Surf vs. Turf: Our Favorite Rubs for Grilling

Stephanie Bullen
Chief Flavor Advisor
Savory Spice Shop

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Surf vs. Turf: Our Favorite Rubs for Grilling

It’s a great time to talk about our favorite seed-heavy rubs for grilling. Whether you’re more inclined toward surf or turf.

If you’ve been in our stores this summer or if you’ve been following our blog, you know that we’re exploring seeds for seasonal cooking. We’ve touched on toasting seeds for even more flavor and using them as seasoning; with the second half of summer still to go, it’s a great time to talk about our favorite seed-heavy rubs for grilling. Whether you’re more inclined toward surf or turf, we’ve got you covered with old classics and new favorites.

Many of our rubs actually derive some of their flavor from seeds. Whether it’s the fresh citrus notes of coriander, the sharp and pungent kick of mustard, the sweetness of fennel, or the earthy richness of cumin—ground, cracked, or whole seeds are usually in there somewhere.


Gone Fishin'
Fishing is a quintessential summer activity. Whether it’s trout pan fried in the Rockies or marlin grilled fresh on the coast, you’ll need the perfect seasoning for your catch of the day. Dill, both the greens as an herb and the seeds as a spice, is commonly used in seafood seasonings.


Cherry Creek Seafood Seasoning
One of our most popular items, the dominant flavors of this seasoning are lemon and dill. The acidic brightness of lemon and the pungent but slightly sweet flavor of dill are a natural pairing, as these dual flavors balance each other very well. Cracked dill seeds are used in this blend, which makes a gorgeous finishing sprinkle for your entire meal. It’s also great on grilled veggies or in vinaigrette to dress your summer salad.



Cape Hatteras Seafood Seasoning
This seasoning was inspired by the vision of a beachfront feast. With similar ingredients to a Shrimp and Crab Boil seasoning and the smoked notes emulating a bonfire, this seasoning is ideal for fish and shellfish. Packed with a variety of flavorful seeds (brown mustard, dill, coriander, celery, and cardamom) this blend also gives a unique twist to must-have summer sides, like coleslaw or potato salad.



What's for dinner? Beef.
Whether it’s a burger, a steak, or kabobs, for many people summer grilling means beef. The seeds in many of our beef oriented rubs are aromatic but earthy (like caraway and cumin) or pungent (like mustard). Coriander is often paired with these flavors to provide a bright, sweet accent.


Hudson Bay Beef Spice
This classic is our take on a Montreal Steak Seasoning. The original flavor was reminiscent of pickling spices, with garlic, pepper, and coriander as the base of the blend. We add white pepper and caraway, which both have an aromatic warm flavor, as well as bright coriander and herbaceous rosemary and thyme. The result is a very balanced flavor, true to the traditional seasoning, which is especially good on beef. Use it either as a rub when slow roasting or as a marinade for grilling.



The "Q" Steak Rub
This bold steak seasoning is inspired by the American Southwest. Coarsely ground spices give this rub a texture almost as if it were prepared using a mortar and pestle. Brown mustard creates a strong flavor base, coriander and cumin combine to add a subtle sweetness, and chiles add a New Mexican “pop” of warmth. This steak rub is also great for seasoning burgers or on other meats like lamb and pork.



Bonus! (Works for Surf and Turf)
Not every rub has to be a surf OR turf decision. The following unique and flavorful spice blends work for both surf AND turf. Take your pick!


Pike Place Protein Rub
This seasoning gives new meaning to the phrase “all-purpose”. While creating this blend, we tested it by grilling up some salmon, chicken, pork, and steak. Surprisingly, it was equally delicious on all of them! Equally surprising, the seasoning tasted slightly different on each protein and brought out the best in each of them. With a unique combination of chia seeds, sumac, orange peel, coffee, and thyme, it makes a great marinade but can also be used to flavor veggies, sauces, and condiments.



We’ve only scratched the surface with our favorite surf or turf rubs. Check out more of our recipes using seeds or our favorite recipes in BBQ & Grilling, Beef, or Seafood.


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