Barbecue Chicken Rub - The Perfect Blend
 For Chicken, Turkey and Game

This super herby barbecue chicken rub is the perfect mix for grilling your chicken! Easy and quick to make, it uses a fair amount of paprika and dried herbs plus dried lemon peel which gives it a bit of a citrusy twist which I think works fab for chicken. (See the bottom of the page for links to more of my homemade recipes)

Barbecue Chicken Rub Recipe

What You'll Need: (makes about 12 tablespoons)

4 tbsp paprika powder
3 tbsp dried rosemary
2 tbsp dried marjoram
2 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp mustard powder
1 tbsp dried onion flakes (or 2 tsp onion powder)
1 tbsp dried garlic flakes (or 2 tsp garlic powder)
4 tsp dried lemon peel (optional)
4 tsp black peppercorns
4 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 tsp salt (See note 2 below)

tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon


  • Grind the peppercorns, rosemary, salt, sugar, cumin seeds, garlic and onion flakes, and, if using, the dried lemon peel
  • Once ground, add to a bowl
  • Stir in the paprika and mustard powders (also stir in the onion and garlic if you used powders)
  • Finally, crumble in the dried thyme and marjoram and combine thoroughly

Store your BBQ chicken rub in an airtight jar out of direct sunlight. Use within 3 months before making a fresh mix.

Note: For even more flavours, you could dry toast the cumin seeds and peppercorns prior to grinding and combining with the other ingredients.

See the grinding page for info and photos on how to do this. (Link opens in new window)

Note 2: I recommend using a quality rock/kosher/sea salt for using in your blends as these are are a bit less processed than regular table salt. If however, you only have table salt to hand, just use that and it'll still flavour and season your grilled chicken perfectly.

Ingredient Note: I recommend using whole spices for this barbecue chicken rub if you have them available. If not, use pre-ground powders but reduce the amount by half. So 1 tablespoon of peppercorns would equal 1½ teaspoons of ground pepper. Reduce any other ingredients you don't have whole by half as well and stir in with the other powders when making.

How to Use This Chicken BBQ Rub

This is the way I do it; if you have your own technique just keep doing that...

Sprinkle the blend fairly thickly on to your bird so it's evenly covered and pat in.

Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least a few hours or, better, overnight. The longer it's left, the more the seasoning will soak into the meat.

About an hour before cooking, take it out of the fridge so it can return to room temperature.

Cook according to your recipe.

After Making Your Barbecue Chicken Rub You May Like to Try...

Barbecue Rub -
Brilliant For
Grilling Beef

BBQ Dry Rub - A
Sweeter Mix That's
Perfect For Pork

A Collection of 
Spice Mixes For
Fab Home Cooking

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