Spice rubs and mixes are an easy way to add wonderful flavor to foods. They can be made in advance if you wish and kept in a tightly closed container for up to three months. Good idea: Make a variety of these spice concoctions, and package them as gifts. They’re a great hostess present.


Sprinkle or pat the food with the spices. Don’t rub hard into the food. You can damage the meat’s fibers and texture. If seasoning the food overnight, leave out the salt. It will dehydrate the food. But be sure to sprinkle on salt about 15 minutes before you start to cook.

Generally, about three-quarters to one tablespoon of these rubs will cover three pounds of meat.


Use this as a universal rub for all types of food.

1 Tablespoon dry mustard

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

½ Tablespoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Makes about 4 Tablespoons.



Great on chicken breast and tofu.

½ cup mild curry powder

2 Tablespoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Makes 12 Tablespoons.



Good for flank steak, pork, chicken and salmon. Sweet smoked paprika can be found in the spice section of the supermarket.

4 teaspoons granulated garlic

2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

Makes 2½ Tablespoons.



Use on duck, chicken, pork, carrots and autumn squash.

1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons “five spice” powder

1 Tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 Tablespoon sugar

Makes 4 Tablespoons.



Great on steak.

1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

2 Tablespoons instant espresso coffee

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Makes about 5 Tablespoons.



Mix these spice blends into ground meat before cooking. Each recipe makes about 2 Tablespoons to flavor 1 pound of ground meat.

Big-Flavor Burger Mix

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons ground mustard

½ teaspoon sea salt


Zippy Turkey Burger Mix

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons caraway seeds

? teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon salt