Salt and Pepper for Brisket - By weight or volume?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by bwarbiany, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. So I'm doing a nice big brisket this weekend. I typically use Kosher salt and CBP, and that's it. 

    My question is if I'm targeting a 1:1 ratio between the two, how exactly should I measure that? In the past, I've measured based on volume, but it seems that's heavily dependent on how finely ground the CBP is and the density of the salt used. Kosher salt is not dense and I typically grind my pepper a bit more fine than most folks.

    Should I be shooting for 1:1 volume? Should I be using volume but doing something like 1.5:1 salt to pepper because it's kosher? Or should I just plan on 1:1 by weight?

    What's conventional wisdom on this one?
  2. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Why does it matter?

    Salt and pepper to taste, IMHO. 
  3. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow, never put that much thought into what I put on a brisket.  I SPOG them and go by eyeball and instinct.  Will be interesting to read other responses.       
  4. Shake shake shake. Twist twist twist flip and repeat.

    Happy smoken.

  5. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Eyeball it. You'll be fine.
  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    To me, brisket is the exception, I find that brisket loves Cracked Black. I always use a heavy hand with the cracked black on a brisket. I actually scare others if they see me preping a brisket.

    I do reconize Cracked Black as a completely different spice than ground black, just like I would also use whole black pepper corns differently.

    Brisket loves cracked black, sometimes I'll use a bit of ancho also.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  7. caribou89

    caribou89 Smoke Blower

    Just do each separately until it looks right.
  8. The salt to pepper ratio in making a rub for brisket is 50/50 by weight, if mixing the S&P by volume then the ratio will be 1 part salt to 4 parts pepper.

    Always remember that when mixing up a salt and pepper rub like this, is to use kosher or sea salt and coarse black pepper. Since table salt is very fine grained it will penetrate the meat cells easier and deeper than a large grained kosher or sea salt, so the meat being rubbed with just a S&P mixture using a fine grained table salt will be too salty for most palates. Also, table salts contains Iodine, which will also impart that flavor into your food.

    A kosher/sea salt and coarse black pepper rub is known as a Dalmation Rub, add salt free Lemon Pepper to the mix and it's called Dirty Dalmation.
  9. A few reasons...

    1) I don't do brisket often enough that I can experiment and necessarily learn "to taste" by sight very easily.

    2) Even if I did brisket that often, I want an easily repeatable measurement so that I have something consistent to tweak if I want to change the ratios.

    3) I'm an engineer! [​IMG]
  10. Perfect. Thanks!

    I've been doing kosher and CBP in a 1:1 by volume mix previously... I'll do by weight for this next one this weekend.
  11. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    WooT there it is!
  12. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    This post just reminded me of the SmokyOkie brisket method.
  13. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic

    Wait until he does a smoker build!
  14. GrillMonkey,

    We have already seen what happens when an engineer does a smoker build. They end up with a $450 mini-WSM build.

    Engineers just love to build, without some accountant telling them the cost/performance difference is not worth paying for.

    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  15. Yeah... I need to either learn to weld or find $4K... Here's my dream rig:

    I'm pretty sure if I learned to weld, cost/performance of doing that one myself would be worth it.
  16. Hello.  Thanks Bad Santa.  I didn't know the ratio but as soon as I read your post I remember I read long ago about that being called a Dalmation rub.  Never heard of the Dirty Dalmation.  Good info.  I also can understand why the OP asked the question.  He now has a starting point.  I do it by eye as the others do.  I think the OP will still have a problem in that some briskets have more fat on the outside than others.  As the fat renders the salt and pepper will drip away.  I can see that being a good base to build other rubs from.  Always learning something here on SMF.  Keep Smokin!

  17. bwarbiany,

    But yes, you could make it much better by using double walled steel with silicon powder insulation between the plates. Radius the lid for more consistent thermal characteristics.  And an auto-leveling mechanism would be a real plus, to ensure proper and consistent smoke flow. And don't forget an adjustable louvered reverse flow plate, for getting exact identical temperature distribution across the entire grill surface. 
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
    bwarbiany likes this.
  18. WAY!  HEY!  That's a rig and a half, BUT it MUST be trailer mounted.  Gooseneck hitch with a box up front to carry firewood.  And super size that thing making it at LEAST 1/2 again as large.  A little plumbing, some brackets for mounting and some electrics and you could EASILY add a dishwasher AND beer fridge to that dude!.  I can weld and as you can tell I have a few crazy ideas.  Keep Smokin!

  19. OOPS!  I forgot.  IF you want it to be TRUE redneck ya gotta have duct tape and bailing wire on it somewhere.  [​IMG]   Keep Smokin!

  20. big lew bbq

    big lew bbq Meat Mopper

    It is all about taste preference some are more sensitive to salt and or pepper.

    But to give you a bench mark, I don't like things too salty or peppery, so I usually use 1/3 cup Salt to 1/3 Cup CBP(Zebra Rub) for a 10 Lbs. brisket .

    Hope this helps, happy smoking!!!

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