Make Your Own Grill Seasoning

Instead of boring bottled spice mixes, make your own batch of grill seasoning for meat, fish or veggies with all his favorite flavors.

Give Dad a gift he can use all summer long: grill seasoning! Instead of boring bottled spice mixes, make your own batch for meat, fish or veggies with all his favorite flavors.

Pick Your Spices

Bottled grill seasoning blends are often expensive, heavy on the salt and preservatives and lacking in the flavor department. When you make your own, you control the ingredients and the flavor. Basic blends include salt, red and black peppers and additional flavor from garlic salt or onion powder. Chili powder, dried herbs and warm spices like cumin, cloves and cinnamon can turn up the volume.

Preparation couldn’t be easier: Just mix up spices and transfer to an airtight container. Store in the pantry for up to 6 months. Giving it as a gift? Make a custom label for your jar.

Sprinkle your homemade blends on fish, steaks, chicken and pork or mix with oil for an instant marinade. Don’t forget the veggies -- choose sturdy ones that’ll hold up on the grill like squash, onions, eggplant, peppers, corn on the cob and mushrooms.

Tasty Blends

Whether you’re grilling salmon, skinless chicken breast or juicy steaks, mix up tantalizing flavors. Here are my favorites for beef and pork. I also called on a few culinary experts for their favorite combos.

Beef Seasoning (Steak or Burgers)

Spicy Montreal Mix (makes 1 cup)
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup ground black pepper
1/4 cup granulated onion
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder

Pork Seasoning (Ribs, Tenderloin or Chops)
Smoky Fennel Mix (makes about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup ground black pepper
2 tablespoons celery salt
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ground fennel

Chicken & Fish Seasonings

Vegetable Seasoning

Masala Mix for Vegetables and Beans (makes about 1 cup)

Recipe courtesy Gita Patel, RD
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup chickpea flour (besan)
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
Coriander-Cumin Powder (recipe below)*
2 teaspoons red chili pepper (or Cayenne to taste)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

Coriander-Cumin Powder: Toast 2 tablespoons coriander seeds plus 2 tablespoons cumin seeds separately in a dry pan. Once cool, grind into a fine powder before adding to spice mixture.

  1. Preheat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and roast—separately— sesame seeds first then with heat off roast the chickpea flour to prevent burning the flour.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together. Use what you need right away and/or store unused masala in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Use on grilled or roasted vegetables with chopped cilantro and lemon or lime juice to add a little moisture and flavor

Gita Patel is a registered dietitian and author of the upcoming cookbook Blending Science with Spices .

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

More Dad-Friendly Healthy Recipes:

What’s your favorite spice blend? Tell us in the comments below.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Make Your Own Margaritas

Some celebrations call for magaritas, but lots of alcohol, sugary add-ins, and a super-sized glass and you’ve got a 600+ calorie cocktail. Take part in the fiesta with our recipes -- all under 275 calories.

Make Your Own Jam

Many store-bought jams, jellies and preserves contain more sugar than fruit. While you do need some sugar, it’s really the fruit you want to taste! Simple ingredients and a little bit of simmering and you’ll have the best tasting fruit spread imaginable.

Make Your Own Hummus

Hummus may be an old favorite to some, but still foreign to others. Here is the skinny on this healthy spread and some recipes to try.

Make Your Own Croissants

Try these buttery bite-sized treats at your next get-together. They're full of flavor but have just 59 calories per croissant.

Make Your Own Applesauce

When you start seeing the apple bushels at the market, you know it's prime time for applesauce. Pass on the jarred stuff and whip up a batch of your own. It's easy (we promise), and you won’t believe the delicious difference.

Make Your Own Pudding

When I was a little girl, my dad’s specialty was chocolate pudding. Believe me, if my dad can do it so can you (burnt eggs were also on the menu).

Make Your Own Babaganoush

In the Middle East it’s traditional to find babaganoush with appetizers like hummus, tahini, pita bread and olives. Here's how to make your own.

Make Your Own Biscuits

Don't fill up on bread at Thanksgiving, but don't skip the bread basket all together. Keep the calories in check with these 60 calorie homemade biscuits.

Make Your Own Salsa

Believe it or not, salsa has topped ketchup as America's most popular condiment, according to some sales reports. Salsa can be more than just tomatoes and onions, though. Pass up the jarred stuff and make fresh mixes at home.

Make Your Own Condiments

The ingredient lists for most packaged condiments are just plain scary! The added sugar, salt and other unpronounceable preservatives make these basic dips and spreads practically junk food. With some simple ingredients and easy prep work, you can make your own. We’re starting out with three of the most popular condiments: ketchup, mustard and tartar sauce.

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.