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Essential Seasonings for Grilling

Mention the start of grilling season to a diehard grill master and prepare to get an earful about how grilling is always in season. It certainly was in my house growing up. The Midwest’s unforgiving weather didn’t deter my father from firing up our grill. The frequency of grilled meats, fish and veggies at my house meant we experimented a lot with added flavors, from Cajun to Asian-influenced, smoky to sweet spices.  

Coffee-Rubbed Roasted Chicken

Coffee-Rubbed Roasted Chicken

Dry Rubs: Jamaican Me Hungry
If you haven’t already befriended dry rubs, it’s time. They add depth of flavor to your favorite grilled foods, but try them when you’re baking and pan-frying too. The right combination of spices can give your meal a Southern kick, an island flare or a Texas twist. Try them with beef, tofu, fish, pork chops, chicken breasts and vegetables.

Explore a wide variety of combinations and follow these guidelines for best results:

  • Three to four tablespoons of spice rub seasonings should be enough for two pounds of food.
  • To apply a rub, sprinkle it over your choice of meat, poultry, fish or veggies and lightly rub into the surface with your hands. Or place the rub in a large plastic bag, add your ingredients and shake to coat. Let spiced food sit in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight before cooking.
  • Prepared dry rubs already contain the right mix of flavors ranging from Asian to Mediterranean styles. Or mix your own rub and store in an airtight glass jar in a cool place.

Spiced Grilled Sweet Potatoes

Spiced Grilled Sweet Potatoes

Your Signature Flavor
Why not spent these weeks leading up to summer developing your own signature dry rub? (Tip: dry rubs make an excellent hostess gift if you’re traveling.) Here are a few recipes for inspiration.

Spice World

Consider Whole Foods MarketTM and 365 Everyday Value® spices your sous chef. We’ve paired and packaged complementary spices so you can simply grind (shake or flake), grill and go! And yes, variety is the spice of life. Check out all our options for matching with your favorite fish, meat, poultry, veggies or meat substitutes.

  • Whole Foods MarketTM Spice Grinders. Citrus Seasoning, Smoky Cafe or Cocoa, Sugar & Chili. Whether you’re in a savory and zesty, sweet and smoky or sweet and spicy mood, we’ve got you (and your entrée) covered!
  • Whole Foods MarketTM Spice Shakers. Chophouse Seasoning. Just pick the cut of beef or salmon and this savory blend will ensure greatness.
  • 365 Everyday Value® Spice Grinders. Simple BBQ Seasoning, Rainbow Peppercorns, Garlic & Herb Seasoning or Everyday Seasoning. Sometimes simple is best; these essential spices will be a pantry favorite by mid-summer.
  • 365 Everyday Value® Spice Shakers. Garlic Pepper, Spicy Seasoning Salt Free, Garlic & Herb Seasoning or Everyday Seasoning. There’s a flavor for everyone at your table and every occasion with these offerings.
  • Whole Foods MarketTM Spice Tubs. Sea Salt Cypriot Flakes, Sea Salt Fleur de Sel or Murray River Salt. The perfect finishing touch to sprinkle over foods during cooking or just after.

Fired up about summer grilling? Us too. Check out our complete guide to grilling for more recipes, methods and techniques.

What’s your favorite dry rub recipe or flavored salt for seasoning? Let me know in the comments below.

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Joyce says …

Sounds delicious! Are the products "gluten-free"?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JOYCE - The facility that processes the spice blends also makes breadcrumbs, so there is wheat/gluten present in the facility so we would not call them gluten free.

melanie says …

what happended to the carribean seasoning Wholefood used to sell????

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MELANIE - Was this a Whole Butcher seasoning? If so, these have not been discontinued and most stores can special order this for you through the Meat department.

June says …

What happened to the 365 Caribbean Barbecue Seasoning...really miss it!

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JUNE - I checked with our private label team and this is still being produced so they suggested checking with your local store to see if this is something they still carry or can special order for you.

Julie says …

Does anyone know where I can get the Smoky Cafe Spice Grinder? I can't find it in stores anywhere anymore.

Tina Manfredi says …

I have purchased your Smokey Café Grinder a few months ago. I use it on everything but I cannot find it anymore and no one at the Brooklyn 3rd Avenue store has an answer???? Help

Mrs. Harrison says …

I have been going to purchased 365-Blackend Cajun Spice and for weeks the store has been out of stock. Has this product been discontinued? This is a great tasting seasoning. Thanks Mrs. Harrison

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MRS. HARRISON - No, this has not been discontinued. Check with the Meat team at your local store, they can order it for you!

George says …

Which of the following stores has Nature's Rancher Garlic & Herb seasoning: Queen Anne Downtown Seattle Bellevue Redmond Seattle Lynnwood

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@GEORGE - Unfortunately, I do not have a list of products at each store. If you give the exact store a call you plan to shop with, they'll be happy to help!

Kristie S. says …

The 365 Everyday Spice Grinder -- Simple BBQ Seasoning was a family favorite and now I can't find it. Has this been discontinued? And if it has, could you share the ingredients so I can recreate it with other spices from Whole Foods? Thanks!