You may have noticed that I use a lot of seasonings and homemade spice rubs for my meal prep recipes. They are the easiest way to infuse lots of flavor without adding any fat or calories. Instead of buying spice rubs at the store, which are often times way more expensive than making your own, I am going to show you 3 of my favorite chicken and steak seasoning spices that you need to have in your pantry at all times. When the time comes, you can use these spice rubs on my skirt steak meal prep recipe and my chicken pomodoro meal prep.
How To Make Homemade Chicken Seasoning
If you have a stocked pantry you will most likely have the spices on hand to make this easy chicken seasoning spice rub. All you need to do is combine 1 teaspoon of onion powder, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Mix all of the spices together and you just made a simple Italian chicken seasoning that you can put on chicken breasts, thighs, or a whole chickens.
The key to helping spice rubs really infuse flavor into the chicken is to season the chicken with a generous pinch of salt and spice rub on both sides and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. This does two things: it takes the chill off the chicken and it allows the seasoning to marinate down into the chicken. If you put cold chicken into a hot pan or oven, it will cook unevenly.
The next chicken seasoning is my Caribbean jerk spice rub. This is a quick and easy way to get those island flavors into the chicken without having to blend fresh ingredients with oil like they do for a traditional jerk marinade. Just combine 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Mix well and use that chicken seasoning to infuse lots of flavor on chicken breasts for my 5 ingredient meal prep recipe.
How Long Do Spices Last?
Ground spices will start to lose their flavor after just 3 months and whole spices after 1 year. That does not mean you need to throw them away, but it is best to buy a couple of ounces of freshly ground spices at one time and then buy more when needed. I have seen articles that say ground spices can last 1-3 years. The flavor will decline greatly at that point because the essential oils in the spices are old and starting to lose their flavor.
How To Make Homemade Steak Seasoning
To make a tasty and easy steak seasoning spice rub, combine 1 1/4 tablespoon of ground coffee with 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder, 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Mix well and store in a airtight jar in the pantry for 3-6 months. When ready to use, season steak with a generous amount of salt and spice rub on both sides and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking. This will help take the chill off the steak and give a chance for the steak seasoning to marinate into the meat.
If making skirt steak, preheat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, add 1 tablespoon oil and allow to heat up for a few seconds and then go in with the steak. Cook the steak for 3 minutes without touching it. This will help the spices form a great crust. Flip and cook another 3 minutes and then remove from pan. Allow the steak to rest a few minutes before cutting into and enjoy that crusty steak seasoning on the outside.
Check out my other recipes featuring easy chicken and meat seasoning rubs: