Grilling the Best Steaks – Rub or Marinade?

One of my husband’s goals since buying the gas grill has been preparing and serving the best steak. When we first bought the grill we decided to use marinades for our beef dishes.

We had some great meals, but we also wanted to try rubs as well. We compared the two and we want to share some of our favorite flavors, recipes for marinades and rubs, and of course, our favorite for steaks.


Looking for some marinades to try, here is one to try out:

Cuban Mojo Marinade

Mmmmm…love garlic and this marinade has plenty of it!


  • Minced garlic (up to a blub)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Zest from the citrus
  • 2 tsp cumin

Preparation is as simple as mixing it all up and cover your meat completely. Since this marinade is heavier on the garlic, you’ll probably not want to have the meat covered in it for more than an hour.


My husband had been searching for a way to have a crust with our steak while still having flavor. An easy solution was the Grill Mates’ Montreal Steak rub from Costco.

Homemade Rub steak rub

If you want to make your own rub for your steaks, here’s an easy recipe.


  • 4 tbsp coarse salt
  • 1 tbsp course cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp dried rosemary, lightly crushed
  • 1/2 tbsp crushed red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
Mix everything well and season your steak. We’ve left the rub on from a couple of hours to overnight and it still creates a delicious crust.

Our Verdict?

For the combination of flavor, better crusts, and ease of preparation, we’re going with rubs for most of our steak needs. I think marinades can be great, but for us I’d use it for other meats like chicken or pork.

We’ll be experimenting more over this summer and I’ll share what works and what doesn’t for us. Hopefully it’ll help you enjoy your grill more.

Thoughts on Grilling Steaks

I’d love to get your thoughts on grilling the perfect steak. Do you marinade them or do you use a rub for your steaks?