Summer is almost officially here and nothing says summer fun more than a steak – or anything else – on the grill! Add big flavor to your meats, poultry and even your grilled vegetables with a spice rub, like my Bowie Steak Seasoning up there. (Why should Montreal have all the fun?)
I kicked off the grilling season on my deck with this Grilled Spice-Rubbed Flank Steak and you should, too. It’s that good, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves! Here’s what you need to know about rubs before you start.
Rubs are combinations of herbs, spices and other ingredients that are literally rubbed onto uncooked food before grilling. Dry rubs contain only dry ingredients, while wet rubs are made with just enough oil or liquid to form a paste that’s applied the same way as a dry rub. Rubs form a delicious crust on meats and poultry when grilled. The crust seals in juices and makes sure each bite is full of flavor.
Tips for Tasty Rubs 101
1. Create a signature rub by experimenting with combinations of your favorite herbs and spices.
2. Wake up dried herbs and spices by heating them in a dry sauté pan over medium high heat, just until aromatic.
3. Much like marinades, rubs will impart more flavor the more time they have to come into contact with the food. Apply your rub at least 15 – 20 minutes before grilling.
4. Store dry rubs in an airtight container. They don’t require refrigeration and will last up to 6 months.
5. Wet rubs should also be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll last several weeks.
6. For bold flavor, add enough rub to evenly cover your food. Sprinkle food with your rub for a more subtle dose.
7. Plan ahead for your next grilling session by freezing meat or poultry after it’s rubbed. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap then place it in a re-sealable freezer bag. Simply thaw it out next time you’re firing up the grill.
Rubs made with sugar should be used on foods that don’t require direct heat. The sugar can burn over extremely high heat.
If you’re grilling poultry with skin, apply a little of the rub underneath the skin for extra flavor.
Grill Pan or Grill
The Best International Flavors You’re NOT Grilling With: 30 Recipes for Rubs, Marinades & Sauces with Global Appeal
The tools section may contain affiliate links to products we know and love.
Making a rub
Resting (the grilled beef, not you!)