Everybody has their favorite, go-to grilling recipe. Maybe you’re known for making perfect grill marks on your chicken, or for the smokey, charred flavor of your kabobs. Perhaps it’s your juicy, flavorful burgers that have people lining up at the family barbecue. Whatever you love to grill, it can always be kicked up a notch with some spices, rubs, and marinades!
When it comes to grilling, there are many different herbs and spices to choose from. You can use dry rubs or marinades. There are, of course, barbecue sauces and dips. And don’t forget about herb mops! They’re one of the latest trends in flavor enhancers. We’re here to help you simplify your options so your grilled meals can be the talk of the neighborhood!
Have you ever taken a good, hard look at the spice aisle in your local grocery store? You know, really looked? There are so many more flavorful ingredients out there beyond your standard salt and pepper. In fact, chances are, that section of the store is expansive with all those little glass bottles and shakers lined up neatly in rows.
When it comes to picking herbs and spices, don’t forget to look beyond those glass bottles, too. You can find some amazing fresh herbs and spices in the produce section of your grocery store. Some grocery stores even showcase fresh herbs in the meat section, so you know what might taste great with what you’re making. Don’t overlook fresh herbs and spices. They may give you that extra punch of flavor you’re looking for.
All About the Rubs
Let’s start by looking at dry rubs. A dry rub is a mixture of ingredients, usually herbs and spices, that you use as a coating on the outside of what you’re grilling. The texture of a dry rub is usually grainy or sand- like because it often contains salt, sugar, and other small, ground up ingredients. Typically, once you’ve coated your food with a dry rub, you then massage it into the meat to really work in the flavor. You can use water, oil or one of your favorite wet condiments to help the rub stick to the food so it doesn’t fall off on the grill.
|You may think dry rubs are only for larger cuts of meat, like a pork shoulder or a T-bone steak. But the truth is, a rub can impart flavor on anything you’re grilling, including ground turkey. This rub’s savory flavor comes from sage, oregano, and thyme. Plus, there’s a little kick from dry mustard, garlic powder, and paprika. Bonus tip: You can make a bunch at once and store it for 3-4 months in an airtight container!
|Of course, there’s nothing to say you can’t use a dry rub on a good old steak. This one calls for a smoky paprika rub that packs a sweet heat. Ground red pepper and chili powder help round out the flavors. Adding this delicious spice mixture to the potato wedges too is a no-brainer!
|This grilled meal is as tasty as it sounds. It relies on classic steakhouse ingredients, including shallots, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce to give your meal some pizzaz. Coriander and dried thyme help bring out the flavors of the pork, too.
Using An Herb Mop
Perhaps you’ve already heard about herb mops. They sound complicated, but are actually a really easy way to add some flavor to your food.
An herb mop is essentially a bundle of fresh herbs tied to something with a handle, such as a wooden spoon. The leaves of the herbs fan out, giving it a mop-like shape. You use it to brush or baste your food so that oils from the fresh herbs meld seamlessly with what you’ve got on the grill.
Our partners, the talented BBQ chefs at Operation Barbecue Relief, suggest you use herbs like parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, and basil. You can use twine to secure your bouquet of herbs to your spoon or handle, then use it to brush your food.
Marinades You’ll Love
When it comes to injecting your food with flavor, don’t downplay the effectiveness of a good old- fashioned marinade. The key with marinades is patience. The longer you let your food soak in a marinade, the more flavor your meal will have. Some recipes tell you to marinate your food for at least an hour, but others say you’ll get the best flavor if you let it marinate for several days.
|Marinades are a great way to incorporate spices into your grilled recipes. Yes, this recipe calls for beer! Garlic, honey, rosemary, and chili powder really round out the flavors. This recipe is great for dark meat chicken meals like drumsticks, thighs, or leg quarters.
|kabobs can benefit from a marinade, too. This one gives the meat some zing with white wine vinegar, ground dry mustard, and soy sauce. Chopped fresh parsley and ground cloves impart some earthy flavors. This marinade recipe calls for a three-day waiting period before you cook the meat, which gives the marinade plenty of time to soak into the beef, leaving it tender, juicy, and flavorful.
Finishing With Spices
Seasoning your meat with spices doesn’t have to be the first thing you do. Using spices at the end of the grilling process will add some major flavor. The chefs from our partners at Operation BBQ Relief suggest finishing your meat with the same spices you started with! For example, if you added chili powder and garlic to your burgers before you cooked them, sprinkle a little bit more on before you serve them. Combined with the newly caramelized flavors from the grill, that little extra bit of spice added at the end will really help the flavors pop.
More Than Just Meat
Of course, spices can add flavor to many other foods as well. Vegetables, fruit, and even tofu can really be livened up by adding spices during the grilling process.
|This simple recipe has just four ingredients that you cook up in a grilling basket. The grill gives the cauliflower’s edges a lovely, caramelized color while the garlic powder really brings out the flavor of the dish.
|Eggplant takes on a new life with tangy Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar. Parsley and garlic liven up the dish and tie together all the bold flavors. Plus, the thick eggplant slices give you the perfect opportunity to perfect your grill mark skills!
|Zucchini with oregano, pepper, and lime juice help enhance its garden-fresh flavor. These cook up quickly on the grill, which is perfect for when your friends and family gobble up the first batch!
Spices Are What You Make Them
Bottom line, adding spices to your favorite grilled recipes doesn’t have to be scary! If you don’t have a particular spice at home, consider swapping it out with something similar – or completely different! You may discover an entirely new flavor profile that you and your family will love.
And don’t forget to use Blue Rhino propane to crank up the heat on any gas grill or griddle to give your dishes a burst of flavor! Running low? Use our handy Propane Finder to locate a retailer near you or text the word FIND to 75653. Or let us save you a trip to the store with Home Delivery, now available in select locations. Happy grilling!