marinades and rubs

Our Favorite Grilling (or Everyday) Marinades and Rubs

Last Updated on January 30, 2024

Most grass-fed steaks — filet mignon, ribeye steak, and New York strip steak, in particular — are so tender, they need little more than kosher salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to make them explode with flavor.

But even these cuts of beef are enhanced by spending a bit of time in a savory and healthy marinade. Give a ribeye a half-hour in a balsamic vinaigrette or any number of red wine-based healthy grilling marinades — with a few spices added, of course — and what was a fantastic steak becomes otherworldly.

There are cuts of beef that come from areas of a cow that have had more use, making them less tender than those from the tenderloin and ribeye, to name two more tender areas. These steaks — flank steak, skirt steak, hanger steak, and others — are perfect for marinating in savory marinades including those heavy on mushrooms, pepper, and soy sauce.

Soaking a flank steak in a marinade overnight, or, believe it or not, right before cooking, produces similarly amazing flavors and tenderness.

Rubs and marinades are also perfect for grilling chicken and pork. The flavor in these meats, however, is brought out by different complementary flavors. ButcherBox Head Chef Yankel Polak suggests citrus flavor profiles for chicken and sweet flavors for pork marinades.

We have a few favorite marinade recipes that our friends have created. Check out some of the best below:

For a tender grass-fed steak like a filet mignon or ribeye steak or a chicken rub…

Ava Jane’s KitchenAva Jane’s Kitchen makes an incredible avocado oil that is perfect on salads but also works well to coat the grill before cooking a steak. Ava Jane’s Spices and Colima Sea Salt are also perfect to sprinkle on a tender New York strip steak or to use as a rub on free-range organic chicken breasts or wild Alaskan salmon. Check out all the different spices they make as well as Ava Jane’s Avocado Oil here.

For organic free-range chicken breasts or kabobs…

Primal Kitchen Greek Vinaigrette and Marinade –  If you are grilling chicken breast, the first thing you want to do is pound it thinner. The next thing is to marinate it in Primal Kitchen’s great Greek Vinaigrette and Marinade. Use the marinade with any of the different ButcherBox free-range organic chicken cuts and some grill roasted peppers and onions, and you have a Mediterranean masterpiece.

For grilled pork of any kind, before or after grilling…

Tessemae’s Organic BBQ Sauce – Tessemae’s has created a great sweet and tangy organic BBQ sauce with no refined sugar that is Whole 30 approved, and paleo, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

This is perfect on some pork chops, St. Louis ribs, or country-style ribs. Tessemae’s Organic BBQ sauce is also great to add to a grilled and chopped pork loin roast or a Boston butt for some great pork sandwiches.

For thinner cuts of beef to use in a salad or sandwich…

Primal Kitchen Lemon Turmeric Vinaigrette and Marinade –  Primal Kitchen’s lemon and turmeric marinade is packed with unique flavors that taste great when used to marinate flank steak, hanger steak, or skirt steak.

With steaks, the most flavorful marinades are best when they get to soak in overnight. While you can also marinate a steak for an hour, Chef Yankel believes more flavor is achieved by letting it sit in the marinade for at least 12 hours.