Best Meat Seasoning

There’s nothing like the thought of a perfectly aged steak sizzling on the grill to get your mouth watering, right? And while you may have seasoned it with salt and pepper and perhaps some steak spices, there’s a whole lot more you can do to take it the next level of deliciousness by using different meat seasonings.

Whether you sprinkle it on or use it at a rub, meat seasoning brings out the best in beef, sometimes tenderizing, but always imparting a rich flavor. Using meat seasoning also lets you experience different styles of cooking, from smoky mesquite, Cajun and southern style to a delicate mixture of herbs, spices and garlic. As well, most meat seasonings can also be used on pork, poultry, fish and even vegetables.

With so many different meat seasonings available to purchase online, we’ve done our research and curated some of the best top-rated options out there. Read on to find the one — or ones — that suit your taste buds.

1. Editor’s Choice: McCormick Grill Mates Spices, Everyday Grilling Variety Pack

Food has become so expensive, that many people are buying cheaper cuts of meat to stretch their food dollar. But that doesn’t mean those second cuts have to taste like shoe leather. By using an affordable meat seasoning from a trusted name in spices, it’s easy to turn regular ground beef, blade steak, chicken or pork chops into delicious meals that will have your family lining up for seconds.

Of course, even if you’re not on a budget, this variety pack of four different meat and poultry seasonings from McCormick will come in handy for all of your grilling needs, whether you’re cooking steaks, burgers or chicken. The pack includes Montreal Steak Seasoning, Montreal Chicken Seasoning, Roasted Garlic & Herb Seasoning and Hamburger Seasoning. With these in your kitchen cupboard, you’re covered on rubs, tenderizing, grilling and roasting.

Plus, if you’re truly adventurous, you can try the roasted garlic and herb seasoning on your salads, and sprinkle Montreal steak seasoning on your pizza! This Grill Mates boxed set would make a thoughtful gift for the newbie foodie or grill master in your life.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Four different seasonings
  • Versatile use

Cons:

  • Not everyone may like or want the different seasoning combinations

Check Price


2. Runner Up: FreshJax Smoked Spices Gift Set

There’s something really special about adding smoky flavors to meat. But if you don’t have a smoker to slowly cook or grill your beef, pork or poultry using flavored wood chips, it’s best to turn to smoke-flavored seasonings and rubs to add the true essence of smoke to your food.

This boxed sampler set is the perfect solution if you’re just starting out and want to experiment with flavors but don’t want to waste too much if you don’t like it. The five different certified organic seasoning blends each come in two-ounce sampler bottles, which gives you an opportunity to taste and buy a larger quantity of what you love and stay away from what you don’t love.

The set includes Mesquite lime for delicious Tex-Mex inspired dishes; the Grill Master burger blend for hamburgers, kabobs and veggies; Smoke Cherrywood that you can use instead of salt to add a smoky taste to your favorite meat; Campfire sea salt to add to avocado toast, chicken, potatoes, and shrimp; and Smokey Southwest, perfect for quesadillas, tacos, salsa, and corn on the cob.

All the seasonings are certified kosher, vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO.

Pros:

  • Certified organic
  • Certified kosher, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, non-irradiated
  • Five meat seasonings sampler
  • Mixed by hand in small batches

Cons:

  • Small sized containers
  • A bit pricey

Check Price


3. Best Low-Sodium: Dan-O’s Original Seasoning

If you have high blood pressure, then you know how important it is to reduce the amount of sodium in your diet. Or, you may have a sensitivity to gluten or be following a special diet that restricts what you can eat or add to your food. Regardless of your specific situation, you don’t have to be left out in the cold when it comes finding a suitable way to season your meat.

This option from Dan-O’s is the brand’s original seasoning recipe that uses a blend of rosemary, garlic, onion, lemon peel, orange peel, and several other spices all rolled into a low-sodium grilling, smoking and pan-searing solution. There is also no sugar added, making it ideal for anyone following a paleo or keto diet, plus it is gluten-free, vegan and has zero carbs.

The affordably priced spice blend is the perfect meat seasoning for beef or pork, as well as chicken, and you can also use it on fish, veggies, potatoes, soups, and even in stews.

