This simple spice rub is a perfect combination of salt and seasonings to keep on hand and use for grilling and roasting meats, vegetables, and more.
Do you use spice rubs (or dry rubs)? I had read about them for years before I ever tried one. I thought, “Why bother- I’ll just sprinkle on some spices as I’m cooking.” But once I made a rub and cooked with it, there was no looking back – it’s definitely become a standard pantry basic around here.
Why? It simply makes things taste better. It brings them “up a notch,” to quote a famous person. And I love having it on hand, ready to go at a moment’s notice for all kinds of applications: rubbing on meats or sprinkling on vegetables along with a bit of olive oil before roasting or grilling, and even seasoning meats before slow cooking or pan frying.
There are probably dozens (hundreds?) of recipes out there for basic spice rubs which can be customized to highlight specific regions (Southwestern, Indian, Mediterranean, etc.) by changing or adding key herbs and spices.
In fact since creating this basic, goes-with-everything, rub that you’ll find in my cupboard most of the time (we do run out occasionally!), I’ve gone on to share a Tex-Mex spice rub, and a Mediterranean rub to use when we’re in the mood for something different.
You’ll see in the recipe that there are options for you to customize it, depending on what your family likes, making it more – or less – spicy, giving it a hint of sweet or not, and more. For example, if I want to use it for a BBQ grill, I’ll add the sugar, but most of the time I make it without so I can use it on grilled and roasted vegetables (which is SO good and SO easy).
Ideas for Using Amazing Basic Spice Rub
- Rub on meats before baking or grilling. Add a sauce at the end, or not.
- Sprinkle on olive-oil coated potatoes before roasting or grilling.
- Sprinkle on olive-oil coated vegetables before roasting or grilling.
- Add to ground meat when making burgers (amazing).
- Sprinkle on freshly steamed vegetables.
Don’t be like I was- be open to the concept of a “dry rub” and see if you don’t find that this becomes a pantry basic for you, too.
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Amazing Basic Spice Rub for Grilling & Roasting
A perfect combination of salt and seasonings to keep on hand and use for grilling and roasting meats, vegetables, and more.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 10 mins
- Yield: 1/2 cup
- 1/4 c. kosher salt
- 2 Tb. paprika
- 2 Tb. dry mustard
- 2 Tb. black pepper
- 2 Tb. dried oregano
- 2 Tb. dried thyme
- 1 Tb. chili powder OR 2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning*
- 2 Tb. brown sugar, palm sugar or sucanat (omit if you’d like, though the touch of sweet is nice in grilling**)
- 1 tsp. to 1 Tb. cayenne pepper (adjust for personal taste)
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir well to incorporate everything evenly.
- Transfer to an airtight container and store for 6-9 months.
*Most of the time I make it with the chili powder, but I do love the flavor of Old Bay – if you have it on hand, give it a try every once in a while for a change.
***Here are some ideas for using this rub:***
1. Rub on meats before baking or grilling. Add a sauce at the end, or not.
2. Sprinkle on cut potatoes before roasting or grilling.
3. Sprinkle on vegetables before roasting or grilling.
4. Add to ground meat when making burgers (terrific!).
5. Sprinkle on freshly steamed vegetables.
Note: this recipe was originally published in 2009 and has been updated with all new photos, clearer formatting and printable recipe.
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