Briskets are large, tough cuts of meat that require good seasoning to be as good as possible. The correct seasoning goes a long way for flavoring and tenderizing a brisket. However, every seasoning rub requires a binder to help it stick to the meat. Two popular binders are olive oil and mustard, but how do they compare?
Mustard and olive oil are both good binders. Mustard can both flavor and bind the seasoning. Olive oil does not bind as well to the meat, it does not affect flavor, and it helps the brisket cook evenly. Which to use is a personal preference.
The seasonings and rubs used on briskets for smoking drastically change the meat’s flavor. However, all the seasoning in the world is useless if it falls off the brisket, making binders vital for seasoning a brisket before smoking.
Let’s discuss two of the most commonly used brisket seasoning binders, mustard and olive oil, to compare how well they work as a binder.
Using Mustard As A Seasoning Binder On A Brisket
It is essential to use some form of a binder when applying seasoning or a rub to a brisket before smoking. Using a binder ensures that the seasoning will adhere to the meat well, giving the seasoning time to penetrate into the meat to flavor it while helping to create a crispy bark on the brisket.
Without a binder, the seasoning is likely to fall off the meat while cooking, rendering it useless. Binders must be liquid enough to spread over the meat and trap the seasoning, but not so liquid that they pour off the meat.
A very popular choice of binder used for seasoning a brisket is mustard. Mustard is used as a binder in many brisket recipes, and it is an ideal binder for many reasons.
Most pitmasters use classic yellow mustard, nothing fancy because its consistency allows it to spread easily and retains rubs and seasoning very well.
Mustard is a good binder for brisket because the acidity of the mustard will begin to break down the surface layer proteins of the brisket, which allows the seasoning to adhere even better to the brisket, and helps to form a good, crispy, firm crust on the brisket during the smoking process.
Classic yellow mustard is not a very intense flavor, so it does not interfere with the flavor of the seasoning or the natural flavors of the brisket itself. This type of mustard also cooks off well, which further reduces its impact on the flavor of the brisket.
Using stronger types of mustard is also an option if you enjoy the flavor of mustard on your brisket. in this instance, mustard is an excellent flavor combination with most rubs and pairs well with the natural rich flavors of the brisket itself.
Let’s take the time to explore some of the essential pros and cons of using mustard as a seasoning binder for smoked brisket.
The Pros And Cons Of Using Mustard As A Binder
The pros of using mustard as a brisket seasoning binder include:
- Mustard allows the seasoning to adhere to the brisket well.
- Classic yellow mustard does not overpower the flavor of the brisket.
- Mustard helps to break down surface layer proteins.
- Mustard helps to form a good bark during the smoke.
- Mustard spreads well over the surface of the brisket.
- Mustard will not run off the brisket.
- Any readily available mustard type will complement the flavor of the brisket.
The cons of using mustard as a brisket seasoning binder include:
- Some mustards have a very intense flavor.
- Mustard burns easily if not used carefully.
- Using too much mustard can become an overwhelming flavor.
- Not all mustard is suitable for use as a binder on briskets.
Using Olive Oil As A Seasoning Binder On A Brisket
Mustard is a commonly used binder for smoked brisket rubs and seasonings, but olive oil is another healthy and very popular option to use. Many pitmasters prefer to use olive oil as a binder for several reasons, but is it really that good?
The truth is, olive oil is one of the best options for a brisket seasoning binder. Olive oil is a thick oil that adheres well to the brisket and keeps the seasoning stuck fast onto the meat. Olive oil as a binder is commonly used simply because it works so well.
Olive oil helps the meat to cook evenly and helps to produce the perfect bark. There is nothing to not like about olive oil as a binder.
Using olive oil in this way also helps the brisket heat evenly in the pit, rendering the fat on the brisket well and in less time, and it helps the brisket stay moist while the crust is forming.
Olive oil has almost no flavor whatsoever, so it does not affect the flavor of the brisket in any way. More seasoning stays on the meat when using olive oil than almost any other type of binder, so utilizing this binder helps enhance the flavor of the meat and the effectiveness of the seasoning.
Let’s talk about some of the most important pros and cons of using olive oil as a binder for brisket seasoning.
The Important Pros And Cons Of Olive Oil As A Binder
The pros of using olive oil as a binder for brisket seasoning include:
- Olive oil adheres well to the brisket and seasoning.
- Olive oil does not affect the flavor of the brisket at all.
- Olive oil helps to cook the brisket and renders fat evenly.
- Olive oil helps to retain moisture in the brisket.
- Olive oil creates the perfect bark from brisket seasoning.
The cons of using olive oil as a binder for brisket seasoning include:
- Olive oil can cause the surface of the meat to overheat.
- Olive oil may run off the meat quickly if it is too warm when applied.
- Olive oil does not add any special flavors to the meat.
Mustard is an excellent binder if you want to add a burst of intense flavor to the brisket and if you are cooking the brisket for a very long time. Olive oil does not affect the flavor of the meat at all, but it may reduce the cooking time, which is excellent for shorter smokes.
Overall, which binder you use is personal preference, as both mustard and olive oil are ideal binders for brisket seasoning. Smoke a brisket using each type of binder to determine which you prefer, as the binder does affect several aspects of the flavor of the brisket.
- What Are Some Different Ways to Eat Brisket?
- How to Get Seasoning to Stick to Chicken?
- What Should I Season My Brisket With?
- How Do You Keep Chicken Juicy on the Grill?
- Do You Need A Binder for Dry Rub?