Dry Rubbed Barbecue Chicken. No sauce is necessary to achieve great barbecue flavour. A perfect blend of spices and herbs which complements the chicken beautifully is all that’s needed.
Dry Rubbed Barbecue Chicken. Barbecue chicken need not be slathered in sweet barbecue sauce to be delicious. This dry rub was developed specifically for chicken.
The rub is a very nice balance of spicy and smoky. I like to ad rub it on the chicken and leave it to infuse it’s flavours into the meat.
A couple of hours or even less is quite fine indeed. However, I mostly leave the dry rubbed chicken in a Ziploc bag overnight for deeply infused flavour.
This chicken can be grilled for a speedier meal or slowly barbecued over indirect heat for slow cooked flavour. As picture, this dish was charcoal barbecued under indirect heat between 300 and 325 degrees for about an hour and a half.
I simply cut the chicken in two halves, so smaller pieces may take a shorter time. Just use your meat thermometer to ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked through the thickest parts.
This recipe can also be done as a Beer Butt Chicken version. For instructions on how to do that, check out this recipe for One Hour Beer Butt Chicken.
SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR INDIRECT BBQ
If you are using your gas grill to slow barbecue your chicken, place the meat on one side of the grill. Use the burner or burners on the opposite side so that it is not directly over heat.
Regulate the gas to keep the temperature at about 300-325 degrees for slow barbecued flavour. The same technique can also be used with a charcoal grill. Just keep the charcoal on one side and the meat on the opposite side.
You can add smoke flavour with hardwood chips like mesquite, apple, cherry or hickory. Just soak the wood chips in warm water for about a half hour. A couple of handfuls will do.
Wrap the soaked wood chips in a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil. Poke only two holes in the foil, one at either end to allow the smoke to escape.
If using a gas grill
On a gas grill,I place the foil packets in a vegetable grill pan so that the packet is not sitting directly on the gas burner.
On a charcoal grill, simply toss the packet directly onto the hot coals. You can add more soaked wood chip packets as they burn out, it all depends on how much smoke flavour you wish to add.
One or two of these packets should be enough for chicken. You don’t want it to take on too much smoke flavour and interfere with the flavour of the meat.
We have some great side dish inspiration too, including everything from baked beans & corn bread to deliciously different potato and pasta salads. Be sure to check them all out in our collection of 35 Best BBQ Side Dishes too.
Originally published June 2013. Updated June 2020.
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Dry Rubbed Barbecue Chicken - no sauce is necessary to achieve great barbecue flavour, just a perfect blend of spices and herbs which complements the chicken beautifully.
- One whole chicken cut in two halves or in pieces. Bone-in breasts or legs also work well.
For the Smoky Barbeque Chicken Dry Rub
- 3 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 3 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp powdered ginger
- 1 tbsp chipotle powder
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp ground thyme
- 2 tbsp ground sage or poultry seasoning
- 2 tbsp dry mustard powder
- 3 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp crushed or ground fennel seed
- Wash and trim the chicken of excess skin and fat and pat dry with paper towels.
- Mix together all of the ingredients for the dry rub well and store any unused dry rub in an airtight container in a cool place or in the freezer. Makes about 2 cups dry rub.
- Sprinkle the dry rub liberally all over the surface of the chicken and rub in well to make good contact.
- Place in a large Ziploc bag/s and leave in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight.
- Grill or slow barbeque the chicken as instructed in the NOTES below. This chicken is still excellent without wood smoking.
- Open roasting this chicken in the oven at 350 degrees on a wire rack is also terrific and a welcome reminder of summer when grilling season is long past.
- However you choose to cook this chicken, use a meat thermometer to ensure that it fully cooked to an internal temperature of 175-180 degrees F. Let the chicken pieces rest for a few minutes off the heat before serving.
This spice rub blend is a little more specifically developed for chicken but if you have some of our Smokin' Summer Spice Dry Rub on hand, then please feel free to use that instead. That's just as tasty, I guarantee. Th find that recipe just CLICK HERE.
The spice mix in this recipe will make far more than it takes to prepare one chicken. I keep mine in a mason jar to use for several meals.
- If you are using your gas grill to slow barbeque your chicken, place the meat on one side of the grill and use the burner or burners on the opposite side so that it is not directly over heat.
- Regulate the gas to keep the temperature at about 300-325 degrees for slow barbecued flavor. The same technique can also be used with a charcoal grill, just keep the charcoal on one side and the meat on the opposite side.
- You can add smoke flavor by soaking hardwood chips like mesquite, apple, cherry or hickory in warm water for about a half hour.
- A couple of handfuls will do. Wrap the soaked wood chips in a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil and poke only two holes in the foil, one at either end to allow the smoke to escape.
- On a gas grill,I place the foil packets in a vegetable grill pan so that the packet is not sitting directly on the gas burner. On a charcoal grill, simply toss the packet directly onto the hot coals.
- You can add more soaked wood chip packets as they burn out, it all depends on how much smoke favor you wish to add.
- One or two of these packets should be enough for chicken, you don't want it to take on too much smoke flavor and interfere with the flavor of the meat.
Serving Size1 serving
Amount Per Serving Calories 389Total Fat 23gSaturated Fat 6gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 102mgSodium 227mgCarbohydrates 18gFiber 5gSugar 6gProtein 29g