Marinades are flavor-infusing liquids best suited for tougher cuts of meat. In addition to herbs, condiments, spices, and oils, marinades typically include an acid, like lemon juice, wine, vinegar, even dairy. Adding sweet ingredients to the marinade can help form appealing caramelized, crispy coatings on grilled meats. Always marinate in the refrigerator. And remember, if you're basting with a liquid in which raw meat marinated, do not apply it during the last three minutes of grilling.
Rubs are seasoning mixtures rubbed on meats before grilling to add spicy or smoky flavors. The best rubs enhance the flavor of the meat without being overbearing and are often blends of strong and mild spices and herbs. When oil or another wet substance is included, it is called a wet rub. A little moisture helps the rub adhere to the meat. Rubs are an easy way to infuse your grilled meats with exciting ethnic flavors--from Cajun to Korean. Setting aside rubbed meats for anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight allows the spices to permeate the meat.