Eat Your Heart Out: 5 DIY Sauces and Rubs to Try This Summer

By Lauren Caggiano on July, 3 2019
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Lauren Caggiano

Lauren Caggiano is a Fort Wayne-based copywriter and editor with a nerdy passion for AP Style. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, thrift shopping, fitness and travel. Learn more on her website:


Grill season is here! The sauce can make or break the meat. Why settle for bland when you can have dynamic flavor? DIY marinades and rubs? Here are a few “must-try’s” from recipe sites and bloggers that are finger-lickin’ good!

Homemade BBQ Sauce

This classic recipe from gets the job done!


  • 1 1/2 c. ketchup
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk all ingredients until combined.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 45 minutes.
  3. Let cool to room temperature and store refrigerated in an airtight container.

Honey Sriracha Marinade

 What’s for dinner? If you’re craving an Asian flavor profile, this recipe from RasaMalaysia will hit the spot.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pinch salt


  1. Whisk the Honey Sriracha Marinate together. Mix well.
  2. Add the garlic and Marinade to the chicken, stir to combine well, marinade for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat up a skillet (cast-iron preferred) on medium heat. Add the oil. Transfer the chicken to the skillet and cook on both sides, until they turn golden brown and cooked. Add the remaining Marinade to the skillet, as soon as it thickens, turn off the heat, top with some sesame seeds (if using) and serve the chicken immediately.

DIY Rib Rub

 Bobby Flay is the man! This easy Food Network recipe will take ordinary ribs from drab to fab in no time!


  •  1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight container. Pack on the dry rub onto your next rack of ribs.

Texas Style Dry BBQ Rub

They say everything’s bigger in city, and that means big flavor! This recipe from Dad with a Pan is an easy way to turn up the volume on taste.


  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 1/3 cup golden brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp ground mustard
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper


  1. Dump all your spices into a container.
  2. Mix well. Make sure you break up the brown sugar as much as you can.
  3. Use a spice container to store. Goes great on beef, poultry or pork!

Enchilada Marinade

 This recipe from Gimme Some Oven is an easy way to up your chicken game. Plus, it easily freezes so you can enjoy later in the week.


  • 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons enchilada seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil)


  1. Whisk together the ingredients for (one) marinade in a small bowl until combined.
  2. Combine marinade with chicken in a ziplock freezer bag and toss until the chicken is evenly coated in the marinade.  Carefully press out any extra air that might be in the bag, then seal.  (You will need 1/2 cup marinade per 1 pound of chicken.)
  3. If Using Immediately: Refrigerate the chicken pack(s) for anywhere from 30 minutes to up to 1 day.
  4. If Freezing: Immediately transfer the chicken pack(s) to the freezer and freeze for up to 3 months.  Then when you’re ready to cook the chicken, transfer the chicken pack back to the refrigerator for 24 hours, or until it has thawed completely.  Or to speed up the process, you can submerge the sealed chicken pack in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator until it has thawed completely.
  5. When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade, discard the remaining marinade, and cook however you prefer. 

So, whether you like sweet or savory, there’s a combination for you! What will it be?