Brisket Dry Rub

This brisket rub is the perfect combination of sweet and smoky. It adds enormous flavor to smoked brisket or oven brisket, making it (in my opinion) the best brisket dry rub recipe.

This brisket rub is the perfect combination of sweet and smoky. It adds enormous flavor to smoked brisket or oven brisket, making it (in my opinion) the best brisket rub.

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 brisket rub is also essential.

Brisket Rub Ingredients

I personally prefer a brisket rub that favor smoky over spicy undertones. That means more paprika and less cayenne pepper. But if you’re one that likes a super spicy brisket, by all means increase the amount of cayenne in this recipe.

Most brisket rubs also use brown sugar, but because I don’t keep brown sugar in my pantry, I swapped in an equally sweet and delicious maple sugar. In fact, I think I may actually prefer maple sugar now in all my rubs – the flavor is amazing.

If you’re wondering, the reason I don’t keep brown sugar around is that it’s simply just a combination of highly processed white sugar plus molasses. I prefer higher quality (or at least less processed) sugars and figure that if I want to add extra molasses to a recipe, I’ll do that separately.

This brisket rub is the perfect combination of sweet and smoky. It adds enormous flavor to smoked brisket or oven brisket, making it (in my opinion) the best brisket rub.

This brisket rub is the perfect combination of sweet and smoky. It adds enormous flavor to smoked brisket or oven brisket, making it (in my opinion) the best brisket rub.

This dry rub is obviously perfect for brisket, but you could also use it for steak, tri tip and other cuts of beef. The amount listed in the recipe will liberally cover a 5-6 pound brisket – like my Sweet and Smoky Beef Brisket – but if your brisket is smaller just store the remaining dry rub in an airtight container for future use.

For more delicious meat recipes, make sure to check out my Slow Cooker Kalua Pork, Cabernet Braised Short Ribs and Roasted Balsamic Chicken with Brussels Sprouts.


This brisket rub is the perfect combination of sweet and smoky. It adds enormous flavor to smoked brisket or oven brisket, making it (in my opinion) the best brisket rub.

This brisket rub is the perfect combination of sweet and smoky. It adds enormous flavor to smoked brisket or oven brisket, making it (in my opinion) the best brisket rub.

Brisket Dry Rub

4.83 from 29 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Servings: 1 serving
Author: Lisa Bryan
This brisket rub is the best combination of sweet and spicy, with paprika, garlic and maple sugar. I've tried many brisket rub recipes and this is definitely my favorite.


  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 3 tbsp maple sugar
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Use immediately or store in an airtight container.

Lisa's Tips

  • This recipe makes approximately 1/2 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: 354.6kcal, Carbohydrates: 79.5g, Protein: 10.5g, Fat: 5.9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 14199.1mg, Fiber: 16.9g, Sugar: 34.7g
Course: Main Meal
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brisket dry rub, brisket rub
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106 comments on “Brisket Dry Rub”

  1. can i used brown sugar intead of maple sugar?

  2. Hi… I concocted my own dry rub (first time) and it’s “close” to yours… I noted you said it can be used in an oven too… Since I don’t own a smoker, I am planning to put it in my kitchen oven. My question is should I bake it covered and in a sauce? I typically prepare brisket by searing both sides then placing lots of cut onions in the roasting pan with a tomato based sauce …. 350 for 1 1/2 hrs, slice…then cook day of serving for another hour, or so. Thoughts/comments? I am anxious to try this dry rub…

  3. How long do you smoke it and at what temp.? Also is it OK to let it stand longer with the rub before smoking. The recipe sounds incredible and I am going to use it on my next brisket!!

    • Hi Jack – You can find the full instructions on how I cook brisket in my recipe called “Sweet And Smoky Brisket”!

  4. I’m thinking about using this rub on my next brisket, the only thing I might change is using Smoked paprika rather than plain paprika and I’m sure I can find Maple sugar. 

  5. As a former worker at a Cane sugar plant, raw sugar which are larger crystals of brown sugar are the sugar produced before it is refined into white sugar.

  6. If you look at the ingredient list on brown sugar, it usually States “sugar and molasses”. C&H dark brown sugar just lists brown sugar as the only ingredient, indicating that the molasses was never extracted from the sugar. That is the only brown sugar I buy…

  7. How long do you leave the dry rub on in the fridge before putting it in the smoker I did not see that part I’m sorry

  8. Too much paprika 3 stars

  9. does this recipe call for fine ou course salt

  10. Is maple sugar different from maple syrup don’t think we can get the sugar in NZ?

  11. This was my first attempt at smoking brisket and it turned out incredible!! Our guests called back the next day to thank us again for such a great dinner. Thanks for this OMG recipe 5 stars

    • Hi Pat and Greg- Wow, that’s amazing! Looks like you found a winning recipe, especially to make for guests :)

  12. Would it be possible to use a sugar substitute like erythritol with stevia that I usually use in my baking?

  13. Brown sugar is not supposed to be made with added molasses, it’s just sugar before the bleaching process. Shop around to find the real thing.

  14. I know this post is over two years old, so I don’t know if anyone is still watching this page. This rub looks good, but my only concern is because of the high sugar content, how well it would be suited to long smoking sessions of 12+ hours. Has anyone tried doing this rub on a whole packer’s cut brisket cooked low and slow? Have there been any problems with the sugars becoming burnt/charred? I’d like to try it, but it’s rare that i do briskets because of the amount of time and effort they take to get them just right, so I want something that I know will work well for a long cook like that.

    • Its all about 200 degrees & low n slow! Brine in apple cider juice & sea salt for 24-48 hrs. Smoke it for 6-8 hrs. Wrap it loosely on a pan with foil. Put in oven for 1-2hrs. Let the meat rest! Its like lasagna! Patience is a virtue!

  15. Used this recipe for smoking my first brisket. I couldn’t find maple sugar at my market; I was in a pinch and used brown sugar. Smoked with 2/3 pecan, 1/3 apple wood chips and it came out fantastic. Sweet, smokey, little kick from the cumin and cayenne pepper. I’m looking forward to using maple sugar next time. Thank you, Lisa!5 stars

    • Hi Bill – So glad you loved this dry rub! The maple sugar definitely gives it a nice flavor, so can’t wait for you to use it next time :)

  16. Do I need to let it sit in the fridge with the rub on it for a few hours or overnight or can I apply it just before smoking it? 

    • I always prefer to let the rub sit for a little bit, but depending on your timing you can just rub and smoke as well.

      • Hi Lisa two questions. Another site warned about using hi salt rubs and letting the brisket sit over night as it could cause the brisket to start curing. I haven’t heard that before, and they also didn’t say what constituted at constituted “high salt.” Do you typically let your brisket sit in the fridge overnight? I’m thinking about reducing the salt and adding the rest in the morning before putting it on the smoker. Also, my wife and I are trying to reduce sugar from our diet as much as possible – have you eve tried this without the maple sugar? Thoughts?

      • Hi John – I’m not familiar with high salt either. Usually I’m too impatient to let my brisket sit in the fridge overnight, but I know others who do. I think it’s just personal preference. And I haven’t tried the rub without sugar. If anything it would just impart more savory rather than sweet undertones, but I’m sure it’s fine. :)

  17. Great rub!  I used course ground pepper and substituted brown sugar for maple since my grocery store didn’t have it and I needed it that day.  I like trying different rubs and this one has easily become one of my favorites.  8.5 lb brisket in a pellet smoker at 225 deg 9 hrs. Final temp 203 deg5 stars

    • Hi Tré – I’m glad you loved this dry rub! It has such great flavor and is also one of my favorites to use :)

  18. I am about to make this recipe, I have no maple sugar, but I have all the rest, and I think I will put some cayenne pepper also

  19. Ok thank you 

  20. I am going to smoke my first brisket on the weekend. I’m going to use your rub for sure. I have a small brisket. 4.5 pounds. How long do you think I should smoke and then continue with the wrapped brisket. Don’t let it rest in a cooler at the end. Any tips are appreciated. Thanks 

  21. I must be a salt and pepper person as this rub is once again too hot ? for my tastes.  I left out the red pepper but am now scraping it off of my brisket and will stick with salt and pepper from here on out.  2 stars

  22. Awesome rub! Have used it on two briskets now. Definitely the the favorite. It’s so good the kids prefer not adding any type of barbecue sauce. Can’t wait to try it on other things.5 stars

  23. This rub recipe is awesome! I used brown sugar instead and it turned out great! I also use this on chicken and pork when I grill. I get many compliments!5 stars

  24. I always like to search the net for ideas about cooking, creating, etc…

    I’ve been making a similar rub for years with the exception of using brown sugar and white pepper.
    Now, I’m sourcing the maple sugar and going for a whole new spin. I’ve found dehydrated honey and considering a go with that as well! Nuff said about my style… Great recipe! And works really well on chicken and pork!5 stars

