Brisket is a staple of BBQ and smoking. You can’t call yourself a true pitmaster unless you can cook a mean brisket, and to do so you need to get the seasoning right.
Some people like to experiment with their own rubs, but this can be time consuming and it can easily go wrong, ruining the flavour of your brisket.
So, buying the best store bought brisket rub can ensure perfect flavour every time, and even save you time and hassle in the long run.
|John Henry’s Texas Brisket Rub|
|2 Gringos Chupacabra Rub Brisket Magic|
|Kosmos Q Cow Cover|
|Obie-Cue’s Big Bull’s Texas Brisket Seasoning|
|Oakridge BBQ Signature Edition Black OPS Brisket Rub|
It is a tough cut, and if you were to cook brisket quickly it would be tough and chewy. Slow cooked, the meat takes on a beautiful soft texture and an amazing flavour, but you need to season it properly.
The reason for the flavour is the fact that the meat is packed with tissue, which over time is able to soak up and spread rich flavors through the meat.
A true BBQ supreme will know that the seasoning which works for a brisket may be slightly different to other cuts. For instance, you may have a rib rub for racks of ribs and brisket rubs for briskets.
John Henry’s Texas Brisket Rub
John Henry is a name synonymous with the world of BBQ and the brand has a huge amount of rubs for a variety of cuts of meat. Their brisket rub is a great mix of value and exceptional flavour.
One of the signatures of this rub is a gorgeous pecan taste. People enjoy all kinds of flavour profiles and the pecan taste of this rub is pretty unique. Gloriously blended with the heat of paprika makes for an award-winning rub.
The manufacturers claim that this is suitable for any type of beef cut. It certainly won’t do a bad job on other cuts, but it is most effective on the brisket or tri-tip.
This is because of the ability this rub has to help hold in the juices and allow the flavour to spread throughout the cut.
The flavoring from this rub is sweet, and even if you have a preference for sweet flavors in your grilling, you are likely to notice it. Combining with plenty of pepper and heat can create the perfect balance between sweet, heat and smoke.
2 Gringos Chupacabra Rub Brisket Magic
Any rub which calls itself “Brisket Magic” immediately has a lot to live up to! Fortunately, this brilliant rub from 2 Gringos can add a wonderful kick to your brisket.
It has a lot more ingredients than some of the other rubs. There are artificial flavourings and preservatives in this product, but this is not to the detriment of the taste at all.
One of the great things about this rub is the tenderizer ingredient included, which really works! This can help tough cuts of meat such as the brisket turn into melt-in-your-mouth BBQ heaven.
Be careful not to overdo it, unless you are looking for a soft ‘pulled’ texture to the meat.
This product provides classic BBQ flavors which represent the Texas flavour we expect from a Texan rub! The great blend of chilli peppers and other forms of heat and spice are cut through by the brown sugar flavour, providing a beautiful caramelized sweet and heat contrast when slow cooked and smoked
Kosmos Q Cow Cover
It is hard to make any list of the best rubs for beef without including the Kosmos Q Cow Cover rub.
This is a specific beef rub rather than a specific brisket rub, but it does a wonderful job of adding heat and flavour to any part of a cow.
Kosmos Q is a brand born out of the love of barbecuing. The manufacturers started entering competitions almost a decade ago and their Cow Cover is one of their flagship products.
It has won a huge amount of awards in this time and their rubs give you a specialist, professional taste.
Being a company with a passion for flavour, the rubs produced are balanced and beautiful, and only use the freshest ingredients.
As well as being incredibly versatile and suitable for any different type of cow cut, the cow cover rub is available with different levels of heat as well as in different sized packages.
Being able to choose whether you prefer a hotter or a smokey and sweet flavour allows you more control over the final flavour.
The ingredients are totally natural and there is no MSG in the Kosmos rub, which is not something all of the rubs can offer.
The ingredients include a hickory smoke flavour which gives an extra barbeque kick and beautiful smokey infusion.
This works so well for brisket, with a delicious and traditional BBQ taste. The versatility of this rub makes it perfect for experimentation and many have used it with veggies, potatoes, chicken and pork with good results. Cow Cover doesn’t have to be exclusively for cows!
