Chicken Rub Recipe

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This Chicken Rub Recipe is a quick and easy dry BBQ rub that’s perfect for adding a lot of flavor to your grilled chicken or even pork!

cooked chicken on a plate

Dry Rub for Chicken or Pork

Hello friends!! Summer is fast approaching so you know what that means…BBQ season! I use this bbq chicken rub year-round, but even more during the hot weather months.

The best part about this bbq chicken seasoning is that you can also use it on pork! So, it’s a two-for-one type of recipe that will leave your food succulent and flavorful. Hooray!

Looking for more recipes to up your barbecuing game? Check out my Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork, BBQ Marinated Chicken Kabobs, BBQ Meatballs, and my Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken!

Why You’ll Love BBQ Chicken Rub

  • Less than 10 ingredients
  • 10 minute chicken rub recipe
  • Family friendly
  • Quick and easy
  • Enhances chicken and pork dishes
Sweet BBQ Rub for Chicken -a super quick and easy spice rub for your grilled chicken. It also works great on grilled pork and it's a lot cheaper than buying rubs from the store.

How To Make This Chicken Rub Recipe

Combine the brown sugar, salt, seasonings, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Stir well and store in a glass jar with a lid. That’s it!

dry rub for chicken in a bowl

BBQ Chicken Seasoning Tips

  • Not a fan of smokey flavors? No problem! The subtle smokiness comes from the smoked paprika in this dry rub for chicken. If you aren’t a fan, you can omit it completely or swap it with regular paprika.
  • Never substitute the brown sugar. Part of what makes this bbq chicken rub so irresistible is the dark brown sugar. If you ever swap it for light brown sugar, you will notice the difference in flavor, and it’s just not as good.
  • Kick up the heat! In the mood for more heat? Go ahead and increase the amount of cayenne pepper to your preference to add a little bit more spice to the bbq chicken seasoning.
  • It’s customizable. You can easily adjust the seasonings to fit your likes! So play around with the seasonings until you have the perfect dry rub for chicken.
chicken cooked with bbq chicken rub

Frequently Asked Questions


Great question because there are a couple of ways you can do this. First, if you are using a large cut of meat such as a whole chicken or if you are using this on a large cut of pork (roasts), I like to apply the rub and wrap it in plastic wrap to refrigerate for 2+ hours. For a smaller piece of meat (chicken pieces, pork chops…) just apply it shortly before grilling.
To apply the rub, pat dry the meat well with a paper towel. Sprinkle all sides of the meat with the spice rub, coating it well, then gently press the rub into the meat. You can also smear a small amount of olive oil on the meat after drying it. Then, sprinkle with spice rub and rub it into the meat. I like to use a little oil when I am cooking dryer cuts of meat.


If you don’t want to use the bbq chicken rub, that’s totally fine! Try out this Simple Marinade for Chicken! It’s delicious and simple to make too.

Serving Suggestions

I have several options for you, but you can really serve anything you like. These are my top choices that pair nicely with the flavors of the bbq chicken rub.

closeup of bbq chicken seasoning on a piece of chicken

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Sweet BBQ Rub for Chicken -is an easy way to give boring chicken a lot of flavor. It's easy to make and cheaper than buying it from the store.

Sweet BBQ Rub for Chicken

Course: Seasoning
Cuisine: American
Keyword: spice rub, sweet and smokey rub, sweet BBQ rub
This Chicken Rub Recipe is a quick and easy dry BBQ rub that's perfect for adding a lot of flavor to your grilled chicken or even pork!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Calories: 231kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur
Print Recipe Save Recipe


  • 1/4 cup (45g) packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon each chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • In a small bowl combine all ingredients. Store any leftovers in a small jar with a tight fitting lid. 


  1. This dry BBQ rub has a subtle smokey flavor to it. Don’t worry it’s not overwhelming just a subtle hint. It comes from smoked paprika but if you don’t like it don’t worry just omit it. It will still taste great without it.
  2. Also, this rub is very customizable. If you want more heat feel free to up the amount of cayenne pepper. If there is a spice you really don’t like just omit it or replace it with something similar. Having said that don’t substitute the dark brown sugar or the kosher salt. Both are vital components of a basic sweet rub. 
  3. Nutrition is for the entire batch of seasoning.


Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.04g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 6994mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 58g | Vitamin A: 597IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg

7 thoughts on “Chicken Rub Recipe”

  1. There is authentic Korean barbecue in many restaurants. Los Angeles is home to many places that offer Korean bulgogi and Korean barbecue. It is also possible to eat several varieties of Korean barbecue hotpots. The dishes typically come with rice. The Korean BBQ portion in the menu you will find various options. You can find the perfect Korean BBQ restaurant to satisfy those cravings. You can also find an establishment in Koreatown which serves this type of food.


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