Pros:

  • Vegan, gluten-free
  • Low sodium
  • No additives

Cons:

  • Not certified kosher

Check Price


4. Best Sweet and Savory: Kosmos Q Honey Killer Bee BBQ Rub

Some people prefer sweet, and some prefer savory, but when you blend the two together, the result is a special burst of flavor that just dances in your mouth and dazzles your taste buds. If your idea of grilling heaven is adding sweet and savory meat seasoning to your beef or pork ribs, then you’re going to want to try a blend of sweet honey and tangy spices.

The Honey Killer Bee BBQ rub from Kosmos Q is an award-winning meat seasoning that will transform the taste of your grilled beef and chicken into a sweet and tangy delight that even your toughest critics will love. You can sprinkle it on or use it as a rub on the meat of your choice and then wait as the sweet-smelling aroma reaches your nostrils as the food cooks.

For the days that you’re not cooking on the grill, or not even cooking meat, the seasoning can also be used to elevate the taste of casseroles, potatoes, baked beans, and other foods. If you want to try other Cosmos Q seasonings, look for Cow Cover, Dirty Bird, Dirty Bird HOT, Honey Chipotle Killer Bee and Texas Beef.

Pros:

  • Can be sprinkled on or used as a rub
  • Blend of sweet honey and savory spices
  • Versatile use

Cons:

  • A bit pricey

Check Price


5. Best Southern Flavor: “Black Magic” Mis’ Rubin’s Steak Rub & Chicken Seasoning

You don’t have to live in the southern United States to crave the savory spice mix associated with a Southern-style barbecue. And while there are many to be found on the market, this meat seasoning has been a household staple in the south for more than 80 years.

Mis Rubin’s Black Magic steak rub and chicken seasoning is a down-home dry rub spice blend that has won numerous BBQ awards, including the official “Taste of the South Award.” The blackened seasoning has a bold yet balanced flavor that won’t overpower your food, so you can cover every inch of meat or chicken for the best southern-inspired taste.

The Alabama BBQ rub uses only herbs, spices and a special charcoal flavor, and creates a lovely mahogany coating on the meat. The seasoning is also gluten-free, is low sodium and contains no MSG. You can use the seasoning in burgers, brisket, ribs, pulled pork, roasts, wild game and a meaty fish such as tuna. Also available if you want some variety are White Magic, Fish Magic, Creole Magic and a bundle of all four.

Pros:

  • Southern style flavor
  • Gluten-free
  • Savory dry rub

Cons:

  • Contains soy flour
  • Contain anti-caking agent

 Check Price


6. Best Organic Blend: Primal Palate Organic Spices Meat & Potatoes Seasoning, Certified Organic

Meat and potatoes are staples for many family meals and sometimes, it’s hard to find good a seasoning to jazz up both of these ingredients in recipes that can easily become run-of-the-mill when eaten every day. If this sounds like your situation, then consider the convenience of using only one bottle of seasoning for meat and for potatoes.

Primal Palate meat and potato seasoning is made in small batches, so it’s always fresh. The versatile seasoning is Whole30 approved and paleo friendly and contains non-irradiated certified USDA-organic ingredients that include pink Himalayan salt, paprika, onion, garlic, black pepper, and oregano. You also won’t find any fillers, MSG or preservatives.

The meat and potato seasoning comes packaged in a glass bottle, and has a plastic flip-top shaker cap. And if you cook for people with food allergies or sensitivities, you will be happy to know the blend is independently certified gluten-free and bottled in a nut-free facility.

Pros:

  • Certified organic ingredients
  • Certified gluten-free, certified kosher
  • Small-batch fresh

Cons:

  • Some users found the flavor too mild
  • A bit pricey

Check Price


7. Best Gift Set: Spiceology 6-Pack Mini Barbecue Seasoning Set

While this six-pack of mini barbecue seasoning set makes a great housewarming gift for someone starting out, we feel the meat seasoning blends are so unique, you may just want to buy two and keep one for yourself.

