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Dry Rubs: Cooking Tips + Simple Recipes

Jazz up your leaner meats and poultry

Two bowls of dry-rub spice blends on a wood table

When you’re cooking lean, healthy meats, a dry rub can fire up the flavor. Not to mention, it’s so easy to do!


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Coat the meat with a cooking spray and pat the meat with a dry rub of your choice. Loosely cover the meat with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or up to 24 hours. Grill or cook the meat or poultry any way you like.

You can also make these rubs ahead of time and store them in your refrigerator. They’ll keep for months and be ready to go the next time you’re craving a flavorful dish.

Poultry rub

2 tablespoons dried orange zest
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)
1 tablespoon dried tarragon

Substitute dried thyme or ground bay leaves for the tarragon if desired. Coat the chicken or duck breast with olive oil cooking spray and pat with dry rub. Allow it to marinate for at least 10 minutes. Coat again. Grill, broil or saute over medium heat until done.

Mojo dry spice rub

1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds

Grind both seeds into a fine powder in a spice mill. Mix with black pepper, sugar and a dash of salt.

Asian spice blend

3 tablespoons five-spice powder
3 tablespoons hot paprika (or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Source: Cleveland Clinic Healthy Heart Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook (© 2007 Broadway Books).

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