are used to enhance the flavor of your meat and a good beef brisket rub uses salt as it helps to form the crucial crust or bark.
So how much rub should you apply to your brisket? We like to recommend about a tablespoon per lb (but we never really measure when seasoning). Lightly oil your brisket with vegetable or olive oil. Many of the spices in this rub are oil soluble and the oil helps the spices penetrate the meat. Liberally sprinkle the rub on your beef brisket, heavier amounts on the thicker cuts and less on the thinner.
We like to apply this beef brisket rub right before we put it into our smoker. We also like to let our meat warm to room temperature before applying our rub. But if you're from the school of thought that more rub time is better then by all means add your rub to your brisket and then place it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before smoking.
I can absolutely appreciate those that are trying to limit their intake of sugar and salt but when it comes to seasoning your slow cooked beef the use of salt and sugar are important. The salt pulls the meat's moisture to the surface where it mixes with the sugar and spices to add the caramelizing effect that forms the crust.
Our Beef Brisket Rub is hand blended from smoked Mesquite sea salt, black pepper, demerara sugar, onion, garlic, ancho powder, yellow mustard and chipotle powder.
Now while the seasoning blend is important the meat is where the rubber hits the road (all the great seasoning in the world can't save a terrible cut of beef). Because this is a rub using salt watch out for meat labeled "basted", "self-basting", "enhanced" or "flavor enhanced" as these have all been injected with a salty brine at the meat packing plant. A salty rub added to salt injected meat makes it very salty and may not be edible to some of your guests.
Brisket is a cut of meat from the lower chest or breast. If you're not use to buying the best brisket they are some things to look for. Most cuts will be from 3 to 6 lbs and come from the flat or point. These will sometimes be labels as "brisket first cut" or "brisket second cut". The lean "first cut" or "flat cut" is from the deep pectoral, while the fattier "second cut", "point", "fat end", or "triangular cut" is the superficial pectoral.
"Brisket first cuts" tend to be more common than "brisket second cuts". If the meat butcher has both, chose the "brisket second cut" as it has more marbling in the muscle and will be more flavorful, juicy and tender.
If your only choice is "brisket first cut" then look for Certified Angus, USDA Choice or USDA Prime. Serious competition barbecuers prefer Certified Angus Beef as the certification process requires the meat to be USDA Choice or better.
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*