DIY Recipes for Grilling Season

With grilling season upon us, skip the bottled and boxed rubs, marinades and flavorings. Less packaging, less questionable ingredients, better flavor. Most items here can be purchased from the bulk aisle, saving money and allowing for personalization of each recipe. A simple change from regular salt and pepper, these items will take your grilled meats, fish, and vegetables to the next level of flavor!


Ranch Dip/Rub

  • ¼ cup salt
  • ¼ cup garlic powder
  • ½ cup onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • ¼ cup dried parsley

Dry rub for chicken, fish, pork or beef

Dip: 2 tablespoons dry mix, 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup mayonnaise

Dressing: Make as dip, add ½ cup buttermilk


Italian Rub/Dressing

  • 1/3 cup garlic powder
  • ¼ cup dried oregano
  • ¼ cup dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds, ground
  • ¼ cup salt
  • ¼ cup ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Dry rub for chicken, fish, pork or beef; great topping for pizza or bread dough

Dressing: 1 tablespoon dry mix, ¼ cup red wine or white wine vinegar, ½ cup extra virgin olive oil


Tex-Mex Rub

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Taco seasoning: add 1 tablespoon to 1 pound ground beef before browning

Dry rub for chicken, beef, pork, or crock pot roasts for pulled meat sandwiches


Barbecue Dry Rub

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper to taste


Dry rub for chicken, pork, beef or roasts

Barbecue sauce: Add 2 tablespoons mix to 1 cup ketchup, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce, simmer in a pan for 10 minutes on low heat.


(ALL THE DRY MIXES can be stored in covered mason jars in the pantry!)

Bacon Salt

  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Place bacon slices on a rack or foil in a rimmed baking sheet, bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, until crisp. Drain, cool, break into pieces. Place bacon, salt and pepper into a food processor and blitz until fine. Store in refrigerator.


Use as seasoning on meat, baked potatoes, tomatoes, salads, and any other way you can enjoy bacon flavor.


Soy-Ginger Marinade

  • ½ cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil or olive oil
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar (or other vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (or 1 tsp dry)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • Handful of chopped scallions

Mix all in a bowl, pour over meat (flank steak, chicken pieces, pork tenderloin) – marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes minimum (or up to 4 hours). Drain and grill as directed.


Citrus Chili Marinade

  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup lime or lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Mix all in a bowl, pour over chicken pieces, or firm-fleshed fish or seafood (shrimp and scallops!), marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes minimum (or up to 2 hours). Drain and grill as directed.


Compound Butters

Basic recipe: 2 sticks of softened butter, 2-3 tablespoons of add-ins. Mix all ingredients, roll into log, wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap, chill until firm, slice into tablespoon-sized rounds, add to hot grilled meat, baked potatoes, grilled or roasted vegetables.


Orange juice, orange zest, honey, fresh parsley

Caramelized shallot, orange zest, salt and pepper

Lemon juice and zest, black pepper, thyme

Lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, rosemary

Lime juice and zest, chili powder, cumin, salt

Bacon salt and smoked paprika