Recipe Book: Great Grilling with Seasoned Dry Rubs

Now that the grill is warmed up for the summer, consider a dry rub.

Backyard grilling is fine any time of the year—we even grill during snowstorms! 

We have been experimenting with "rubs" of dry ingredients for flavor. Although they are meant to be partially burned off in grilling, they also provide a burst of flavor like no other marinade or sauce on top can provide. A combination of dried spices and herbs, ground fresh red, black or white pepper and a touch of garlic are superb. 

It is fun to experiment! Even chili powder, paprika, and something sweet, like brown sugar, can radically change the flavor of a plain chicken breast that is popped on the grill. The more we have been experimenting, the more we are encouraged to try more combinations. (Chester is a good friend from South Carolina who used to own a restaurant.)


Chester's Southern Black Pepper Rub
2 Tbsp. coarsely ground fresh black pepper
1 Tbsp. granulated brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

In a small airtight container, mix the ingredients together. This rub is excellent on beef; a little goes a long way. This is enough for about 8 lbs. of meat. Keep in the refrigerator. Great on London broil, beef ribs or steaks.


Chester's Southern Spicy Chile Rub
2 Tbsp. red chili powder (you pick spicy or mild)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. granulated brown sugar
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt

This is a spicy rub, and is great on poultry. This rub provides flavor as well as a bright red coloring. Great for chicken wings, adjust the coating to taste, as they could be very spicy if this is rubbed on too thick.


Rosemary Lamb Chops
1/4 cup salad or olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. rosemary leaves, crushed
3/4 tsp. onion salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. instant minced garlic
6 generous lamb chops, trimmed well

Combine all ingredients and marinate overnight in a sealed container. Cook slowly over a grill, basting frequently. Serve with mint jelly.


Beef Bourbon Mustard Sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup fresh shallots, chopped fine
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup good quality bourbon
3/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup canned beef stock
3 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Melt butter in a saucepan on low heat, add shallots and garlic, and continue to cook on low heat for 3 minutes. Add bourbon, and turn heat up to medium high, bringing to a boil. Stir constantly, and let it boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and add the cream, stock, mustard, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir well, and put back on the heat, and bring again to a slow simmer, stir frequently so it does not stick, and continue to cook for about 10 minutes. Serve over freshly grilled steaks. This sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated, and reheated in a microwave if necessary, but it is best if made fresh.


Nancy's Sherry and Honey-Grilled Chicken
8 chicken thighs, skinned
1 cup dry sherry
3 Tbsp. honey, your choice
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. cornstarch, mixed with 2 Tbsp. dry sherry
1/4 tsp. salt

Skinning the chicken allows the flavor to absorb into the meat. Partially cook your chicken in boiling water on the stove for a few minutes (don't overcook). Drain and move to a sealable dish. Heat the sherry on the stove until it comes to a boil, and then add honey, garlic, vinegar and soy sauce. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the sauce. Cook for about a minute, stirring constantly. Pour it over the chicken in the sealable container, sprinkle with salt, and let it marinade overnight in the refrigerator. Grill the chicken and baste liberally while cooking. 


Teriyaki Steak Marinade
1 to 1 1/2 lb. steak of choice
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. teriyaki sauce
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Dash of ground red pepper
Dash of hot sauce

Trim excess fat from steak, score on both sides with a meat fork. Place in a large shallow dish or heavy-duty zip-loc plastic bag. Combine all ingredients. Pour mixture over steak, and marinate in refrigerator for at least 8 hours (turning occasionally). Grill to desired doneness, basting frequently. Discard marinade before serving.


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