The Best Herbs and Spices for Use in Barbecue Rubs and Sauces

The Best Herbs and Spices for Use in Barbecue Rubs and Sauces

To be able to come up with tender and juicy barbecued meat, experts usually use a certain technique or strategy. Fortunately, you don‘t really need to be an expert to come up with a delectable grilled dish. Rather, you just need the right grill or smoker set-up, the right cut of meat, as well as the perfect rub to go with it.

Some of the basic barbecue techniques are direct or indirect grilling wherein the meat is cooked directly over a fire or on an area close to a fire. However, some say that a perfectly barbequed meat is one that has a smoky flavor and for this, you have the option of using a pellet smoker, an electric smoker, or even a charcoal smoker. There are several online channels that can give you good tips in terms of how to use the right smokers to achieve perfectly smoked dishes. But apart from the overall barbecue set-up, it pays to know some of the best herbs and spices to rub your meat with.

Salt and Pepper

First and foremost, season your meat with salt and pepper, which will help bring out the full flavor of the meat itself. An insufficient amount of salt can make your meat bland while too much of it will render your dish too salty. It is best if you add some salt throughout the cooking process to bring out the flavor of the meat because adding salt when the meat is almost cooked will result in an overly salty taste. Keep in mind that in any rub or sauce blend, you need to put in a little salt for taste.

Pepper is best used in conjunction with salt if these are the only spices you have in your pantry. Pepper can add heat and a little bit of depth to any dish, including your barbecue. Pepper can be finely ground, but you would rather go for whole peppercorns which can be crushed. The latter will provide a thick and crispy coating base to your meat. Salt and pepper is best combined with any citrus juice to give your barbecue that tangy taste.

Dried Herbs

  • Rosemary and thyme
  • Sage
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Basil
  • Oregano

Some of the most common dried herbs that are best used in rubs and sauces for barbecue are rosemary and thyme, as well as sage, parsley, cilantro, basil and oregano. While you can definitely get them in their fresh form, the dried variety of these herbs are those that work best for barbecue rubs. Dried herbs don’t spoil too easily compared to fresh herbs, but keep in mind to use dried herbs sparingly as their flavor is already more concentrated compared to the fresh alternatives. Adding a touch of dried herbs to an off the shelf barbecue sauce instantly makes a difference.


  • Mustard
  • Coriander
  • Celery
  • Cumin

Ground mustard, coriander, and celery seeds are loaded with flavor that you can infuse into your barbecue. Grilling is one of the ways that you can truly release the flavor or these seeds so it is best to use them as a rub for your meat. You can either apply them on the meat in ground form, or rub them whole and let the heat of the grill open them up and unleash their flavor. With the strong taste of these seeds, it is best to use one type of seed at a time for the base of your barbecue rub or sauce. Ground cumin is also one of the best spices that can go into your barbecue rub or sauce because it has a rich and earthy flavor that enhances the flavor of your meat. It has a unique, but rich taste that is best when blended with lemon and lime.

Powdered Spices

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chili
  • Paprika

Onion, garlic, and chili powder are some of the best spices that you can use for your barbecue rub. Garlic and onion provide a certain zest to any blend of sauce you decide to use on your red meat or poultry, and even to grilled seafood and vegetables. Chili powder and flakes also work well to add some heat to your barbecue. However, there are different types of chili powder and flakes with varying heat levels depending on the type of chili used, such as chipotle or cayenne. Paprika is another powdered spice that has different varieties. It can be sweet, spicy, or smoky and each can go well with your rubs or sauces, depending on what you intend to achieve. Nevertheless, your dish will surely shine with the smooth texture and rich color added by paprika.

Uncommon Grill Spices

Turmeric is not one of the spices that are commonly used for grilled dishes, but it is worth a try. The rich and light flavor of turmeric can add a certain flavor to your dish without necessarily overpowering the food. Turmeric can also add a great pop of color to your barbecue.

Cinnamon is another spice that is uncommon when it comes to barbecue rubs and sauces, but all the same, it is worth giving it a try. It has a woody and earthy taste that makes your grilled meat taste a little bit sweeter. A small dose of cinnamon to your barbecue rub can definitely go a long way.

