Spice Up Your Grilling

I gave you my basics for grilling indoors yesterday, and now I’ll share how I add spice to the smoky flavor the grill imparts.

Basically I use a variety of rubs, marinades and sauces. Here are some of my favorites:

Rubs: I have three that I like to use, and they all come from Steven Raichlen’s book, How to Grill: a barbecue rub, a Cajun rub, and a Mediterranean herb rub. I encourage you to check this book out, as not only are there are other recipes for flavoring your food, but there are also tips and techniques for grilling meats and vegetables in a variety of ways.

I use the rubs on chicken and pork. Here’s what’s in the barbecue rub recipe:

  • 1/4 c packed dark brown sugar (I typically make it with raw/demerara sugar, though, as that’s what I have on hand at home.)
  • 1/4 c paprika
  • 3T coarse salt (Most times I use kosher salt, but I’ve also used a finer salt, like sea salt. You could also use low-sodium salt.)
  • 1T smoked salt, or another 1T of the salt you used earlier (I’ve sometimes omitted this additional salt to avoid using too much sodium.)
  • 3T black pepper
  • 2tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Add the spices to a container and shake them up! I use a funnel for the least amount of mess.

When you use the rub, it doesn’t take much to season your meat. I usually make a double batch and it lasts me at least a third of the summer–and I’m usually using the rub at least every other week.

For any of these rubs, you can either massage them on right before you grill, or rub them on and let the meat marinate. When marinating, you could also add oil, lemon juice, vinegar or beer along with the dry rub.

The three rubs I’ve mentioned are dry rubs, but I also use a wet rub–Jamaican Choice jerk rub. I’ve found two varieties of the rub for this brand. One comes in a small jar and is more of a paste. The one pictured above is a little wetter. I use it to make a grilled jerk pork loin. I slash the meat on all sides with a knife, and I use about a tablespoon of  rub on a chunk of loin of 1 or 2 lbs. When I have time, I let it sit in the refrigerator, as long as overnight.

Marinades: There are a lot of marinades you can buy from the store. I’ve used a teriyaki marinade in the past. I also have a Mexican-style marinade that I make (see the recipe in this post), and I’ve used this with chicken and beef.

Sauces: Of course, it’s not barbecue without barbecue sauce! There are countless varieties; go with your favorite. Another sauce I like to use is Thai peanut sauce, which I use on chicken, serving the chicken on couscous. I brush the sauces on the meat when they’re just about done cooking, and heat them for a little bit.

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One thought on “Spice Up Your Grilling

  1. Pingback: Treats from the Smoker « Let Them Eat Great!

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