5 Spices to Boost Your Grilling Game

Getting a little bored of your traditional grilled food? Are your grilled burgers, chicken, steaks, and fish tasking a little dull and lackluster in flavor? If so, then it’s time to turn to your spice rack to take things to the next level. More than likely, you’ve got some simple spices on hand that, when used properly, can transform your typical grilled dishes so that they’re absolutely bursting with flavor.

Cayenne Pepper

If you enjoy spicy foods, cayenne pepper is about to become your new best friend. A lot of people are afraid of using cayenne pepper in their cooking because it’s easy to use too much. A little bit goes a long way with cayenne pepper, and when used correctly, it can add a nice little kick to your traditional grilled meats without being too much. For instance, you can sprinkle a small amount of cayenne pepper onto chicken breasts before grilling them to add a little heat, or add them to your burgers before tossing them on a grill.

Chile Powder

Of course, cayenne pepper isn’t for everybody; it’s definitely a strong spice, and some people prefer something a little more subtle in flavor. This is where chile powder comes in. Chile powder can be used in a number of dishes and is actually somewhat common in Sonoran cuisine (one of many Mexican food types). You can use it in your grilled dishes to add a small amount of heat without overwhelming your dinner guests. The next time you make fajitas on the grill, whip up a delicious seasoning using chile powder, cajun seasoning, paprika, and garlic powder.


When most people think of cinnamon, they tend to think of dessert dishes. However, did you know that you can use cinnamon in your grilling to create some delicious dishes? For instance, the next time you’re grilling corn on the cob, instead of using sugar, consider cinnamon or a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Of course, you can also top grilled fruit with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar as well.

Garlic Powder

Much like with cayenne pepper, a little bit of garlic powder can go a long way in seasoning your grilled side dishes. For instance, if you’re grilling vegetables or potatoes, try sprinkling them with a little bit of garlic powder and parsley for a delicious flavor that will have everybody eating their veggies—and maybe even asking for seconds! Garlic powder can also be combined with onion powder and is great for seasoning turkey burgers.


Finally, be sure to try incorporating some smoked paprika into your Mexican-inspired dishes. It brings a nice, smoky flavor to your grilled fish tacos, fajita meat, and even grilled chicken without using one of those store-bought Mexican seasonings. Be sure to give these spices a try the next time you decide to fire up the grill, and have some fun with it!

For more grilling and food tips, follow the Macayo’s blog, and for fresh, traditional Mexican food, stop by your closest Macayo’s to try our new happy hour menu!