Herb-Infused Rubs and Marinades

Introduction to Herb-Infused Rubs and Marinades in BBQ

Welcome to the “Rubs and Marinades” section of our “Herbs in BBQ” series. This page is dedicated to helping you create delicious and aromatic herb-infused rubs and marinades that will take your BBQ dishes to the next level. Rubs and marinades are essential tools in a griller’s arsenal, and when combined with fresh herbs, they can transform the flavor profile of your meats and vegetables. Whether you’re preparing a classic BBQ or experimenting with new flavors, the recipes and tips provided here will guide you through the process.

Why Use Herbs in Rubs and Marinades?

Herbs bring a fresh and vibrant flavor to BBQ rubs and marinades, enhancing the taste of the grilled food. They also offer various health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Using herbs in rubs and marinades not only adds complexity to your dishes but also promotes healthier eating.

Rubs and Marinades: Key Differences

  • Rubs: These are dry mixtures of herbs, spices, and other seasonings that are applied to the surface of the meat before grilling. They create a flavorful crust that enhances the overall taste.
  • Marinades: These are liquid mixtures that include herbs, spices, oils, and acids (like vinegar or citrus juice). Marinades help tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor.


Classic BBQ Rub with Thyme and Rosemary


  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Rub the mixture generously over the meat (beef, pork, or chicken).
  3. Let the meat sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate.
  4. Grill as desired, enjoying the herbaceous crust formed by the rub.

Why It Works: The thyme and rosemary provide a robust, earthy flavor that pairs perfectly with the smoky notes from the paprika and the sweetness from the brown sugar.

Spicy Herb Marinade with Cilantro and Jalapeño


  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well.
  2. Place the meat (chicken, beef, or seafood) in a resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish.
  3. Pour the marinade over the meat, ensuring it is well coated.
  4. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight for more intense flavor.
  5. Remove the meat from the marinade and grill as desired.

Why It Works: The fresh cilantro and jalapeño give this marinade a vibrant, spicy kick, while the lime juice and honey balance it with a tangy sweetness.

Tips for Using Rubs and Marinades

  1. Timing: Allow enough time for the rubs and marinades to work their magic. Rubs can be applied just before grilling, while marinades should be used for at least a couple of hours.
  2. Balance: Ensure a balance of flavors in your rubs and marinades. Combine herbs with spices, sweet elements, and acids for a well-rounded taste.
  3. Application: When applying rubs, press them into the meat to ensure they adhere well. For marinades, make sure the meat is evenly coated and occasionally turn it while marinating.