What is a Grill Rub and How Do I Use It?

Grill rubs are a mix of spices and herbs that you literally “rub” onto meat before you grill it. They are usually dry, unlike marinades which are a wet mixture. You can use rubs on all kinds of meat, from chicken, pork and steak to fish and shrimp. They’re a great alternative to sauces and marinades because they flavor meat in a more subtle way, without smothering the natural flavor.

There is a large variety of pre-made rubs that you can test out to get a feel for which flavors you like. They come in sweet, savory, mild and hot versions and you might like different flavors for different types of meat.

Once you’ve picked out the flavor you like, it’s time to get your meat ready! On chicken or turkey, you should rinse the meat first and then pat it dry – the moisture from rinsing will help the rub stick to the meat. Then take the rub and rub it all over, shaking off the excess when you’re done.

With steak or pork you’ll want to rub it directly onto the meat or else marinate the meat first and then add the rub on top of the marinade – this can create a great flavor combo! You can adjust the amount of rub you use depending on your taste – some people prefer not to hinder the meat’s natural flavor and only use a little, while others like it to have an extra and intense flavor.

The basic rule is to make sure there is some added moisture to help the rub cling to the meat. It sometimes helps to wrap the meat with rub on it, or keep it in a plastic bag overnight to create extra moisture. The more time the rub has to sink in, the more flavor you’ll get from the meat!

Good luck with your grilling and remember to check our blog for more barbecue tips and tricks. To try some new and delicious rubs, click here.


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