12 Cheap Rubs and Marinades for Summer Barbecues

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MARINADE IN THE SHADE


Pulling out the grill and throwing a barbecue for friends and family is the quintessential summer pastime. Even without premium cuts of meat, fancy equipment, and expert know-how, it's easy to turn out delicious grilled dishes with the right combination of ingredients. New grillers should first check out the basics of marinating from Anne Livingston and advice from The Nest on using dry rubs. Then try one of these 12 cheap homemade marinades and rubs for summer cookouts.

Related:11 Ways to Get the Most Out of Cheap Cuts of Meat
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EASY COFFEE RUB

Coffee has many more uses than waking people up in the morning. The rich aroma and undertone of coffee grounds can add incredible flavor to meats. Try an easy coffee rub recipe from Eating Well. Besides the coffee grounds, all that's needed are kosher salt and ground pepper. Rub 2 tablespoons of the combined ingredients evenly on 1.5 pounds of the chef's choice of meat (beef, lamb, duck, or chicken thighs) before grilling.
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CLASSIC DRY RUB FOR PORK RIBS

What meat eater doesn't love baby back pork ribs? Everyone will be licking their fingers with this simple dry rub from Allrecipes, rated an average of 4.5 stars by nearly 500 people. The ingredients can be found in most kitchens: brown sugar, paprika, salt, ground pepper, and garlic powder. Mix together and rub into the pork ribs, then marinate overnight before cooking. Some reviewers advise cutting out the salt to avoid drying out the meat.
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GAME DAY WINGS

Enjoy these wings engineered by restaurateur Guy Fieri from the Food Network even when there's no game on TV. Mix garlic, cayenne pepper, dry mustard, black pepper, white pepper, and cumin. Combine with 4 pounds of chicken wings in a bowl and let them marinate for a few hours before grilling for 15 to 25 minutes. For wings that are wet like Buffalo wings, make a sauce by adding olive oil, garlic, and hot sauce to the spice mix.
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CARIBBEAN-STYLE JERK RUB

For plenty of spice, consider a Caribbean-style dry rub. Directions from Recipe.com call for allspice, cracked black pepper, red pepper, and cinnamon, along with onion powder, brown sugar, thyme, nutmeg, and cloves. The recipe serves about 2 pounds of meat, and can be used for pork ribs, duck breast, or dark chicken and turkey meat.
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GARLIC, BASIL, AND LEMON MARINADE FOR WHITE FISH

Move over ribs and wings, and make way for a white fish marinade that's simple but packed with flavor. Created by Kalyn's Kitchen, the recipe calls for olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper, dried basil, and garlic powder. Simply mix the ingredients and marinate a piece of white fish such as tilapia, mahi-mahi, or halibut in a sealed bag for two to three hours. The marinade can also be used for chicken, shrimp, and scallops (for which marinating time will vary).
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TUSCAN ROSEMARY GARLIC RUB

If pasta and meatballs can't go on the grill, try the next best thing: a Tuscan-inspired rosemary garlic rub posted on Allrecipes and perfect for chicken, pork, or even potatoes. Start by mixing ground black pepper, kosher salt, chopped rosemary, dried rosemary, and garlic. Stir olive oil gradually into the ingredients to create a thick paste. Rub it into the meat before grilling. A few reviewers said they used less salt and added lemon (juice or zest) and oregano for even more herbal flavor.
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ASIAN BARBECUE CHICKEN MARINADE

A recipe from Once Upon a Chef is billed as "chicken teriyaki with a South Asian flair." Gather the classic ingredients: soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, scallions, garlic, and curry powder. Also grab brown sugar, vegetable oil, and cayenne powder for use on the recommended meat -- chicken thighs. Marinate the thighs with the ingredients in a sealed bag for three to four hours before grilling on high heat, three to five minutes on each side.
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SRIRACHA MARINADE

Sriracha is a must-have at dining tables now and a crowd pleaser at barbecues, too. Delight hot-sauce-loving fiends with an easy sriracha marinade from Food.com that works with grilled meat or seafood. Mix the ingredients (minced garlic cloves, olive oil, mustard, lime juice, soy sauce, cumin, and cilantro leaf) with sriracha. Marinate the meat or fish for four to six hours before grilling, and set aside a bit of marinade to brush on during grilling.
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LEMON PEPPER SALT RUB

For those who love extra lemon flavor, it doesn't get better (or easier) than a three-ingredient recipe from Epicurious. Coat a preferred meat (steak, chicken, or fish) in olive oil and spread a mix of ground black peppercorns, grated lemon zest, and salt evenly on the meat. Make sure to break up clumps of zest before grilling or roasting.
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CURRY RUBBED PORK CHOPS

Ribeye and chicken wings won't be the only stars at the cookout when joined by curry-rubbed pork chops from the Frugal Chef. This recipe serves up four boneless 1-inch-thick pork chops treated with spices already in the kitchen (curry powder, garlic powder, ground coriander, and ground ginger). After coating the pork chops with vegetable oil, combine the spices with brown sugar, salt and black pepper, and spread evenly over the meat.
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GARLICKY WHITE WINE GRILLED SHRIMP

All compliments will go to the grill master who serves these garlicky white wine shrimp skewers from Food & Wine. Marinate a pound of extra-large shrimp in olive oil, minced onion, garlic, white wine, and parsley for about 15 minutes. Rub each shrimp with butter before placing on the grill to cook for a few minutes. Crustaceans can be expensive, so consider adding grilled vegetables to the skewers to make the shrimp go further. Serve with a side of steamed rice and buttery corn on the side.

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SIMPLE AND EASY GRILLED SALMON

Salmon lovers can rejoice with this quick recipe for tangy salmon fillets off Allrecipes. To make this sweet yet savory dish, marinate salmon fillets in lemon juice, lemon zest, minced garlic, olive oil, soy sauce, and brown sugar for 30 minutes. Cook salmon for six to eight minutes on the grill. A few reviewers mentioned reducing the amounts of brown sugar and soy sauce to make it healthier.