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Brown Sugar Brisket Rub

Need a foolproof way to make a delicious smoked brisket? Start by using this quick and easy Brown Sugar Brisket rub. Packed with a balanced blend of sweet and mildly spicy flavors, this rub will take your brisket up a notch.

Brown Sugar Brisket Rub on a brisket

Apply this brown sugar brisket rub at least 1-2 hours before it hits the smoker. Doing this will provide a slight sugar cure, and a delicious bark.

What You’ll Need:

  • Dark brown sugar
  • Paprika: Sweet or American variety
  • Mild Chili Powder: We’re looking for an earthy base flavor, not a hot spicy chili powder.
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper: Use a medium grind (16 gauge), but a fine grind will work in a pinch
  • Cayenne pepper: A little goes a long way, but if you like your rubs spicy, increase the amount called for in this recipe.
  • Optional Herbs: You can add dried parsley, marjoram, thyme, or savory to this rub. It’s not required, but herbs do offer subtle, flavorful notes to beef.

How to Apply the Rub:

Combine your rub and add it to a heavy-duty shaker. Use about 1 tablespoon of rub per pound of meat. Apply your binder first, then evenly coat with spice rub. Another good way to apply this brisket rub is to do it by hand, as seen below. Sprinkle it on the meat, and gently pat to coat.

Season both sides and the edges of the meat. Let the brisket sit at room temperature for at least 1 hours to encourage a light sugar cure.

Make-Ahead and Use Later:

Make up a double or triple batch of this rub and store it in an airtight container in a cupboard for up to 12 months. Check on it periodically to ensure that the brown sugar hasn’t dried out or clumped up. Take out the amount you need, seal the container, and keep the rest for another cookout.

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Brown Sugar Brisket Rub

Brown Sugar Brisket Rub

This is a quick and easy Brown Sugar Brisket rub that has a sweet and mildly spicy flavor. This recipe is a surefire rub for smoked barbecue brisket. Make sure that the brown sugar is broken up well. No clumps. Then shake it over your brisket. Make sure to get an even coating. I recommend getting this on the meat at least an hour before the brisket hits the smoker. This will allow a slight sugar cure to occur.
4.93 from 13 votes
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Course: Rubs
Cuisine: American BBQ
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 Cups
Calories: 449kcal
Author: Derrick Riches


  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sweet paprika
  • 1/3 cup chili powder mild
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (increase or decrease amount to suit your needs)


  • Combine the rub ingredients in a bowl making sure to work out any clumps that might form.
  • Use immediately or store rub in an airtight container in the cupboard for 3 months. Check on it every so often to make sure that the brown sugar has not hardened or dried out. Give it a good stir and secure the lid.
  • To use: Apply an even amount all over the brisket. Cook as directed. Discard any rub that has come into contact with raw meat or moisture.


Calories: 449kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 14827mg | Potassium: 1326mg | Fiber: 21g | Sugar: 76g | Vitamin A: 20984IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 251mg | Iron: 12mg

Apply your spice rubs like a professional with a spice shaker (aka Dredge). This one from Winware has a heavy build, is machine washable, and holds plenty of spice rub. Plus it costs about $7. Just make sure you don’t use this to store your rubs. It isn’t airtight.

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