You're soaking in it! Our Favorite Marinade and Rub Recipes for that little extra somethin' somethin'

Rubs and marindes to give a little extra somethin' somethin'

When you’re stuck in a cooking rut - and we’ve all been there - sometimes the answer is as simple as opening your eyes to what you already have. We’re talking about the spices, oils and vinegars crowding your pantry! Whip up one of these rubs or marindes and see just how transformative a simple seasoning can be.


Before you start experimenting with rubs, here are a couple tips to make yours the best it can be, courtesy of sheknows:

  • To mix, use a mini whisk so you really get everything incorporated. You can also whiz them in a small food processor or coffee grinder if you'd like a finer blend.
  • Clean, used spice bottles are a great way to store leftover seasoning. You can also buy shaker lids for Ball or Mason jars. If worse comes to worst, a plain old plastic baggie will do just fine. Just make sure it's an airtight container, especially for the recipes that have sugar in them.
  • Kosher salt, sea salt and table salt don't substitute equivalently. If using table salt for either of those, reduce it by at least half, and salt to taste.
Best BBQ Rub
1. Homemade Grill and BBQ Rub

Use up extra spices you already have on hand, and rock your grill and bbq skills in a whole new way! This easy, preservative-free, BBQ rub is killer on chicken, beef and pork. And if you’re in the mood for something crazy-delicious, put it on corn on the cob or hot buttered popcorn!

Island Spice Rub
2. Island Spice Rub

This rub tastes like you’re in the Caribbean! The Jamaican jerk flavor is great on the grill and the perfect mix for chicken and fish.

Sweet Rub
3. Sweet Rub for Grilled Pork and Chicken

From pork ribs to simple grilled chicken breasts, this sweet rub with a slightly spicy kick will enhance whatever you throw it on.

Meathead's Memphis Rub
4. Meathead's Memphis Dust Rub Recipe

This all-purpose pork rub is carefully formulated to flavor, color, and form the proper crust when cooked at low temps. “Competition teams use it. People tell me I really ought to bottle and sell it. Nah. You can have it for free.”

Cajun Spice Rub
5. Cajun Spice Rub

Perfect for grilling shrimp, chicken, pork and more - ever try Cajun-rubbed wings?! And we’re thinking you have all of these ingredients in your pantry!

Montreal Steak Seasoning
6. Montreal Steak Seasoning

With the perfect balance of savory flavors and bright herbs for steaks and burgers, this is a staple blend to have on your pantry shelf when the grill is calling to you.

Best Ever Steak Rub
7. The Best Ever Steak Rub

It’s no exaggeration … this rub will give you tasty, juicy steak with awesome depth of flavor. Don’t be put off by the inclusion of cocoa powder. It doesn’t make your steak taste of chocolate, but it does add amazing richness.

Cafe Mocha Spice Rub
8. Cafe Mocha Rub

Again with the chocolate! If you’re still hesitant to try this ingredient, we encourage you to go for it. This blend is especially delicious on steaks, where the beef can really handle the bold flavors of chocolate and coffee.

Lemon Pepper Rub
9. Lemon Pepper Steak Rub

Throw away that crusty old lemon-pepper seasoning in your cabinet, because you’ll never use it again! With fresh lemon zest, black pepper, salt, onion powder and garlic powder, this rub is great for striploin, ribeye and other beef steaks.


Here's a no-fail formula for making your own marinades, courtesy of Bon Appetit:

  1.  Oil (or other fat): Oil coats meat and becomes infused with all of the flavors in your marinade. It ensures juicy meat that will crisp on the grill.
  2. Acid (like vinegar or lemon juice): Acid helps tenderize the meat and balance its natural richness. How much to use? Use the same ratio of oil to vinegar as you would for your favorite vinaigrette. Hell, use your favorite vinaigrette as a marinade; it works!
  3. Something Salty, Something Sweet: Season your marinade with more than table salt and white sugar. Try soy sauce, Worcestershire, mustard, fish sauce, fruit juice, or honey.
  4. Herbs, Onions, Garlic: The traditional aromatics will add freshness and depth to your grillin'.
Best Steak Marinade
1. Best Steak Marinade in Existence

"This is a family recipe that has been developed only over the last 5 years. In this short time it's made me famous in our close circle, but until now I've never shared it with anyone."

Italian Herb Marinade
2. Italian Herb Marinade

An easy marinade made with mostly dry spices. It’s great on chicken, pork, or flank steak.

Pineapple Sriracha Marinade
3. Pineapple Sriracha Marinade

We’re big fans of Sriracha chili sauce, and it happens to pair perfectly with the sweet tang of pineapple. Try this bright marinade on chicken and pineapple kebabs.

Best BBQ Chicken Marinade
4. The Best BBQ Chicken Marinade

This totally takes your grilled chicken up a notch, or maybe even six. You’ll end up with this perfectly sweet, slightly tangy chicken breast. And we’ll bet you have the ingredients in your pantry already.

Rosemary marinade
5. Rosemary-Shallot Marinade

Attention steak lovers: these Grilled Mushroom and Sirloin Skewers are for you! Marinated in an easy rosemary-shallot marinade, they’re a quick and easy dinner option to throw on the grill any night of the week.

Greek Chicken Marinade
6. Greek Chicken Marinade

This marinade is guaranteed to become a family favorite - what with its easy prep, pantry ingredients, and the fact you can make it ahead of time! A wonderfully delicious, Greek breeze.

Sweet Chili Chicken
7. Sweet Chili Grilled Chicken

There’s nothing like the taste of grilled chicken in the summer … Tender, juicy, and full of flavor. And this marinade packs in some heat and spice, too! For a complete meal with zero cleanup, toss bell peppers or your favorite veggies on the grill … dinner is ready in 10 minutes.

Jalapeno Citrus Marinade
8. Jalapeno-Citrus Marinade

An easy and spicy marinade that’s great on chicken, pork, or shrimp.

Spicy Chimchurri Marinade
9. Spicy Chimichurri Marinade

A classic, spicy Argentine marinade that’s great on beef or chicken!