Some of the best herbs and spices that you can use for barbecue rubs and sauces include the most common dry herbs such as rosemary and thyme, as well as sage, parsley, cilantro, basil and oregano. You can also explore the flavors of different seeds such as ground mustard, coriander, and celery or powdered seasonings such as garlic, onion, and chili. Paprika, turmeric and cumin will also give your barbecue a distinct flavor, but at the very least, use some salt and pepper. Be bold in experimenting with the flavors and soon you will be able to come up with a unique rub or sauce that will set your barbecue apart from all others.

Image by Engin Akyurt —

List of Spices for Vegans to Try

List of Spices for Vegans to Try

Photo by Monicore.

Going on a vegan diet can be challenging as well as exciting. It’s all just a matter of perspective and how open you are about exploring your food options. Being vegan is more than just looking after your diet, it can even be considered a lifestyle. With this, strict vegans have particular requirements for the food they consume.

While spices are not necessarily considered food per se, they are nevertheless essential food items that bring out an enhanced flavor and aroma to the food we eat. As vegans, these spices also need to adhere to the vegan requirement that they should be wholly plant-based and not derived from animals or animal products. In order to help give more options for our vegan friends, we list here some vegan-friendly spices they can try out.

poppy seeds in glass jar

Nutritional Yeast

While a vegan diet can be considered a healthy type of diet and reduces the health risks associated with a diet with high meat consumption, there are also certain nutritional needs that vegans must obtain using a substitute, especially protein. This is why it is essential for a vegan to have reliable vegan resources to help them prepare nutritionally balanced vegan food. When it comes to protein sources, these resources will surely include nutritional yeast among the top sources. Nutritional yeast is an essential spice that vegans can try due to its abundant protein content. It is rich in B-vitamins and amino acids, making it an essential alternative to meat protein This plant-based yeast also gives your food a cheesy and nutty flavor, which makes it a versatile vegan spice for many kinds of dishes.

Fresh Herbs

While herbs are considered a different classification from spices, these two go along well with each other and they help bring out amazing flavors to your food. They make nice alternatives to dry herbs and they add more aesthetic appeal to your dishes. You can try out the Scarborough Fair lineup of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme and explore these herbs individually or in combination with each other to give your vegan food and adventurous twist.

Soy Sauce

This versatile spice and condiment is something vegans can also try. It is a great ingredient for making marinades for dishes made from tofu or tempeh. It is also a creative way of giving a touch of saltiness to your dishes.


This spice is well-known on vegan dishes and is something you can explore for new dishes. Turmeric brings about a savory and pleasantly sharp flavor, which will definitely hype up your appetite. Its yellow color gives food a more dazzling presentation, especially for tofu scrambles and omelets. Apart from this, turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps reduce the development of heart disease, diabetes and reduces symptoms of arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome.


Another versatile and widely used spice is cumin. It also passes vegan requirements as a plant-based ingredient, so you can now explore new flavors for your dishes. It adds a savory taste to different dishes and goes well with lentil and tofu dishes.

Cayenne Pepper

Giving your dishes a hot touch can fuel your dietary excitement. Cayenne also goes well with other spices and herbs and gives off a distinct aroma and taste. You can try out this spice to your dishes to give them a fiery punch.

Vegetable Broth

Your dishes don’t have to be always dry. Vegetable broth can bring great flavor to soups and stews. It also enhances the taste of simple and neutral-tasting dishes like rice, beans, and tofu.

salad ingredients

There are many vegan-friendly spices out there waiting to be discovered. All you need to do is be resourceful, creative, and open to discovering new flavors and ingredients. If you are concerned with getting the spices right and still true to your vegan diet requirements, you can always consult your trusty vegan resources. Just because you have a vegan diet doesn’t mean your food options are limited. With the proper resources, you can go ahead and explore more vegan dishes.

Feeling Dizzy? Try These Home Remedies for Vertigo

Feeling Dizzy? Try These Home Remedies for Vertigo

Everybody has experienced dizziness or lightheadedness at least once in their lives. Whether as a result of some health condition or extreme fatigue, it seems as if you’ve lost complete control of your body, and the world is spinning around you. Thankfully, some dizziness home remedies do exist that can quickly help you regain control of yourself. These work slowly and steadily to reduce bouts of dizziness from taking place. Here are some quick remedies for dizziness and fatigue that can control the effects and help you get back to normalcy.

