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Nov 24, 2006 03:42 PM

Best pre-mixed marinade spices or rub mixes

I'm putting together a present for my brother, who works long and irregular hours and therefore doesn't have much time to cook or shop. I was going to get him a stovetop grill pan (was thinking about the Calaphon One, if anyone has an opinion -- nonstick to reduce cleaning time), and also wanted to include an assortment of rubs or marinade spices. I've recently become a huge fan of homemade marinades, but am wondering whether anyone sells good spice combos that you could then just combine with oil/soy or other liquid and be ready to go? I don't want to buy pre-made marinade in bottles, b/c I assume then he'll only use each one once before it goes bad. Alternatively, recs on not-too-spicy rubs would also be appreciated, since I know nothing about those.


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  1. i don't know if you have trader joe's nearby, but their simmer sauces(double as marinades if you want) are amazing; need NO doctoring. the thai coconut and cuban mojito simmer sauces are regulars for us.

    1. If he loves Asian foods, you might consider a few spice paste packets from Asian Home Gourmet (I find them here at a local Asian food market for about $2.39/packet) and they are fabulous, no chemicals or msg of any kind, and the packets that I've tried have produced a quality meal on nights when I'm rushed but we want something spicy and yummy. Link below:

      1. Thanks for the recs. Unfortunately, I recently moved to London and therefore am missing Trader Joe's like crazy, but will be going to DC sometime soon and will try to follow up on your suggestions there. Val, do you suggest any of the packets in particular?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Rianna

          Yes, we loved the Rendang Curry and Vietnamese Chicken Curry.

        2. My very favorite spice mix/rub company is Colorado Spice--- their flavor combinations are perfect! I especially adore their ahi tuna and sweet salmon rubs. I have never found one that I didnt like. You can find them here:

          1 Reply
          1. re: elenoise

            I was going to suggest this too: picked up some while in AZ this summer, and sent to BBQ'n BIL. He loved them as dry rubs. You could certainly mix with an acid for a marinade.

            Penzy's also has some good regional spice mixes.


          2. Great idea!!

            My favotire rubs come from a company called Natucket Off-Shore. Packaged in tin cans, with no salt. Hearty, bold and yummy. I guess they have maybe 12 rubs, and who know what else they produce...

            My favorite is the Mt Olmpus rub- its a simple blend of chunky garlic bits, rosemary,"spices" and lavender. THE BEST on lamb chops. We also love Rasta Rub- garlic, sugar, allspice, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, thyme, onion, Sctoch Bonnet pepper. THE BEST on venisn!!


            I am so lucky one local market discontinued these rubs, and instead of the normal $4.99 price, I paid $1.99.