The Best Binders For Briskets (And What You Should Know) | Loving Food (2023)

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Are you a professional at making perfect brisket or still learning? Regardless of your status when it comes to making amazing briskets, you do need to know the best binders that can make your job more efficient.

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There are beliefs that a binder is that important and yes the proteases aren’t exactly necessary but if you want a more uniform and soft bark, you should go for it.

What are the best binders for brisket? The two common binders for briskets happen to be olive oil and yellow mustard. Both are known to contribute to the formation of the bark. Other common brisket binders include mayonnaise, maple syrup, plain water, and ketchup.

(Video) Which Condiment is the BEST Brisket Binder?

How you get your rub to stick is another essential need to know for your brisket. This is where the brisket binder comes in, the main purpose is to ensure your rub stick to the brisket and if it can’t, it’s best that you completely skip the slather.

It is unlikely that you will taste the binders, so you don’t have to worry too much about that.

If you do want to retain moisture in your brisket, you do need to know about binders and the best type too. Binders are not meant to alter the flavor of your brisket rub rather they can enhance it if done the proper way. So, to do your brisket binding the right way, this article contains the best type of binders and other things you should know.

What Does Binder Mean In Smoking Brisket?

Binders which are specially called rub binders and are also known as slather simply mean applying a small layer of paste to the outer part of meat before smoking.

This process is believed to help your run stick to the meat for smoking. While this method is not considered necessary, it comes in handy if your brisket is dry.

Binders have no specific effects on your meat, and they are mainly there to make your normal rub or marinade stick to your meat. Lots of people tend to forgo binders however if you choose the right binder ingredient, it can soften the bark of your brisket.

The Best Binders For Brisket (And What You Should Know)

Not all pitmasters are known to use binders for brisket but those who do find it worth the tiny effort. Note that not all binders have an effect on brisket bark hence if you are looking to soften the bark then not to worry, we have a list for you below.

1. Mustard

The Best Binders For Briskets (And What You Should Know) | Loving Food (1)

Mustard is a common binder for briskets. A mustard binder provides your brisket with lots of moisture which provides you with the softest bark. There is no clear understanding of why mustard is a favorite for many, but it happens to be a common and easy-to-get binder for brisket and other meat as well.

Yellow mustard is a popular type of binder for the French. The goal is to impact flavor in your brisket and this is also the best way to soften the bark of a brisket.

Mustard is also a common condiment in the house and is pretty much cheaper than any other type of binder.

Ingredients in yellow mustard include:

  • Turmeric
  • Paprika
  • Natural Flavors
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Spice
  • Distilled vinegar
  • Water
  • Grade Mustard Seed

2. Olive Oil/Canola Oil

The Best Binders For Briskets (And What You Should Know) | Loving Food (2)

There is doubt that olive oil and canola oil will make a great binder for your brisket.

So, if you can’t get your hand on mustard but have olive oil and canola oil close by then it’s a fascinating option. Olive oil and canola oil are both common household oil, especially olive oil, it’s not just a great binder but great for cooking as well.

(Video) MUSTARD on BRISKET?! Does Your Barbecue Rub REALLY Need a Binder?

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can help your brisket rub stay better, and it’s a common household ingredient too.

To use apple cider vinegar, simply put some in a spray bottle and wet the surface of your brisket with it, and you can season it with any spice rub of your choice after.

If you don’t want to go with mustard as a binder, vinegar also happens to be a great substitute if you still want the same result. Apple cider vinegar can be mixed with water or used alone, it prevents the meat from drying out either way.

4. Hot Sauce

The Best Binders For Briskets (And What You Should Know) | Loving Food (3)

The hot sauce might come as a surprise, but it happens to be a great binder for briskets and pork as well.

There are also lots of hot sauces you can choose from which are not as pricey as other types of binders. The taste is also meant to be neutral so ensure not to use too much, and it’s a perfect binder for a spicy rub.

5. Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce can impact the flavor of your brisket hence it’s a great binder option.

This can also be used as a marinade for your chicken and beef which is more reasons to grab it at the store. This happens to be a great alternative to mustard, and it’s just what you need for thick brisket slather.

Difference Between A Binder And A Brisket Rub

The main difference between a binder and a spice or brisket rub is the purpose. The rub is mainly dry spices that are rubbed on your meat to infuse flavor while the binder is meant to add moisture to your brisket and make sure the rub stays on the meat.

While they have been used interchangeably, they can’t replace each other.

Binders are not meant to season your meat rather, it seals in moisture and prevent it from drying out when you smoke it and some binders have no impact on the flavor of your meat. Brisket rubs however are meant to season your meat just like marinades but without the moisture.

Frequently Asked Questions

What effect does the binder have on the brisket bark?

The type of binder you choose can influence the bark and smoke ring of your brisket. Mustard is the common type of binder if you are looking to soften the brisket bark. Binder can help enhance the flavor of the rub used as well and prevent the brisket from drying out.

(Video) Techniques: Does a Binder Even Matter? 6 BBQ Binders Put to the Test!

What are good binders for smoking?

For smoking meat or brisket, yellow mustard and olive oil are the ideal binders you should try. Ketchup and water happen to also be great binders for smoking.

Can you use honey as a binder?

Yes, honey makes a good binder if you are looking to slather your brisket. It can easily enhance the taste of your spice rubs however it is more perfect for steak than briskets.

Do you oil brisket before rub?

Yes, you can coat your meat lightly before the rub. Olive oil specifically can be used as a binder to soften the brisket bark and enhance the rub.

The Bottom Line

The smoke flavor of your brisket should also be put into consideration when choosing a binder. You should not use binders that contain too much salt or sugar or brisket if you are looking to enjoy tender and flavored meat.

Sugar can burn easily so ensure to avoid too much of that. Furthermore, apply your binder and rub 24 hours prior for the best result.

More Guides On Making The Perfect Brisket:

  • Is Finishing Smoked Brisket In The Oven A Good Idea?
  • Does Meat Weigh More When Frozen?
  • Is Brisket Done At 180 Degrees? Making The Perfect Brisket
  • Where To Put Temp Probe In Your Brisket
  • Sliced Vs Chopped Brisket: Which Is Better?

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