Here’s the Rub

Homemade seasonings that are worth the effort

Olef /


While there’s a wide variety of seasonings to be found in the grocery store, Chef Jamil Bathali challenges us to create our own in his book, “Spice Mixes: Homemade Spice Blends and Seasoning Recipes.” It features an international variety of DIY combinations to spice up your food using the freshest, most aromatic ingredients with no fillers or unwanted ingredients like MSG. To keep mixes fresh, “think cool and dark when storing your spice creations,” he advises, in an airtight container at room temperature.

Here are a few recipes from Bathali’s book (order from Amazon or that are suitable for use as rubs or marinades for grilling a variety of foods.

Texas BBQ Blend
Perfect for beef barbecues. Let the meat rest for several hours after you rub it and then slow roast. Makes about ⅓ cup.

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • ½ teaspoon fresh-ground black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seed

Combine the ingredients. Use about 1 tablespoon for every pound of boneless meat.

Kansas City Dry Rub
This combo creates a sweet and smoky barbecue rub. Makes about 3 cups.

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • ¼ cup paprika
  • ½ cup coarse kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Combine the ingredients. Use about 3 tablespoons for every pound of boneless meat.

Blackened Steak Seasoning
This makes enough for 4 steaks or fish fillets.

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-ground black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves

Combine the ingredients. Use about 1 tablespoon for every pound of boneless meat or fish.

Montreal Steak Blend
Rub your steaks with this popular blend. Makes about ¾ cup.

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon cracked coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • ½ tablespoon dried rosemary needles

Combine the herbs and spices.

Juniper Seasoning
Add to marinades for game, fish, pork, lamb or steaks. Makes about ¼ cup.

  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 6 whole allspice berries
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3 whole bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Grind the peppercorns, allspice, cloves, bay leaves and salt in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. 

Seafood Seasoning
A classic mix to rub on fish or seafood before sautéing or grilling. It can also be added to the cooking liquid for poached or boiled seafood. Makes about ¾ cup.

  • 1 tablespoon ground bay leaves
  • 2 ½ teaspoons celery salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh-ground black peppercorns
  • ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mace
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom seeds

Combine the herbs and spices.

Categories: Recipes