Premium barbecue rubs that mimic some of the best-known American BBQ styles.
Nice collection of rubs that will give you several amazing flavors. Work well for many different types of grilling or smoking. These spices and rubs are free from gluten and MSG.
Dry rubs only. May be too mild for some people.
Low price point for four different seasoning options. Works well for meat, potatoes, and vegetables.
Popular brand for all kinds of spices. Delivers a nice mix of flavors for several food types. Seasonings have no MSG. Good price per ounce versus some other seasonings and rubs. Nice basic set for someone new to grilling.
May receive some duplicates in the set. Not as bold as some other seasonings.
If you aren't offended by their colorful names, these Texas-inspired grilling dry rubs taste great.
Five different types of dry rubs in the set. Premium ingredients. Large size for each container, so you'll have plenty of dry rub available for multiple grilling sessions. Work well on many kinds of meats.
No seasonings, only dry rubs in the set. High price point per ounce.
Premium spice and dry rub flavorings that will give you great results when grilling out.
Offers four different seasonings and dry rubs in the set for a nice variety. High-quality ingredients with no GMOs, MSG, or other additives. Can use seasonings on meats or vegetables.
You may run out of these spices quickly. Set may ship in packs instead of jars.
Excellent collection of five different spices that range from bold to mild flavors.
Very clear listing of the ingredients used in this set, so you can trust the quality. Variety of tastes that many people will love. Work equally well for grilling or smoking meats.
Small jars, so you're paying a high price per ounce of seasoning.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
For a health-conscious individual, the right spices can enhance the flavor of a meal without adding salt, sugar, fat, or calories. Spices also have similar antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to fruits and vegetables, so they are good for you. However, if we're being honest, people usually add spices to food to make it taste better, not because it's a healthy choice.
Purchasing the right grilling spice set is vital to your neighborhood ranking. It can transform your status from weekend barbecuer to grill master in a single meal. That’s why it’s important to find a robust grilling spice set with quality ingredients that has been packaged for long-lasting freshness.
If you'd like to learn about the difference between herbs and spices, which spices are best with which meats, and how to store your grilling spice set, keep reading. If you are only interested in quickly grabbing a top-rated set for an upcoming cookout, consider one of the grilling spice sets we spotlight on this page.
If you want to create your own unique spice blend from scratch, you will need an assortment of single spices, such as turmeric, black pepper, cumin, and mustard seed. However, when most people are shopping for a set of grilling spices, they actually want pre-mixed seasonings. These have a variety of ingredients that include spices as well as herbs, sugars, and salt. It is easy to tell seasonings from spices because seasoning jars tend to have more descriptive names, such as “Smokey Campfire” or “Southwest Lime.”
If you’re buying a set of grilling spices, chances are you want variety. Only you know how wide that variety should be. Do you want Cajun, Mexican, and Jamaican blends, or do you just want three different styles of barbecue? Look for a grilling spice set that reflects your preferences.
Many grilling spice sets come with a selection of three seasonings. If you prefer, you can purchase a set with as many as 50 different jars. While volume is nice, most spices only have a shelf life of up to two years. If you use grilling spices just a few months out of the year, you might not need the largest collection.
Non-organic spices may have been sterilized in a way that reduces the potency of the flavor. Additionally, non-organic spices might have fillers such as flour or rice that do not contribute to the flavor. If you want the freshest, richest flavor, lean toward a grilling spice set that has been certified organic.
While not typical, some grilling spice sets come with extras, such as reusable tins and wooden serving spoons. If this is desirable, look for a set that includes these items.
Different spices have different qualities that make them more or less desirable on certain foods. Following are a few of the top spices used in grilling.
Black pepper: When you sprinkle black pepper on food, it adds a bit of heat while accentuating the flavors that are already present. It comes in a variety of textures and can be used to create a thick, crunchy coating, if desired. Black pepper is best for beef and veal.
Chili powder: Chili powders are made from dried peppers. Since there is an incredibly wide range of peppers, chili powder can be extremely versatile, ranging from mild to hot. Chili powder is best on beef and fish.
Cinnamon: There is an earthy element to cinnamon that allows it to draw out the flavors in smokier blends and barbecues. Used in the right amount, cinnamon can be great on beef and chicken.
Garlic powder: Garlic powder can be used in almost any grilling recipe. It adds a distinctive zing that works best with beef and chicken, but it could be added to fish and pork as well.
Mustard powder: If you like a little tanginess, consider mustard powder. This versatile spice can enhance both the flavor of the meat and the other spices used in a recipe. Mustard powder is best on beef, chicken, and pork.
Paprika: Made from sweet red pepper pods, this spice is available in sweet, spicy, and smoked varieties. It is suitable for fish, chicken, pork, and veal.
If you've never priced spices, you might be surprised by how much they cost. There are several reasons for this, but in general, spices are labor-intensive items that are imported.
Inexpensive: While it may be possible to get a 2.5-ounce container of cinnamon for $1, the spices used in grilling spice sets are typically blended into one seasoning. In other words, you can get a customized blend that costs roughly $3 to $4 per jar in the bargain spice range. If you get a set of three, you can expect to pay around $12.
Mid-range: It is possible to find organic spices in a set for $5 to $6 per jar. In this range, the spices may be a little more robust and come in larger assortments of 5 to 10 jars. Therefore, the price could be anywhere from $25 to $50.
High-end: On the pricey end, spice sets might drop back down to only three flavors. Often, the jars are larger, and some cost as much as $10 per jar, double the price of a mid-range spice set. If you are considering a high-end grilling spice set, be certain it has something that warrants the higher price: larger containers, certified organic ingredients, or a desirable extra, such as serving spoons.
Grilling spices can make the difference between a meh meal and an unforgettable dining experience. However, it is important to remember that how you store your spices can dramatically affect freshness. Following are a few tips to remember when it comes to storing your grilling spice set.
Q. What is the difference between herbs and spices?
A. While herbs and spices are often lumped together and used interchangeably when speaking about flavoring food, they differ in two important ways. First, herbs come from plants that are grown in temperate zones (areas of the world that have four distinct seasons) while spices come from plants grown in tropical zones. Second, herbs come from the leafy part of a plant while spices can come from any other part: buds, bark, roots, seeds, and so on.
Q. What is the difference between spice and seasoning?
A. A spice is best thought of as an ingredient. It adds a specific quality to a recipe that enhances the overall flavor. A seasoning is a mixture of a number of components. It may have herbs, spices, sugars, and more. Often in the grilling world, products labeled as spices are actually seasonings.
Q. What about rubs and marinades?
A: The main difference between a rub and a marinade is that a rub is meant to coat the meat and be a larger part of the tactile experience. As a result, rubs are not typically ground as fine and evenly as seasonings. Also, rubs are more closely associated with barbecuing, not grilling. In order to get a dry rub to stick, it's best to first brush your meat with cooking oil. Wet rubs, however, have an ingredient that makes the consistency closer to a paste, so it is easier to apply.
A marinade is a sauce made from many of the same ingredients as a rub or seasoning, but it's purpose is to add flavor while also tenderizing the meat.