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What to Season BBQ Chicken With?

A Taste Explosion: Unlocking the Secrets to Perfectly Seasoned BBQ Chicken

Nothing says summer like firing up the grill and indulging in a succulent piece of BBQ chicken. It’s a quintessential dish that brings people together, whether it’s at a backyard cookout, a family gathering, or a casual picnic. But with countless options available, finding the right seasoning for your BBQ chicken can be a daunting task. In this article, we will explore some of the best seasonings to elevate your BBQ chicken game and leave your taste buds yearning for more.

When it comes to seasoning BBQ chicken, the possibilities are endless. From sweet and smoky to tangy and spicy, the choice ultimately depends on your personal preference. However, there are a few classic flavor combinations that consistently deliver mouthwatering results.

Salt and Pepper: Sometimes, simplicity is key. A good-quality salt and freshly ground black pepper can enhance the natural flavors of the chicken. The salt helps to bring out the meat’s juiciness, while the pepper adds a subtle kick. This timeless combination is a great starting point for beginners or those who prefer a more traditional flavor profile.

Barbecue Rubs: BBQ rubs encompass a wide range of flavors, but they all share a common goal: infusing the chicken with a medley of aromatic spices. Whether you opt for a store-bought blend or decide to create your own, the key is to strike a delicate balance between sweet, savory, and spicy elements. A typical BBQ rub might include ingredients such as brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Experiment with different proportions to create your signature blend.

Citrus Marinades: If you’re looking to add a refreshing twist to your BBQ chicken, citrus marinades are the way to go. The acidic properties of citrus fruits like lemon, lime, and orange not only impart a tangy flavor but also help tenderize the meat. Combine the juice of your chosen citrus fruit with olive oil, herbs like thyme or rosemary, and a touch of garlic for a zesty marinade that will leave your taste buds dancing.

Tandoori: For those seeking a taste of the exotic, tandoori seasoning is sure to impress. Inspired by Indian cuisine, this blend typically includes a fusion of spices like cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, and ginger. The vibrant red color and smoky flavor make tandoori BBQ chicken a showstopper at any gathering. Pair it with some cooling yogurt sauce and naan bread for an authentic experience.

While these tried-and-true seasonings can undoubtedly elevate your BBQ chicken, don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different flavors. Perhaps your palate yearns for a touch of honey-glazed sweetness or the fiery kick of chili flakes. Remember, the beauty of BBQ chicken lies in its versatility.

“Seasoning is an opportunity to bring out the best in your BBQ chicken,” says renowned grill master John Smith.

“Experiment with different spices, herbs, and marinades to find your unique flavor combination. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and try something new.”

In addition to the seasonings, it’s important to consider the cooking method and temperature when preparing BBQ chicken. Achieving the perfect balance between tender meat and crispy skin requires attention to detail. Make sure to preheat your grill and cook the chicken over indirect heat to prevent flare-ups and ensure even cooking.

To help you on your journey to BBQ greatness, here’s a simple recipe to get you started:

Classic BBQ Chicken Recipe:


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks, or a combination)
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ rub of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional for a touch of sweetness)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your grill to medium heat.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the BBQ rub, olive oil, honey (if using), salt, and pepper.
  3. Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels and generously coat them with the seasoning mixture.
  4. Place the chicken on the grill, skin-side down, and cook for approximately 5-7 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C).
  5. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of what to season BBQ chicken with, it’s time to unleash your culinary creativity. Gather your favorite seasonings, fire up the grill, and get ready to impress family and friends with your perfectly seasoned BBQ chicken. Remember, the secret ingredient is always passion! Happy grilling!

Common BBQ Seasonings and Their Flavor Profiles
Seasoning Flavor Profile
Salt and Pepper Classic, simple, enhances natural flavors
BBQ Rubs Sweet, savory, smoky, spicy
Citrus Marinades Tangy, refreshing
Tandoori Exotic, smoky, vibrant