Brisket Dry Rub


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This homemade brisket rub is the perfect combination of sweet and smoky flavor. It’s the perfect seasoning for smoked or oven-braised brisket!

Ingredients for brisket rub in a small plate.
Photo: Gayle McLeod

If you’ve ever been to Texas, odds are you’ve had a delicious, smoked beef brisket. Brisket, when cooked well, is juicy, tender and loaded with flavor. Of course, much of that flavor comes from the smoker or cooking method, but the perfect dry spice rub is also essential.

So, if you’re looking for the best brisket rub, you’ve come to the right place. My version is a bit unique as I prefer a brisket rub that favors smoky over spicy undertones. That means more paprika and less cayenne pepper. But if you’re one who likes a super spicy brisket, by all means increase the amount of cayenne in this recipe.

Most brisket rubs also use brown sugar, but brown sugar is simply processed white sugar plus molasses. So I swap in an equally sweet and delicious granulated maple sugar. In fact, I think I may actually prefer maple sugar now in all my rubs – the flavor is amazing. Keep reading for all the details!

Ingredients for brisket dry rub on a table.

Brisket Rub Ingredients 

  • Smokiness: The main ingredient that gives your brisket a smoky flavor is paprika. If you want to amp this up even more, choose smoked paprika rather than sweet paprika, it’s up to you.
  • Sweetness: I prefer to use granulated maple sugar in this recipe for the perfect sweet touch. But coconut sugar would also work great and impart slight caramel undertones. If you’re not concerned about using unrefined sugar, you can swap in brown sugar as well.
  • Warm Savoriness: A blend of garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper adds depth of flavor to the rest of this rub.
  • If you want it spicier… you can always add more cayenne pepper.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below

Stirring brisket rub on a plate.

How To Make Brisket Rub

Stir all the spices together. Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and stir until it’s well combined. 

Use immediately or store away. This recipe makes approximately ½ cup of brisket rub, which is perfect for making a 5 to 6-pound brisket. But you can always double or triple the recipe and store it in these glass spice jars. It’ll last for up to one year and will come in handy for any of the ideas below!

Mixed brisket rub on a plate.

Ways To Use Brisket Rub

This dry rub is perfect for brisket, but you could also use it for other cuts of beef, such as steak or tri-tip. It’ll add a deliciously smoky, spiced touch. Alternatively, you can use this for other types of meats such as pulled pork or baked chicken thighs. But that’s totally up to you! 

Brisket rub next to a raw brisket.

More Seasoning Recipes

I hope you enjoy this brisket rub on your next cut of meat! If you make it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this recipe in the comment section below. Your review will help other readers in the community. 

Brisket rub on a white plate.

Brisket Dry Rub

4.85 from 33 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Author: Lisa Bryan


This homemade brisket rub is the perfect combination of sweet and smoky and adds enormous flavor to smoked or oven-braised brisket! Watch the video to see how I make the rub and sprinkle it on my brisket.




  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
    Brisket rub on a white plate.
  • Use immediately or store in an airtight container.
    Mixed brisket rub with a spoon.

Lisa’s Tips

  • This recipe makes approximately ½ cup of brisket rub.
  • I’m obsessed with using spices (both fresh and dry) in my healthy recipes. For a peek inside my spice drawer, make sure to watch my Spice Drawer Organization and Tips video.
  • If your local market doesn’t have granulated maple sugar, this is the brand I buy from Amazon.


Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 13996mg | Potassium: 1156mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 14189IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 198mg | Iron: 10mg
Course: Main Meal
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brisket dry rub, brisket rub
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted May 2017, but updated to include new photos and information for your benefit!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


    1. Hi Robin – This recipe is just for the dry rub. You can find my brisket recipe on another page! Just search for “brisket” in the search bar.

  1. Do not put salt in your rubs.

    Dry brine your meat at the rate of 0.5 tsp. of salt per pound of meat, let it sit uncovered in the refrigerator overnight, and use the rub of your choice MINUS any additional salt before cooking.

    If you follow this advice you will never over salt your meat.

    I didn’t make this up. It’s accepted food science all over the world.

  2. Fabulous brisket rub!!! Just finished eating brisket that was grilled with this dry rub. Very flavorful!5 stars

  3. Trying this rub on a sous vide flap half of a packer brisket for 44 hours at 150F.
    First time using my Instant Pot sous vide function with a zip lock freezer bag.
    Planning on a finish with a 90 min ice bath followed by 2 min each side under the gas oven broiler.
    Some Sweet Baby Ray’s copy cat BBQ sauce (Fake Baby Ray’s). Absolute Zero high fructose corn syrup tolerance is my house rule with all the American health issues these days.

    Wish me luck and a juicy flavorful brisket.
    My son just got braces and I need soft stuff for school lunch sandwiches.5 stars

  4. Getting ready to try this. Is it a 1/4 cup of Paprika? Seems like a lot. Just making sure it was not a typo before I start. Thanks.

    1. Just wanted you to know I found an amazing recipe for homemade maple sugar online, it’s actually super easy to make!5 stars

  5. this is amazing! even the plain smell alone brought me delight. probably one of the best rubs I have ever made5 stars