1. Drink water before eating

Eating can induce a drop in blood pressure, which can make you feel lightheaded and dizzy. But you can mitigate this condition, called postprandial hypotension, by drinking a glass of water 20 minutes before you eat. And that was proved in a research published in 2015 in the journal Clinical Nutrition, which included twelve adults with an average age of sixty-seven. Talk about a simple home remedy for vertigo. You know you should get loads of fluids.

2. Avoid long hot showers and baths

Although it may sound less than agreeable, there are umpteen excellent reasons to take a cold shower. While most of us would instead stick to the steaming hot kind. Heat expands your blood vessels, which can lead to a drop in blood pressure. And low pressure can make you feel lightheaded. You don’t have to avoid your warm showers, but limit them to 10 minutes. Want a long soak? Stick to water closer to body temperature—not hot, but soothing and warm. 

3. Drink ginger tea

Ginger delivers a lot of amazing benefits—including decreasing motion sickness in people prone to it. A study published in the AJP (American Journal of Physiology), 50 percent of the patients with a record of motion sickness received ginger supplements, and others got a placebo pill. They were put in a spinning drum, activating motion sickness. The people who took the ginger supplements developed less serious symptoms than the ones who received the placebo pill. Try sipping ginger tea if you’re prone to motion sickness.

4. Eat whole grains

A substantial group of foods your body digests fastly, such as foods loaded with refined flour and sugar and potatoes, white rice, can cause your blood sugar to drop and make you feel lightheaded.  To prevent dizziness caused by blood sugar spikes and dips, eat easy-digesting, fiber-rich foods such as whole grains and beans. Lean protein meat like chicken and fish are also good choices. 

5. Try apple cider vinegar

One common reason for dizziness is low blood sugar, but apple cider vinegar can fight with that, according to a study scientists fed two groups of people a carb-rich meal (think: orange juice and a bagel). Fifty percent were given an ACV drink after the meal and others a fake drink. The research participants included diabetics and non-diabetics, who were insulin-resistant or insulin-sensitive. Those who got the apple cider drink had improved post-meal BGL (blood glucose levels) and also had fewer valleys and peaks. People with diabetes shouldn’t try this method without talking to their medical practitioners. But if you’re healthy, it’s great to have one tablespoon of ACV a day. 

6. Get a massage

You can stimulate your body’s acupressure points to self-treat and relax. But getting a massage is more relaxing, and one of our home remedies for dizziness. The feelings of anxiety can aggravate dizziness, so unwinding activities that promote a sense of calm can help dizzy spells. A soothing massage with essential oil(lavender)  can help you if you’re feeling tense.

7. Take ginkgo biloba

This herb helps as a brain tonic.  Traditional Chinese medical practitioners use ginkgo biloba to treat vertigo, believing that it increases blood flow and circulation to the brain. And a study published in the IJO(International Journal of Otolaryngology) that compared the herb to betahistine, a conventional prescription medication given for vertigo, found that the western and eastern remedies were equally effective as a vertigo cure. Still, the ginkgo biloba had little side effects.

8. Stay hydrated

Ever felt lightheaded and dizzy when you stand after sitting for a while? That sensation is called postural hypotension or orthostatic—it is low blood pressure from suddenly changing positions and is often caused by dehydration. So make sure to stay adequately hydrated, especially when you’re ill when it’s hot outside, or you’ve been exercising. 

9. Choose a focal point

When the room starts spinning, stop what you’re doing and choose a stationary object like a piece of furniture or a wall clock to focus on. It’s the same concept as staring at the horizon on a boat trip. Sit by a window seat on the plane, don’t look down at books or devices when traveling, and fixate on something specific on the horizon to keep lightheadedness and nausea away.


If you’re prone to feeling unsteady or faint, you may experience symptoms of a severe health condition, the result of pushing yourself too hard or a reaction to a medication. Talk to your physician to rule out anything serious, then try some of these home remedies for the dizziness to restore your balance.

Author Bio:
Emylee is a wellness lifestyle writer. She loves sharing her thoughts and personal experiences related to natural remedies, Ayurvedic, yoga and fitness through her writing. She currently writes for How To Cure. She can connect with others experiencing health concerns and help them through their recovery journeys through natural remedies.

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