Master the Grill: Elevate Your Beef with Spice Rubs

Every BBQ aficionado and meat lover knows that the right spice mix and marinade can truly elevate meat to the next level. The right spice marinade pairing can transform your beef dishes from good to unforgettable, making every BBQ session a culinary adventure.

This blog will dive into the perfect flavour profiles to pair with beef and the art of marinating. Whether you're a seasoned grill master looking to refine your repertoire or a budding BBQ enthusiast eager to impress, these insights will ensure your next grilling session is nothing short of spectacular.

barbeque with buns and corn on table in park

The art of marinating beef

Marinating is not just about soaking meat in a flavourful liquid; it's an art that enhances taste, tenderness, and the overall eating experience. 

Different spices and herbs can amplify the natural flavours of various beef cuts, infusing them with unique profiles that make each bite a testament to your grilling skills. Whether you're seasoning a succulent sirloin or a tender brisket, understanding the synergy between your beef cut and its marinade is key to unlocking a world of flavours.

Top spice marinade pairings for beef

Here are some beef spice rub recipes for your next BBQ session:

  • Smokey and sweet: For a classic BBQ flavour, combine smoked paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, and a hint of cayenne. This pairing is perfect for ribs and brisket, offering a balance of sweetness with a smokey kick.
  • Herbaceous and fresh: Mix fresh rosemary, thyme, garlic, and lemon zest for a marinade that brings a refreshing lift to heavier cuts like chuck roast. The acidity from the lemon zest tenderises the meat, while the herbs infuse it with earthy notes.
  • Spicy and tangy: For those who like a bit of heat, a combination of chilli powder, cumin, coriander, and lime juice creates a vibrant marinade ideal for flank steak.
  • Rich and umami: Blend soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and black pepper for a deeply savoury marinade that enhances the umami flavours in beef. This pairing works wonders on a variety of cuts, especially sirloin and tenderloin, giving them a rich, complex taste profile.

Recipe: roast beef spice rub

We've crafted a spice rub recipe to elevate your roast beef to unparalleled deliciousness:


  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt (sea salt or kosher salt works best)
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary 
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust according to heat preference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander


  1. Combine ingredients: In a small bowl, mix together the smoked paprika, coarse salt, cracked black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, crushed rosemary, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, and ground coriander. Stir until well combined.
  2. Prepare the beef: Before applying the rub, make sure your roast beef is dry to ensure the spices stick well. Pat the beef dry with paper towels.
  3. Apply the rub: Liberally coat the entire surface of your roast beef with the spice rub. Use your hands to press the mixture into the meat, ensuring it's evenly covered. For the best flavour penetration, wrap the spice-rubbed beef in plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight if possible.
  4. Cook as desired: Remove the beef from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature. Cook your roast beef according to your preferred method, whether you're roasting it in the oven, searing it on the stovetop, or grilling it outdoors.
  5. Rest before serving: Once cooked to your liking, let the roast beef rest for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to be redistributed, ensuring the meat is moist and flavourful.

Our top tips for marinating beef

To ensure your beef soaks up all those wonderful flavours, here are some practical tips for marinating:

  • Timing is everything: Depending on the cut, marinate your beef for anywhere from 2 hours to overnight. Thicker cuts benefit from longer marination times, while thinner cuts can be marinated for shorter periods.
  • Maximise flavour: Use a fork to prick the beef before marinating. This helps the flavours seep deeper into the meat, ensuring every bite is as flavourful as the last.
  • Reserve some marinade: Keep a portion of the marinade aside for basting. Applying it to the meat while grilling adds an extra layer of flavour and keeps the beef moist.
meat for beef jerky lovers

The Jerky Co: made by meat lovers for meat lovers

At The Jerky Co, our passion for meat goes beyond the grill. Our range of air-dried meat products, including gourmet beef jerky, biltong, and droëwors, is a testament to our commitment to quality and flavour. 

Crafted from ethically sourced, premium MSA graded Australian beef and seasoned to perfection with our expertly blended spice mixes, our air-dried meat products are seriously delicious. 

Our air-drying process locks in the meat's natural flavours, ensuring each bite is flavourful and utterly satisfying. 

To read more: What Beef Makes The Best Jerky

beef jerky bbq

Elevate your BBQ game

Incorporating these beef spice rubs into your next BBQ session promises not only to impress your guests but also to deepen your appreciation for the art of BBQ. Experimenting with different flavours and techniques is the essence of culinary exploration, and with these pairings, your grill is sure to become the heart of unforgettable meals.

Want to enjoy more meat on the go? Check out our extensive range of air dried meats perfect for snacking, adding to meals, or simply savouring the rich, authentic flavours anytime, anywhere.
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