Dry Rubs & Marinades for Grilling Season

Grilling Marinades and Dry Rubs

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Warmer weather is on the horizon, which means it is time to dust of the grill and get ready for BBQ season. The best part about grilling is seasoning the food and having those perfect grill lines on your steak or chicken. The sauce that you have been marinating the meat in all day (or night) gives the meat the perfect flavor. Better than going out to a restaurant! If you’re new to grilling or you’re looking for some new ideas on how to create the perfect marinade or rub for your upcoming BBQ’s, this is the article for you.


A dry rub is a combination of seasonings and sometimes breadcrumbs, crushed pretzels or crackers. For a dry rub to be effective, the rub needs something to “stick” to. It is always a good idea to coat your meat with a thin layer of butter, olive oil or egg. I prefer using olive oil. This prevents the seasoning from falling off.

When it comes to dry rubs, it’s all about experimentation. If I’m making tacos, I like to grill my chicken with a dry rub that contains cayenne pepper, salt and dried onion flakes. I like for it to be hot! My daughter likes it more sweet and so after I’ve marinated my chicken in pineapple juice, I add a spicy rub and then serve with slices of lime or pineapple. It’s all about coming up with combinations of flavors your family enjoys. When I grill or roast turkey, I like to use a dry rub of sea salt, pepper and rosemary.

Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to try new combinations for spices for creating your own special dry rub!

Marinades and Dry Rub Recipes for Grilling


I love to marinate meat before grilling it. Sometimes I do this overnight but if I forget, I at least give the meat 30 minutes to an hour to soak. The longer the better!

Why marinate? It tenderizing your meat and the flavor of your marinade soaks into the meat, making it juicy and bringing out the flavor of your marinade. The more acidic the marinades the more it will break down the collagen in the meat to make in even tenderer. This is one reason I often use lemon juice or lime juice.

Before marinating your meat, thaw and trim off any fat. Create a marinade to your liking (lemon juice and Italian dressing, for example) and put it in a plastic bag. Let your meat soak overnight for best results.  I like to use vinegar, sugar, lemon pepper and salt for chicken marinades. For beef, I often use red wine vinegar and Worchester sauce. I’m known for making up different marinades depending on my mood or what I have in the cupboard or fridge. Remember, don’t be afraid, just have fun and experiment with new flavor combinations.

There are several ready-made sauces and packets of seasonings but check the ingredients. They often have a lot of “extra” ingredients, preservatives and can be high in sodium. It doesn’t take much to jazz up your meat and make the flavor extra special without buying expensive bottles and packages at the store.

I’d love to hear from you. What do you like to season your steak or chicken with? What are your favorite marinades?

Get wild, get crazy because grilling season not only is easy but it can be fun too! Be sure to check out my 4 healthy summertime grilling tips.

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