Spices & Seasonings/Help seasoning meat


Hi I need help seasoning meats
I am used to the basic salt and pepper, BBQ on some, lemon pepper but my husband says he dislikes plain food and that it needs more seasonings
I need a couple of ideas
To season the meats
I am horrible at recepies and I own over 10 of them
But I don't have time to actually prepare them because I just had a baby.
My husband likes all types of food especially spicy ones
Like Thai food but he doesn't mind other things

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Great question.  

The most important part of seasoning is salt.  If you are making your own seasoning, I would recommend leaving out the salt.  Meat (I'll use this term to refer to seafood as well) should be salted immediately before it is cooked, unless it is being brined or marinated.

Heavy, dark meats such as beef and lamb require heavier, more complex seasoning.  Lighter meats such as chicken or fish would be overpowered by the same flavors, so lighter seasoning blends should be used.  Pork can swing both ways, depending on the cut (it's generally quite versatile).


One great technique is a brine.  The concept here is soaking your meat for a short time in saltwater.  Mysterious osmotic reactions happen resulting in meat that has been salted on the inside and will retain water much better.  Here's the recipe for a basic brine.  An internet search will turn up many more ideas of additions and modifications, but stick with approximately this ratio and you should be fine.

1 1/2 Cup Salt (I use kosher salt, use slightly less if using table salt)
1 Gallon Water
2/3 Cup Brown or White sugar

Boil one quart of water and disolve the sugar and salt.  Add the remaining water and let cool completely.  Submerge your meat in your cooled brine for the following duration (Keep it cold, keep it safe!)

Chicken Breasts ----- 1 Hour
Pork Chops ---------- 1-2 Hours
Whole Roaster Birds - Overnight to 48 hours, depending on size.
Large Roasts -------- 3 hours to overnight.

After this duration, remove the meat and rinse it off.  It can be seasoned further or simply cooked at this point.  If using additional seasoning, salt should be used with care so not to oversalt the meat.

Try this for further reading:



Another Technique that's great for heartier meats like ribs or roasts is dry rubbing, in which salt and seasoning are applied to the outside of the meat.  This generally doesn't penetrate as deeply as a brine, and can dry meat out if used improperly.  To apply a rub, simply coat the surface of the meat with it.  You can pat it down, but no real rubbing is required, despite what the name implies.  Let your meat sit (chilled) for at least an hour.  Ribs can be seasoned the night before, though steaks may need a gentler hand.

Here are a couple of my favorite combinations.  They are listed as ratios by volume, so you can use whatever measure you want, just be consistent.  (They can all be teaspoons or tablespoons or cups)

Mexico City Blend
Salt ------------------5
Oregano, Ground--------3
Black Pepper, Ground---2
Cumin, Ground----------3
Coriander, Ground------2
Garlic Powder----------1
Onion Powder-----------1
Cinnamon, Ground-------1
Celery Seed, Ground----1
Cocoa Powder-----------1

Bombay Blend
Black Pepper, Ground---2
Cinnamon, Ground-------1
Curry Powder-----------1
Coriander, Ground------1
Cardamom, Ground-------1
Cayanne Pepper---------1
*You can use any type of curry powder that appeals to you.

Additionally, there are numerous prepared blends in the supermarket, as well as in ethnic markets, gourmet markets, or even some import shops.


Here's a lighter blend intended to be applied to the meat immediately prior to cooking.  I have left salt out of theses recipes.  Salt should be applied to the meat separately.  You should use enough salt to cover all of the meat.  If the meat has been brined, salt may not be necessary. (Image 1 is a proper amount of salt)

Thai Blend
Ginger, Ground---------1
Onion Powder-----------2
Basil, Ground----------1
Black Pepper, Ground---2
Dried Chili Peppers----1 Small (or more if you dare)

Grind this in a spice grinder or crush the pepper very fine with gloved hands.  Splash some soy sauce on the meat while it's cooking for a richer flavor.

Hope this helps, there is a world of spice combinations out there.  If you need more ideas, or would like something explained better, please let me know.

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Adam Price


I can answer general and specific questions related to all manner of food preparation, food cookery, and peripheral disciplines such as applied food science, nutrition, or sanitation. I am knowledgeable in meat, poultry and seafood fabrication, recipe development, world cuisines including 'fusion' styles, and all of the primary cooking methods (grilling, steaming, etc.). I can assist you with developing or redesigning recipes, planning for events (from a caterers point of view), troubleshooting recipes, identifying and working with unfamiliar ingredients or cooking methods, or (most importantly in my opinion) figuring out exactly why things happen the way they do. If we understand the science and reasoning behind our craft, then we can start learning how to cook instead of learning to recreate recipes. If for some reason I cannot answer a question, I will do my best to point you toward a source that can.


I have nearly two decades of experience as a professional in the field, and I enjoy experimenting with new ideas on my own time. I have worked in restaurants ranging from quick service to fine dining, bakeries, butcher shops and institutions. I have done event planning and execution for large and small scale catered events. I have managed several kitchens and developed menus ranging from simple buffets to elaborate multi-course meals. I have an extensive library of recipe books as well as books on cooking techniques, food science, food safety, and nutrition.

I graduated with high honors from the Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park). I am ServSafe certified for food safety and sanitation, and I take this very seriously.

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