Obie-Cue’s Big Bull’s Texas Brisket Seasoning
The words ‘simple but effective’ spring to mind when describing the Obie-Cue’s rub. Texas brisket is one of the most iconic cuts and recipes out there when it comes to grilling and smoking.
Texas BBQ in general is known for its amazing flavour, and the Texas brisket flavour can be created relatively simply, as Obie-Cue prove with their premade rub.
The simple taste comes from chilli pepper, garlic, salt and herbs, with a few preservatives and anti-caking agents (less than 2%).
This is all you need for a great flavour on your brisket, and the signature taste you may get from smokehouses in the south.
Some of the biggest positives from this rub are the beautiful bark it creates. A lovely burnt end can be achieved from this rub, and the darker bark this provides is a big positive, as many people search for a good bark for years and don’t manage to achieve it.
It can be easy to quickly head into ‘overly salty’ territory with your rub. They often contain salt and other salty ingredients, but many have spoken about the balance provided by the Obie-Cue rub, and the fact that it doesn’t strike your taste buds as being too spicy or too salty.
Oakridge BBQ Signature Edition Black OPS Brisket Rub
The Oakridge is probably one of the coolest rubs when it comes to branding, but does it live up to it in terms of taste?
The consumer feedback on the Black OPS rub speaks for itself. The name comes from the secret operation to create the BBQ rub, which took over two years and was done by “elite BBQ professionals”.
The rub may have some amazing branding, but the flavour profile is great too, and the awards that this rub has won at competitions around the country shows what a great taste profile they have created.
This has something of a spicy finish with plenty of black pepper flavour. This is great for providing the perfect bark on your brisket, but as well as this it avoids the overly sweet flavour some rubs are guilty of. If it is a little too hot for you or you find you’d like a little extra sweetness, you can always add some brown sugar.
The rub has been developed for brisket, but the taste profile is wonderful and it can be used on pretty much any cut of beef. Even steaks can be improved with the Black Ops rub.
What Makes a Good Brisket Rub?
One of the beautiful things about food is the fact that we can enjoy a huge variety of different things. Just because you love one style of BBQ doesn’t mean that it is the only one you will like.
For that reason, there are lots of different rubs you will likely enjoy. As the old saying goes, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”.
What we do tend to find with the best rubs is balance. This is a key term when it comes to BBQ and with any cooking.
There is always a balance between sweetness and spicy flavors. We see it in Indian food, Mexican food, Chinese food and of course in the world of BBQs and smoking. The best rubs offer this balance and aren’t too hot or too sweet.
MSG and Artificial Additives
This is an area of some debate when it comes to brisket rubs. We haven’t recommended many products with a lot of MSG or even anything artificial.
If you can avoid it then it is often a good idea but most of the time we see these ingredients in rubs they are there as an anti-caking agent rather than anything to do with the flavour.
The Brisket Appeal
As we’ve briefly alluded to, brisket is an unusual cut of meat. Perhaps it is one we wouldn’t assume to be amazing tasting, but prepared right it absolutely is.
In terms of biology, the brisket is actually the part of the cow it is resting on when it lies down. This is what makes it quite tough by nature.
This toughness is not an issue though as we will be slow grilling or even more ideally, smoking. This allows the fibers within to break down.
In turn, this creates a beautiful moisture, tenderness and flavour. The brisket really is a blank canvas, which is why these rubs can be such a powerful tool.
Having the best rubs is all well and good, but the cooking process is so important, and should be twinned with the right flavoring to ensure the best results.
Many medium to large sized briskets of around 10 lb in size can take 10-12 hours to cook properly.
Some recipes will tell you that you can cook quicker, but for the ultimate in tenderness this low and slow grilling or smoking technique is required.
Smoking is perhaps the best method, not just for that beautiful smoke infusion in the flavour but because you don’t have to keep a constant eye on it.
Regular checks are all it needs to get the perfect flavour, checking that you have enough heat to keep the cook ticking along nicely.
You also need to ensure towards the end of your smoke that the bark has developed properly all around the brisket and rotate if necessary.
When the meat has reached around 200 degrees Fahrenheit when measured from the thickest and most dense part, you know it is safely cooked.
If, for any reason, the rub appears to have come away from the brisket during cooking, there is the opportunity to add more as you cook, though this will not be as effective as marinating beforehand.