3-Step BBQ Rubs and Marinades

3-Step BBQ Rubs and Marinades

Add a tasty 3-step rub or marinade to spice up your next poultry party.

By: Adam Easterling

Barbecue season brings lots of options for the grill: burgers, hotdogs, steaks, ribs and even veggies. But let’s not forget one of the best barbecue bites around — chicken! Few foods rival some fantastic fowl with a great grilled flavor. Your chicken can be savory or sweet, but it’ll always be succulent when it’s cooked to perfection. And there’s no better perfection than barbeque perfection!

That barbecue heaven comes courtesy of three complex steps. Ready?

Step 1: Rub, or Marinate
Step 2: Cook
Step 3: Eat

Did you follow that? Good! Now, we know you like to use the same recipe you’ve relied on forever, but we promise fantastic results with this method. Let’s break down Step 1 in a little more detail, shall we?

Rubs bring a ton of flavor to your bird before it ever even hits the flame. Just about any flavor profile can be thrown into a chicken rub, from sweet to salty to kicked-up heat. Finding the right balance can be a delicate trick, but that perfect rub really sets the bird off right.

Marinades, on the other hand, bring that deep BBQ flavor to your poultry party. Soaking your chicken in the right spices means the meat gets tender and juicy, with the right balance of acidity and spice. Let’s take a look at a few rubs and marinades we can use to get that barbecue done right, and we’ll even give you the basics for Step 2 on the grill.

Oh, and that last step? You can probably figure that one out.

Carolina Style Rub

1/4 cup paprika
2 tablespoons coarse salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and pack tightly around bird until fully covered. Wrap in foil and place in refrigerator 1-3 hours, until ready to cook.

Magic Dust Rub

1/2 cup paprika
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup granulated garlic
1/4 cup chili powder
3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns

Combine ingredients in a bowl and rub on bird until fully coated. Wrap bird in foil and set in refrigerator until time for cooking.


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Spicy Chipotle Marinade

1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 ounces of chipotle in adobo sauce, pureed
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Reserve 1/2 cup of mixture for basting, and cover chicken with the rest. Cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours before cooking.

Korean BBQ Chicken Marinade

1 cup white sugar
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
4 teaspoons hot chili paste
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a saucepan over high heat, whisk together sugar, soy sauce, water, onion powder and ground ginger. Bring to a boil, then simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice and hot chili paste. Place chicken in mixture to marinate. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours before cooking.

To grill your rubbed or marinated chicken:

Set grill to medium-high heat. Put your chicken on the grill, 4 inches from the heat, turning once, for 10 minutes per side. Make sure the internal temp is at least 165 F. This is some bird barbecue done right!

Tip: Turn this appetizer into a meal by adding a side! Try coleslawfruit salad or sweet potato fries!

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