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Essential Ingredients For Summer Grilling Season

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Prime BBQ season is here and in order to make sure our Emerald Desert RV Resort guests are getting the most out of their cookouts, we are offering up the following list of “must have” ingredients courtesy of grill master Clint Cantwell of


Every good cook knows they have to have salt for cooking, but there are a few essential kinds that you should always keep in your pantry. Kosher salt is the salt for pre-grill and smoker seasonings as its larger flakes allow better control when seasoning versus fine iodized salt that can go from a little to a lot real quick!  I also love finishing meats with a touch of flavored sea salt as they really help round out the dishes.

Essential seasonings

If you love to create your own seasoning blends then make sure that you are never without smoked paprika, onion powder, granulated garlic, and freshly cracked black pepper.

Store-bought barbecue sauce

Having your own “signature” barbecue sauce doesn’t always mean starting from scratch. To save time and money, I recommend starting with a store-bought variety and using dry seasonings, fruit juice, and fruit jams to make it taste unique.

Apple cider vinegar and apple juice

You can’t go wrong having these two sweet ingredients on hand, especially when you’re making pork.  I inject a mix of vinegar and apple juice into pork before grilling to add more flavor to the meat, plus these two are frequent ingredients in his barbecue sauces, as well.

Granulated honey

Granulated honey is a common ingredient in a lot of my barbecue rubs. It adds the perfect amount of sweetness to his rubs without creating a clumpy, sticky mess.


I’ll often whip out the condiments well before it’s time to serve whatever I’m grilling. Using mayonnaise or yellow mustard as a pre-rub binder is a great way to inject additional moisture into your meat without adding a residual aftertaste, and Worcestershire sauce is the perfect beefy flavor to rub down your brisket with before adding dry spices.

Fruit Juices

Whether it’s used in a brine or a marinade, as an injection, or added to a store-bought barbecue sauce, fruit juice is one of my favorite secret ingredients for adding a punch of fruity flavor to what I’m cooking.

Brown sugar

Another common ingredient in my outdoor cooking recipes is granulated brown sugar. Whether it’s adding a subtle sweetness to a rub or sweetening up a barbecue sauce, this unrefined sugar is a favorite of mine.

Ground chile peppers

Ground chile peppers such as ancho, chipotle, and cayenne are great for creating additional depth and heat to his sauces and dry rubs.

Ground coffee

Ground coffee is my favorite wow-the-crowd ingredient when creating rubs with depth and flavor. A tablespoon or two is all he needs to amp up a traditional rub, plus you can always make up a pot of coffee for those late nights manning the smoker!