Grit Blogs > McKenry Farms

Summer Grilling with Dry Rubs

Lyssa McKenryThis past weekend we grilled a lot of meat for Memorial Day weekend. We do not typically go anywhere on Memorial Day because the hay is still being put up. This year we also had to contend with the crazy storms that came through east Tennessee and caused a lot of damage. So, we stayed home and did some grilling.

Have you ever run out of something you needed in order to cook dinner that evening? And you really don’t want to go back to the grocery store because you’ve already been twice that same day and you are worried the store clerks will think you are nutty? Well, that’s me in a nutshell, literally.

I’ve always heard necessity is the mother of invention, and thus my rib rub was created! We like dry rub ribs at our house, and since I was out of the rub I normally use, I put together the following ingredients and came up with a delicious alternative to the norm.

• ¼ cup brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons paprika
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 2 teaspoons garlic
• 2 teaspoons chili powder
• 2 teaspoons course ground black pepper
• 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin

Mix all ingredients together. Coat ribs well while grilling. This would work well for pork or beef ribs; either is delicious, just do both. You can substitute the paprika for smoked paprika if you like to add some smokiness to your meat. The rub will keep well for one month at room temperature.

Now, since I had such good luck with my rib rub, I’ve been trying some blends for other meats.

Since we are a beef cattle farm, we have, you guessed it, a lot of beef to eat, which is not a problem. I have always enjoyed Montreal Steak seasoning on steak, which you can certainly buy at the store, but again, when you’ve already been to the store 15 times that day…you know the rest of the story. So, I put together my own steak seasoning that resembles Montreal Steak, but has some differences. I added more of what I like, and deleted the stuff I don’t like. Simple and easy.

• 2 tablespoons paprika
• 2 tablespoons course ground pepper
• 2 tablespoons salt
• 1 tablespoon garlic
• 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 1 teaspoon dill
• ¼ teaspoon ground bay leaves

Mix all ingredients together. Keeps for one month at room temperature. Coat steaks with mix while grilling. This works well for sirloin, T-bone, and rib eye. Better yet, just cook them all and do a taste testing.

Moving on to the chicken. Yes, we as beef farmers do eat meat other than beef. We believe in supporting all agricultural products. Again, I like Montreal Chicken for my chicken grilling, so I made my own seasoning but changed some ingredients out to reflect my tastes.

• 2 teaspoons paprika
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon course ground black pepper
• 1 teaspoon coriander seed
• 1 teaspoon garlic

Same story as before, mix all ingredients together. Keeps for one month at room temperature. Coat chicken well while grilling.

Another great thing about making your own seasonings instead of buying them is that most premade rubs come with MSG and other additives. You know your rubs will be fresh and still taste just as great.

All of these rubs work well for vegetables, too. So, get grilling and try some new combinations of spices.

Photo by Adobe Stock/sebra