Globally Inspired Steak Recipes using Wet Rubs

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Strip Steaks for Grill with Wet RubWe are just a couples weeks out from Memorial Day, the “official” start of grilling season in most parts of the country. One of the “grate” perks about living here in the Lone Star State is firing up the grill a month or so earlier thanks to near-guaranteed beautiful weather.  However,I’d bet my last bag of charcoal brickettes that even if backyards from Amarillo to McAllen were to be covered in blankets of freak snow, we meat-eating Texans would still be outside fixing up some steaks – make no mistake!

jennifer fisher I love beefI’ve known my way around the grill since knee high, from camping grub to just keeping the kitchen cool in the suumer.  However, if you need a refresher on this meaty matter, you can catch up on grilling basics at Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about making the most from your charcoal grilling, gas grilling or smoking experience and also learn just about every other cooking method invented for beef! There is no better job than spreading the grilling love on behalf of Texas cattleman — in fact, I’m teaming up to teach another Grilling 101 class this weekend.


Aside from the technicalities of building a fire (or turning a knob), creating memorable flavor while maintaining the juiciness tenderness of a steak is what will ensure your success as a sizzling, tong-twirling superstar at the grill. While salt and pepper always add simple flavor to a good hunk of beef, sometimes a little more “wow” is on the wish-list of dinner guests Rubs are a quick and easy way to add an endless array of flavor profiles to steak.

Globally Inspired Wet Rub Recipes for Steak

Globally Inspired Wet Rub Recipes for Steak – an easy way to add flavor without a lot of fat when grilling or pan searing.

Today, I’m sharing three wet rub recipes that will kick up your grill game in a creative cross-cultural way. The Tex-Mex inspired Mi Casa Steak Rub, Spanish-meets-California inspired Valencia Steak Rub, and Asian-centric Shanghai Steak Rub all added a little something special to steaks at my recent weekend cookout.

Mi Casa Steak Rub

Valencia Steak Rub

Shanghai Steak Rub

These steak rub recipes aren’t the dry rubs recipes you may be familiar with, made with just herbs, spices and other non-liquid seasonings. Instead, wet rubs add just a little bit of liquid, but not enough to be a marinade – the consistency is more like a paste or thick dredge. Liquids used in wet rubs would be similar to those found in a marinade (like oils, juices, wine, wet condiments), but measured in a much smaller volume. While marinades are typically applied for several hours (up to a day) to render tougher cuts less chewy, wet rubs can be used to add loads of flavor on inherently tender cuts like strip steak, tenderloin, ribeye, T-bone, flat iron and more in 15 – 30 minutes.

Tips for Wet Rub Success:

  • For quick clean up, mix ingredients in zip-top bag, add steaks and massage around until coated.
  • Or, mix in small bowl and apply to steaks with a silicone brush or fingers.
  • It is fine to leave wet rub on for more than the 15 – 30 minutes, but make sure to place in refrigerator.
  • Discard any juices that remain in the bag.
  • Feel free to double or triple recipes if grilling for a crowd.
  • Make another batch to use as a grilling sauce for skewers of vegetables.
  • Allow yourself to make substitutions, experiment and create your own signature touch –that’s the fun in grilling!

How do you prep your steaks? What is your favorite cut of steak? Which of these three rubs sounds the best? What are your weekend plans — please share in the comments below – XOXO Jennifer 

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