These recipes are ample if you're grilling for four. Use about 2 tablespoons of wet rub per portion, applying the extra during grilling. The grill matches here emphasize lean proteins—pork tenderloin, skinless poultry, fish and shellfish.
Last-minute cooks love both wet rubs (with oil) and dry rubs (spices only) because, unlike marinades, they work instantly: no need to wait for them to penetrate the food. But some rubs can be applied hours in advance.
Whole chickens or roasts that will be sliced before serving can be rubbed up to five hours before cooking; apply the seasoning thickly for a flavorful crust.
Chicken and duck breasts and pork chops can be rubbed two hours in advance.
Seafood shouldn't be prepared more than an hour in advance, as acidic ingredients in the rub, like vinegar and tomatoes, can break down the delicate flesh; a light coating works best. Keep these guidelines in mind whether you're using these rubs, a grilling paste or a sauce like Red Chile BBQ Sauce.
Spa Scrubs & Body Rubs
These home and spa treatments exfoliate skin, leaving it soft and smooth.
Davies Gate Garden-Made Walnut Scrub blends finely ground walnut shells and apricot kernels with sesame, carrot and almond oils ($18 for 8.5 fluid oz; 888-398-9010).
Elemis Exotic Lime & Ginger Salt Glow includes a mix of sea salt, lime peel and ginger and a trio of moisturizing oils in a translucent red jar ($54 for 14.5 oz; 800-423-5293).
The Honey, Sesame and Green Tea Scrub at the spa at the new Mandarin Oriental New York combines sesame seeds with moisturizing honey and irritation-soothing green tea ($95 for 20 minutes; 212-805-8800).
Sco Body Polish can be customized with up to three active ingredients from a list of 24, such as parsley for cleansing, mushroom to even skin tone and rosemary to help improve circulation ($120 for 7.5 fluid oz; 866-966-7268).
The Yogiscrub at the spa at Equinox West Hollywood in California starts with a body wrap of rose water, licorice root, rosemary and yogurt, followed by a maple-sugar scrub ($125 for 50 minutes; 310-289-1900).
India Garam Masala A mix of cardamom, pepper, cloves, cinnamon and other spices.
Jamaica Jerk A fiery rub containing allspice and Scotch bonnet chiles.
Mexico Adobo A thick red paste of garlic, ancho or guajillo chiles and vinegar.
Morocco Ras el Hanout A complex mix of cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and dried rose petals.
Thailand Curry Chiles ground with lemongrass, shallots, garlic, cilantro, kaffir lime and shrimp paste.
F&W tasted 20 new packaged rubs and pastes to find these five.
Williams-Sonoma Shanghai Grilling Paste
Fresh ginger, garlic and soy sauce caramelize into a rich glaze ($9 for 10 oz; 877-812-6235 or williams-sonoma.com).
Frontera Tomato-Cilantro Seasoning & Rub for Chicken & Veggies
A well-balanced rub with subtle heat from Chicago chef Rick Bayless ($4 for 4 oz; 800-509-4441 or fronterakitchens.com).
Steven Raichlen's All-Purpose Barbecue Rub
A mix of chile pepper, paprika and dried onion and garlic from this grilling guru's brand-new line of rubs ($6 for 2.75 oz; barbecuebible.com).
LuLu Preserved Meyer Lemon, Fennel & Sage Marinade
This original paste from Restaurant LuLu in San Francisco produces an herby crust ($9 for 6 oz; 888-693-5800 or amazon.com).
Tom Douglas Rub With Love Bengal Masala Rub
A blend of coriander, cardamom, clove, garlic and chives from this star Seattle chef ($6 for 3.5 oz; 206-448-1193 or tomdouglas.com).