The secret to a delicious Texas brisket is in the rub. A rub is a mixture of spices that is rubbed into the meat before cooking. It infuses the brisket with flavor. Everyone has his or her own version of Texas brisket rub and each one can have a unique flavor. Make a big batch of it and store it in an air tight container in the pantry.
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Brisket Rub #1
Texas brisket rub recipes have a long list of ingredients but they are easy to assemble. It is simply a matter of measuring the ingredients and mixing them together.
Combine the following ingredients in a container.
5 tbsp. paprika 2 tbsp. salt 2 tbsp. garlic powder 1 tbsp. black pepper 2 tbsp. onion powder 1 tsp. dried oregano 1 tsp. ground coriander 2 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. cayenne pepper 1 tsp. hot chili powder
Brisket Rub #2
This rub has some sweetness added to it in the form of brown sugar. This will also help develop a caramelized crust.
Mix these ingredients together.
1/2 cup paprika 1/4 cup chili powder (mild or hot) 1/4 cup brown sugar 2 tbsp. cumin 2 tbsp. oregano 2 tbsp. salt 1 tbsp. fresh ground black pepper 1 tbsp. onion powder 2 tsp. garlic powder 2 tsp. cayenne powder 1 tsp. ground coriander
Preparing a Texas Rub Brisket
There are a few tricks to insuring that your rub penetrates the brisket. Briskets have a fat layer on one side. Trim this fat to approximately 1/4 inch and then score it. Score the other side of the brisket as well.
Massage the rub into the meat being sure that you cover all surfaces. Use as much rub as will stick to the meat. Ideally the rub will create a crust when cooked.
Wrap the brisket in plastic wrap or place inside of a zip top bag and place it in the refrigerator. Allow it to age for at least 12 hours and up to 48 hours before smoking.
Smoke the brisket by cooking over indirect heat on the grill at approximately 225 degrees Farenheit. Mesquite wood chips are traditionally used for the smoke flavor. Add soaked wood chips to the fire as needed to produce smoke.
It will take approximately one hour of cooking time per pound of brisket to get it to an internal temperature of 180 degrees Farenheit. This is the ideal temperature if you are going to serve your brisket sliced. If you would like to pull the meat apart, Barbecue FYI (see reference 1) says to cook it to an internal temperature of 190 degrees Farenheit.