Best-Ever Brisket Rub

published Oct 17, 2021
Brisket Rub Recipe

Three minutes is all it takes to make a flavorful brisket rub.

Makes2 1/4 cups

Prep3 minutes

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brisket rub, made from a mix of spices, in a ceramic bowl with a wooden mixing spoon inside
Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Styling: Kristina Vanni

If you’re looking for a dry rub with big flavors and not a hint of sweetness, this recipe is a keeper. While many dry rubs incorporate some brown sugar, this bold rub is tailor-made for hearty cuts that can stand up to some spice and heat. It’s ideal for brisket, but also great on T-bone steaks or roasts. If you season with a lighter touch, it could even be used on more delicate dishes such as grilled seafood or vegetables.

The rub begins with a heavy hand of coarse salt and pepper. Smoked paprika and chili powder form the backbone of the flavor, with a hearty amount of cayenne pepper for heat. Garlic powder, cumin, and dry mustard are added for additional interest, as well as some dried oregano and thyme for an herbaceous twist.

What Is a Brisket Rub?

A brisket rub is a mixture of dried herbs and spices that is rubbed onto the surface of meat to add flavor. Depending on your cooking method, it can also create a crust on the surface of the meat. There is no need to oil the brisket before applying the rub.

Should the Brisket Be Refrigerated Overnight?

It is important to give a


Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Styling: Kristina Vanni

Do You Put the Rub on All Sides of the Brisket?

Yes, liberally apply the rub on all sides of the brisket. After applying to the top and bottom, lift up the brisket and dip the cut sides in any rub that has fallen onto the surface of the board.

Brisket Rub Recipe

Three minutes is all it takes to make a flavorful brisket rub.

Prep time 3 minutes

Makes 2 1/4 cups

Nutritional Info


  • 3/4 cup

    coarse sea salt

  • 1/2 cup

    coarsely ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup

    smoked paprika

  • 1/4 cup

    chili powder

  • 2 tablespoons

    cayenne pepper

  • 2 tablespoons

    garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon

    ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon

    ground mustard

  • 1 tablespoon

    dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon

    dried thyme


  1. Place 3/4 cup coarse sea salt, 1/2 cup coarsely ground black pepper, 1/4 cup smoked paprika, 1/4 cup chili powder, 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 tablespoon ground mustard, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, and 1 tablespoon dried thyme in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

  2. To use, liberally sprinkle the rub over the entire surface of the meat, coating all sides. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or, ideally, overnight. Cook the meat as desired. (Do not wash off the rub before cooking.)

Recipe Notes

Storage: Store the rub in an airtight container at room temperature in a dark, cool place for up to 4 months.