This brisket rub is a blend of barbecue spices that pairs perfectly with beef, as well as chicken, pork and fish. It’s great for grilled, roasted, braised or smoked brisket, and you can even use it on vegetables and potatoes.

When I’m looking to feed a crowd, I like to prepare a large piece of meat such as prime rib, beef tenderloin or brisket. The key to a great brisket is a fabulous brisket rub, and this version takes just minutes to make.

Brisket Rub Recipe #spices #beef #bbq #dinner #dinneratthezoo Brisket Rub Recipe #spices #beef #bbq #dinner #dinneratthezoo

A jar of homemade brisket rub spice mix.

Brisket is a flavorful and inexpensive cut of meat that’s perfect for a family meal or a special occasion. The best way to season this type of meat is with a brisket rub. My rub contains a variety of spices and has the perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors.

How do you make brisket rub?

This recipe is a blend of brown sugar and spices. The flavor profile includes two types of paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and mustard power. Simply measure out the sugar and spices, then stir to combine. Use your rub right away, or store for later use.

Brown sugar and spices in a mixing bowl.

Tips for the perfect brisket rub

  • This rub will stay fresh in a sealed container at room temperature for 4 months. I often make a double or triple batch so that I always have some on hand.
  • Don’t be tempted to substitute the smoked paprika for more regular paprika. The smoked version adds a ton of flavor and is readily available in the spice aisle of most grocery stores.
  • This rub can be used on other types of meat such as pork or beef ribs, chicken, pork tenderloin or pork shoulder.
  • I recommend using freshly ground black pepper for maximum flavor.

How long should dry rub be on brisket?

Place a generous amount of rub onto your meat, then use your hands to rub it all over every surface of the brisket. You can do this right before you cook the meat, or let the rub sit on the meat for up to 24 hours. If you’re planning to brown your meat, I recommend adding the rub after the meat has been browned. The rub contains sugar and can burn if you place it on your meat before you brown it.

Sugar, salt and spices mixed together in a bowl.

How do you cook brisket?

There are three main methods to cooking brisket: in a smoker, in a slow cooker, and in the oven. All three methods rely on a long cook time at a low temperature to help tenderize the meat and get that melt-in-your mouth texture. Here is my favorite recipe for smoked brisket. You can make your brisket in a slow cooker by coating your meat in rub, then simmering it in barbecue sauce for 8 hours on low heat. To bake brisket in the oven, coat it with this rub and barbecue sauce, then cover the pan and bake it at 300 degrees F for 4 hours.

Brisket rub spread over a beef brisket.

Brisket rub flavor variations

I love this rub recipe as it’s written, but you can absolutely add other flavors to the mix to customize it to your tastes.

  • Spicy BBQ Rub: Add 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, or ground chipotle pepper to the mix.
  • Garlic Lovers Rub: Double the amount of garlic in the recipe.
  • Mexican Rub: Add 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 teaspoon ground coriander to the mix.

Sliced beef brisket on a sheet pan.

This rub turns regular old brisket into something extraordinary. You’ll definitely want to keep this spice blend on hand for many different culinary applications!

More recipes you’ll enjoy

Brisket Rub Video

5 from 103 votes

Brisket Rub Recipe

AuthorSara Welch
A jar of homemade brisket rub spice mix.
This brisket rub is a blend of barbecue spices that pairs perfectly with beef, as well as chicken, pork and fish. It’s great for grilled, roasted, braised or smoked brisket, and you can even use it on vegetables and potatoes.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time1 minute
Total Time6 minutes
Course Seasoning
Cuisine American
Serves 12


  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Mix all of the ingredients together. Stir in an airtight container until ready to use.
  • Brisket rub keeps for up to 4 months in an airtight container when stored in a cool, dry place.


Calories: 53kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Sodium: 388mg | Potassium: 138mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2300IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1.2mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Outstanding. My hubs and son loved it..that is a miracle in my book. Works great on Brisket as well as Tri Tip. This is now the rub that they request. So easy as soooo tasty. 2.44# roast both times ..brisket 250 for 3.5 hours..we like it Med well/well. Tri tip ..425..for 45 mins, if running late or same as brisket if I have time. Love it!

  2. 5 stars
    My husband uses store bought rubs and most have MSG. I prefer to make my own but rarely can get the right combination or amount of each. I used this rub today for a brisket on our brand new smoker. My husband told me that I can make the rub now instead of buying it. We LOVED the flavor!!! Thank you for sharing it!!!

  3. Can you put brisket on the grill as well if so what are the steps for that process?and what’s the recommendation for barbecue sauce,brand, flavor,and amount?

  4. so by adding the smoked paprika is this in place of actually smoking the brisket on the grill/smoker?–and cook it in the oven?or can you still cook using smoke chips?

  5. 5 stars
    I have found if you substitute Tony Chachere’s for the Chili Pepper Spices it steps it up a couple notches.
    12 hours in the oven at 207 degrees then 2 hours at 285 degrees. Perfect melt in your mouth good every time. I put in at 10 pm. Saturday night and the next day take it out 2pm. Sit for an hour and Sunday Supper is ready for a crowd..

  6. 5 stars
    I have saved this rub for when it is time to fire up the grill. We love brisket here but it is an all-day process and the weather hasn’t been great.

  7. 5 stars
    Ive never made a brisket rub, but I am going to now! this looks like a great way to get flavor in the meat and tenderize it too.