Marinades serve double duty by adding zippy, delicious flavors as well as tenderizing the meat. Acidic liquids like vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, or wine serve as the tenderizer, while herbs and flavorful vegetables like garlic, thyme, onion, and rosemary provide flavor notes.

Marinate less-tender cuts of beef for as many as 24 hours, turning them occasionally, and be sure to always keep the meat in the fridge in a glass or stoneware container that won’t react to acidic ingredients. Since marinades have been in contact with raw meat, never reuse or save them.

Get ready for a flavor blastoff! Your pantry is likely already stocked with spices and cooking liquids that will shoot your grilling game into the next dimension. Rubs and marinades deliciously tenderize or add flavor to your grill-bound meats with just a few simple steps.

Rubs are just what they sound like: Seasonings that you rub on raw meat to add flavor, seal in juices, and form a tasty crust. Combine herbs and spices and apply them dry, or mix them with water, oil, apple cider, or vinegar to create a zingy paste.

Should you apply the rub 24 hours in advance or just before grilling? The debate continues, but it’s said that flavor intensity increases the longer the rub is in contact with the meat.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: H-E-B Texas Originals Chicken Fajita Seasoning; H-E-B Texas Originals Steak Seasoning; H-E-B Texas Originals Brisket Rub
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Mark’s Good Stuff Chicken ‘n Ribs; FUBAR Flamethrower; The Jank Original