Yes, each of the seasoning containers are small — you get six, one-ounce glass jars with metal lids — but that’s what a mini taster set it all about, to try out new flavor sensations. What are we talking about? How about Black & Bleu, a Cajun and bleu cheese blend. Or Chile Margarita for a Mexican citrusy taste. Cowboy Crust is an espresso chili rub; Greek Freak gives you a taste of the Mediterranean; Smoky Habanero is a sweet and spicy rub; Nashville Hot Chicken is a perfect sweet and spicy combo; and Raspberry Chipotle is real dehydrated raspberry powder with chipotle chili and a touch of brown sugar.

Now you get what we’re saying about being adventurous?

Pros:

  • Six different mini meat seasonings
  • Unique blends
  • Makes a great gift

Cons:

  • A bit expensive

 Check Price


8. Also Consider: Traeger Grills SPC171 Pork and Poultry Rub with Apple and Honey

When it comes to barbecue grills, smokers, wood pellets and all of the associated accessories needed to churn out delicious food, Traeger is a brand well-known and respected by home chefs and the friends and family they cook for.

Their pork and poultry rub features notes of apple and honey, perfect for complementing anything from a whole roasted chicken to pork tenderloin. But if you’re not into apples and honey, Traeger also carries a full line of 11 different seasoned rubs for meat, fish, poultry and vegetables. Other interesting blends include a coffee and black pepper rub for beef; a rosemary and garlic for prime rib; and a molasses and chili pepper rub for beef, to name a few.

The seasonings come in a stackable a 9.25-ounce aluminum tin container, so they are easy to store if you want to try more than one. You can sprinkle the seasonings on the meat lightly or use as a full-cover rub to fuse the spices together: the choice — and taste — is up to you. These meat seasonings are kosher and gluten- and GMO-free.

Pros:

  • Made in the USA
  • Can be sprinkled lightly or used as a rub
  • 11 different kinds of meat seasonings

Cons:

  • Contains maltodextrin
  • Some users said it was too salty

Check Price


What to look for when choosing meat seasoning:

There is no doubt about it, for most people, one of the easiest ways to boost the flavor of food is by adding seasoning. This can be anything from a blend of salt and pepper to a tangy mix of sweet and savory with a touch of chili peppers. When it comes to meat seasoning blends, it seems the sky is the limit, with a market that is flooded with a dizzying number of brands, mixtures, sizes and price points. How to choose, right?

When it comes to picking the one — or ones — that are best suited to you, there are five factors to consider:
1. Whether you will be grilling, pan frying, baking, roasting or braising your food
2. The type of food you are preparing: steak, hamburgers, meatloaf, meatballs, chicken, fish or vegetables
3. Your personal taste and your level of adventure for trying new flavors
4. Food sensitivities and ingredients
5. Budget

Most meat seasonings are suitable for all styles of cooking, but the quantity that needs to be used may differ depending on if the meat is being barbecued or braised, sautéed or stewed. Some seasonings are better sprinkled on food, or into a mixture while others come as a dry rub, which often creates a nice crust or coating of flavor. For this reason, a dry rub is better for roasting or grilling, since once immersed in a liquid or sauce, the rub will slough off and be absorbed.

Although many meat seasonings can be used with beef, pork, chicken, fish and even vegetables, the individual flavor blends may be better paired with specific dishes. Read the description of the blend to learn which foods the seasoning can be used with to get the most successful results. The meat seasoning you choose should match your personal taste, or you may end up throwing out your purchases. However, if you have an adventurous palate and you love experimenting with food and flavor, then you are in for a joyous culinary experience, especially if you choose a variety pack of different seasonings.

Some meat seasonings contain a lot of salt and sugar, which may affect you negatively if you have diabetes or high blood pressure. If this is your situation, look for a low-sodium, or sugar-free blend. The same goes for fillers, preservatives, additives, and artificial flavors. When it comes to food sensitivities or allergies, it’s good to know that you can still use a meat seasoning safely. There are many brands that are gluten, soy and nut-free, and are suitable for a vegan or keto diet.

As far as your budget is concerned, it’s best not to spend more than you can afford. The good news is that meat seasoning does not have to be an expensive addition to your pantry staples. With so many brands and blends and container sizes on the market, you won’t have too much of a problem finding meat seasoning at a price point that makes you feel comfortable.

Photo credit: Spaskov/Shutterstock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.