Big Bad Beef Rub
"I adapted your brisket rub recipe this summmer to and my customers love it (8,000 pounds served in the past 6 months)! My brisket even won 'best beef' in the Sonoma County Harvest Fair this year (2010)." Larry Vito of BBQ Smokehouse in Sebastapol, CA
In Texas many barbecue joints use just plain old salt and pepper, called Dalmatian rub. But beef brisket can and BBQ beef ribs handle, and benefit from, a more potent mix. The rub creates a rich, flavorful, crunchy crust, called the bark or Mrs. Brown.
Beef rub is different than pork rub. Pork loves sweetness, but beef does not. The best pork rubs have of more sugar in them, like Meathead's Memphis Dust. Black pepper, on the other hand, works great with beef.
You can make this recipe days or weeks in advance. It makes more than you need for even a large brisket, so you can just put it in a clean jar or zipper bag.
Makes. About half a cup
Preparation time. About 10 minutes
3 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons table salt
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili or ancho powder
1 teaspoon chipotle or cayenne powder
About the black pepper. Lately I've been grinding my black pepper and then sifting it. I use the coarse stuff, and put the fine stuff in a pepper shaker.
About the chile powders. I'm looking for complexity with two different flavors and two different levels of heat. Most American chili powders and ancho powders do not have a lot of heat, but good flavor. In fact, ancho is usually in a lot of American chili powders. Go with ancho if you can find it. It has a nice raisiny character. With chipotle or cayenne I'm after a kiss of heat. Chipotle has better flavor though.
1) Mix the ingredients together in a bowl.
2) Lightly oil the meat with vegetable oil. Many of the flavors in the rub are oil soluble and the oil helps penetrate the meat. So does the salt, so don't leave it out. Spread the rub generously on beef brisket, not so thick on other, thinner cuts. You can apply it just before cooking, no need to let it marinate overnight. Fact is, like marinades, only the salt in rubs penetrates deep into the meat. The rest can't get far past the surface.
This page was revised 3/20/2009
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