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Article: You Ask, We Answer: Do You Add Seasoning Before or After Grilling?

You Ask, We Answer: Do You Add Seasoning Before or After Grilling?


When it comes to grilling, seasoning your meat is one of the most crucial steps to achieve delicious and flavorful results. But a common question that often arises is whether you should add seasoning before or after grilling. The answer depends on the type of seasoning, the cut of meat, and the flavor profile you're aiming to achieve. Today, we'll explore the best practices for seasoning your BBQ meats, with expert tips and products from Big Poppa Smokers.


Adding seasoning before grilling is a common practice that helps to infuse the meat with flavor and create a tasty crust. Here are some reasons to season before grilling:

1. Enhances Flavor: Seasoning your meat before grilling allows the flavors to penetrate the meat, enhancing its taste. Dry rubs, marinades, and simple salt and pepper combinations can work wonders in boosting the overall flavor profile. Try using Big Poppa Smokers' Sweet Money BBQ Rub for a sweet and savory kick that complements a variety of meats.

Close-up view of Big Poppa's Sweet Money Seasoning showing its textured granules consisting of various spices in shades of orange and brown.

Image of Big Poppa's Sweet Money 

2. Creates a Flavorful Crust:  When seasoning is applied before grilling, it helps to create a delicious crust as the meat cooks. This crust not only adds texture but also locks in the juices, resulting in a more succulent and flavorful piece of meat. For an excellent crust, consider Big Poppa Smokers' Double Secret Steak Rub, perfect for steaks and other beef cuts.

3. Allows for Marination:  Marinating meat before grilling can tenderize tougher cuts and infuse them with deep flavors. Marinades often contain acidic ingredients like vinegar or citrus, which break down muscle fibers, making the meat more tender. Big Poppa Smokers offers a range of rubs and marinades that can enhance your BBQ experience.


While seasoning before grilling is popular, there are also benefits to adding seasoning after the meat has been cooked:

1. Maintains Fresh Flavors:  Adding seasoning after grilling can help maintain the freshness and vibrancy of herbs and spices that might otherwise lose their potency during cooking. A sprinkle of freshly chopped herbs or a dash of finishing salt can elevate your grilled meats. Consider using Big Poppa Smokers' Little Louie's Seasoned Salt with Black Pepper for a burst of flavor right before serving.

The front of a jar of Big Poppa's Little Louie's Garlic Pepper Seasoning. The jar has a black lid and a decorative label with the product name and an image of a red fleur-de-lis. The label notes the seasoning is gluten-free and MSG-free, and it weighs 14.5 ounces (411 grams).

image of Little Louie's Garlic Pepper

2. Customizes Flavor Intensity: Seasoning after grilling allows you to control the intensity of flavors. If you have guests with different taste preferences, you can serve the meat with a variety of seasonings on the side, letting everyone customize their own plate. This approach is particularly useful for spicy or heavily seasoned rubs.

3. Prevents Burning: Certain spices and herbs can burn if exposed to high heat for too long. By adding these seasonings after grilling, you can avoid a bitter or burnt taste. This is especially important for delicate herbs and spices that are best enjoyed fresh.

For the ultimate flavor experience, consider combining both methods. Start by seasoning your meat before grilling to build a strong flavor foundation and create a nice crust. Then, finish with a touch of seasoning after grilling to add fresh, vibrant notes. This layered approach ensures your meat is packed with flavor from the first bite to the last.

Whether you season before or after grilling, the key is to use high-quality seasonings that enhance the natural flavors of your meat. Big Poppa Smokers offers a wide range of rubs, marinades, and finishing salts to help you achieve the perfect balance. Experiment with different techniques and find what works best for your BBQ style. Happy grilling!

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