    • Wow, all these additions sound amazing! Thank you so much for the kind comment and I’m happy you loved the dry rub! :)

  25. I tried this last week followed by a nice and slow 19 hour smoke. This spice blend is probably some of the best rub I have used and reminds me of Texas. I used brown sugar instead of maple sugar. I also added some ground mustard to the blend. Fantastic recipe!5 stars

    • Thanks for the kind comment, Cory! I’m glad you loved the flavor of the brisket. :)

  26. Tried it, really enjoyed the flavor, got a lot of compliments, first time smoking a beef briaket. I didn’t have maple sugar, used brown sugar instead and it turned out great, also I brined it i first, next time I will try the maple sugar and not brine it but it was really good, thank you for sharing!?5 stars

  27. Never heard of maple sugar, so I just used regular sugar, fixing to put my brisket on the smoker, hope it comes out good. Thanks for the recipe

  28. Making this rub tomorrow for my 1st cooked brisket but I don’t have maple sugar so I’m using brown sugar. I’m hoping it’ll taste as good. I’ve never heard of maple sugar.

  29. Looking forward to trying your rub.  I’m buyinf all the spices on Amazon today.  Do you use the same rub for chicken?

  30. Can I use reg salt instead of kosher salt

  31. Very very good! Used other premade rubs. This is one of the best and homemade! MSG works very well. Thanks for sharing. 5 stars

    • Hi Russell – Thank you for the kind comment! I’m so happy you enjoyed the brisket dry rub as much as I do! :)

  32. Amazing! Used this for our Super Bowl party brisket and it was a huge success. I used brown sugar (no maple sugar available) and … DELICIOUS!

  33. hi Lisa your recipe sound delicious. but had a couple off questions for you . what’s the difference between maple sugar and brown sugar? and can I sub the maple sugar with brown sugar

  34. Excellent brisket rub. Like it says, I prefer a tad more spicy, so I doubled up the cayenne. I also like that it isn’t as crazy salty as most brisket rubs.5 stars

  35. Used your recipe will see tomorrow how it comes out

  36. Hi Lisa
     I’m going to do my first 2 briskets. Each weighs 7.5 lbs. After looking at many recipes, I’ve decided on yours.  It sounds good and I’m looking forward to trying. I’m smoking the briskets on a PB 440d pellet grill set on 225. Doing this on 8-19/18. I will edit how it turned out on Monday.  

  37. I have never purchased maple sugar. Do you think coconut sugar would work in this recipe?

  38. I’m doubling this recipe except for the cumin. And I’m curious about your Cayenne if you use 30000 or 90000 i.u.?

  39. What kind of paprika do you recommend? Your description made me think of smoked paprika, but I’m not sure if that’s what you use or just plain paprika. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you, and thank you for the recipe!

  40. Lisa,
           Just dry rubbed a small brisket with your recipe and smells great on the smoker. Love king forward to dinner tonight.
    J. Suggs5 stars

  41. Hey, Lisa. Pretty pictures. 
    I can appreciate your words. I can taste your photo.
    I am pondering my first brisket. I have an exquisite rub I use for burgers.
    And I have smoked some ribs & probably fifty pounds of pork. Still a rookie by many standards

    My rub is similar to yours – plus a few things more including coriander & ginger. Yes, brown sugar for me works.
    I do use lots of maple syrup and honey in other things. I have read that turbinado BS is better. 
    That is where I am headed.

    Your fine words have inspired me to stay true to my meat taste that I have perfected.
    New Grilla – how bad can it be…..5 stars

  42. Used this recipe yesterday to cook a brisket in my pizza oven and it was amazing!5 stars

  43. Made this with sukrin gold instead of maple sugar and it was deliscious. Thanks for the recipe.5 stars

  44. Hi – this sounds so delicious!! Can I use this rub to cook a brisket in my slow cooker instead of oven or smoker? Can I apply it the night before and let it sit overnight? Thanks!

  45. I’ve never made my own brisket dry rub. Must give your recipe a try!

  46. Simple and delicious spice rub. Maple sugar sounds so good.

  47. What a great spice rub. That would be so good on so many dishes.

  48. It doesn’t get much more beautiful in the kitchen than a bowl of perfect spices. This rub sound SO good. And I love brisket. Perfect!

  49. I’ve never tried maple sugar and will have to look for it. This rub sounds delicious!

  50. I love making my own seasoning mixtures and this is a really nice group of spices. Love the maple sugar!