Fire Up The Grill 

Summer is in full swing and that means it's time to fire up the grill! But before you toss on those steaks and veggies, why not elevate your grilling game with homemade seasonings? Creating your own blends not only allows you to customize flavors to your liking but also ensures that you're using the freshest and highest quality ingredients. In this post, we'll explore a base grill recipe that's easy to customize to your taste buds and then share a variety of DIY grilling seasonings that are simple to make and perfect for enhancing everything from burgers to grilled vegetables. Get ready to impress your family and friends with your culinary prowess and add an extra sizzle to your summer barbecues!

Base 'Grill Rub' Recipe

An all-purpose rub for veggies and all proteins.

Makes a 1/2 cup. Use coarse herbs and spices as these hold up to high heat on a grill or under the broiler. 

Pro Tip: Taste your spice blend as you go! It's a great way to check if you need more salt, if it's too spicy, or if you need more garlic! Don't worry if it tastes bitter; spices mellow as they cook. 

  • 3 T minced garlic
  • 3 T rosemary
  • 3 T coarse pepper
  • 1 T onion flakes
  • 1 T thyme, parsley or marjoram
  • Salt to taste

Customize to your pantry: An all-purpose rub for veggies and all proteins. Sweeten it up by adding paprika and brown sugar or maple granules. Make it spicy with chili flakes!

  • Make it Spicy: Add in 1 tsp hot chili flakes, medium jalapeño flakes or mild silk chilies!

  • Take it Down South: Swap rosemary for paprika. Add in smoked paprika, celery, and a pinch of cayenne to taste.

  • Smoke it Up: Add 1 T smoked salt, 1 T smoked paprika and 1 t smoked chili flakes. 

  • Sweeten it: Brown sugar, maple granules or coconut sugar adds a caramel flavor to your rub. 

  • Make a Marinade: Mix your custom seasoning with oil and vinegar to create a marinade.

More Grilling Spice Rubs to Make From Pantry Ingredients

Easy Cajun Rub

(makes a shy 1/2 cup)

  • 3 T paprika
  • 1 T garlic granules
  • 1 T kosher salt
  • 1 t cayenne
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1 t onion granules
  • 1 t pepper (fine)
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 t marjoram
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1/2 t celery seed ground

Tip: Double the cayenne if you like things really spicy! This is a great rub for fish, seafood and chicken. 

Jamaican Spice Rub

(makes a 1/2 cup)

  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 T kosher salt
  • 1 T coriander
  • 1 T garlic granules
  • 2 t ginger
  • 2 t pepper (cracked)
  • 2 t turmeric 
  • 1 t allspice
  • 1/2 t cayenne
  • 1/2 t clove 
  • 1/2 t cinnamon

Use as a rub for chicken, beef or cauliflower. Tip: You can sub in 1/4 tsp nutmeg + extra 1/2 tsp cinnamon if you don't have allspice. 


(makes a 1/2 cup)

  • 2 T parsley flakes
  • 1 T cilantro
  • 1 T basil
  • 1 T onion flakes
  • 1 T kosher salt flakes
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 2 t fresh black pepper
  • 1-2 t chili flakes
  • 1 t cumin (ground)
  • 1/2 t smoked paprika

Tip: Use as a rub, or mix with oil and vinegar to create a marinade!

Lemon Pepper

(makes a 1/2 cup)

  • 1/4 c pepper (cracked)
  • 1 T lemon peel (powder)
  • 1 T coriander ground
  • 2 t garlic granules
  • 2 t onion granules
  • 1/2 t celery seed ground
  • 1/4 t cayenne

Great with veggies, fish and chicken. Tip: Add 1 tsp fresh lemon zest to marinade to really bring out lemon flavor.