Spice It Up! Five Herbs and Spices To Take Your Grilling Up a Level

Daniel SegaloGrill Tips, Grilling, Kelly B's 101, Marinades

Is your meat missing something? The answer might be sitting right there in your spices cabinet. The reality is, many people don’t really know how to use the herbs and spices to compliment certain types of meat. It takes a little practice, but I’m going to give you some tricks you can apply on your very next recipe.

So let’s start with showing the difference between Fresh Versus Dried Herbs:

Fresh herbs and dried herbs have a variety of uses, but the trick is fitting the right herb with the type of meat that you’re cooking. Fresh herbs may work better as a garnish: sprinkle them over a hamburger, steak, or any type of grilled meat to give it a flavorful boost.

Dried herbs work best for something they can really stew in; such as a juicy pot roast or a slow-cooked beef brisket. Dry herbs are much more powerful than fresh ones, so use your dry herbs wisely.

Combine these herbs with salt & fresh ground pepper and your dishes will delight all of your family and dinner guests.


One of the most fragrant fresh herbs out there that pairs exceptionally well with beef. Add your chopped basil nearing the end of your cooking time to give your dish a burst of flavor. Try a lemon basil pesto on a grilled steak!


Rosemary can be used in all sorts of dishes; dried or fresh. Its piney flavor can hide a greasy or heavy flavor from a tough cut of meat. A rosemary-garlic roast beef will be sure to boast the fragrant herb and nutty garlic to form something magnificent. Rosemary’s flavor is best brought out in grilled chicken, pork, and turkey.  Rosemary is also great on all fresh grilled fish including plank salmon.


Use thyme as a timeless (see what I did there?) addition to your meat. Try it in a steak marinade, fresh from the garden. Thyme works really well on a chicken dry rub or in your favorite beef stew, but don’t cook it for too long because you’ll lose that minty flavor! Thyme garnished on a T-Bone steak with some garlic butter will enhance your meat as well.


Now this herb isn’t as common as the others and is usually used around the holidays so it’s often overlooked. But it packs a big punch and you should definitely try it at all times of the year. Use sage in a steak topping or in a roast. Sage is also delightful in lamb, pork, and sausages.


Ah, the universal herb! Parsley has become more popular in recent years because its strong bitter flavor holds up in most dishes. It can be compared to adding lemon juice to a dish. Add fresh parsley to beef stew, or a creamy beef stroganoff.

Herbs require some experimentation, but don’t hesitate to get creative! A true grill master can spice up any dish. Do you have a favorite spice or herb? Comment below and let me know what kind of meat and herb you love paired together.