What Is The Best Seasoning For Barbecue Chicken?

Black pepper is THE spice to match with the smokey and charred flavors that can only come from grilling due to its resinous flavor and piercing heat. For convenience, grind high-quality pre-ground pepper, or for a burst of flavor, crush whole peppercorns. Respect your steak; else, it would just be a piece of meat.


The ideal spice combination for everything grilled is sweet onion. When its sugars caramelize in the juices and heat of the grill, it imparts a rich flavor and gratifying sweetness. On all grilled proteins, meats, and vegetables, use onion powder, onion granules, or onion flakes.

Ground Cumin

Consider cumin seed as a milder alternative to black pepper. Cumin, which is earthy and extremely flavorful, adds a richness that is almost meaty in texture and combines brilliantly with the grilled foods’ smoky, charred flavors.


Meats and other proteins taste fantastic with garlic. Vegetables get tastier and more intense as a result. Reconstitute dried garlic powder in your basting liquid before brushing it on your food while grilling with garlic. Repeat this process prior to, during, and after grilling.

Smoked Paprika

a sweet pepper with a warm, somewhat spicy flavor. For quick-grilling foods that don’t have much time to absorb flavor from the flames, season with smoked paprika. This contains delicate fish, poultry, asparagus, entire scallions, and summer squash, as well as shellfish, chicken strips, and skirt steaks.


Oregano, which is rich in spicy, peppery volatile oils, cuts through the richness of grilled meats and proteins while enhancing the flavor and depth of grilled vegetables. When combined with roasted and scorched tomatoes, ripe bell peppers, and eggplant, its flavor is unmatched.

Crushed Red Pepper

Chili flakes are essential for pre-grilling brines, marinades, and finishing sauces because they add texture and fruity heat. Try marinating meat, chicken, shrimp, and broccoli on skewers in an oil, garlic, and chili flakes marinade.


Thick-cut grilled meats are enhanced by the savory-herbal tones of rosemary, which offer rich, herbaceous flavors that will have you wanting for more. Apply whole rosemary leaves to classic steaks, lamb kebabs, or chicken with a Mediterranean flavor by adding them to grilling brines and marinades.


Is turmeric suitable for grilling? Of course! It is a fantastic choice to break out at the grill and is also a colorful one because to its earthy, peppery characteristics. In marinades, combine cumin, garlic, and chili flakes with turmeric powder. Or prepare a buttery sauce for grilled chicken, shrimp, or cauliflower steaks with crispy skin.


Thyme is a traditional ingredient for good reason—it blends a strong, savory flavor with subtle, almost floral undertones. Thyme’s alluring perfume makes it a great grilling season for meaty beef cuts and full spatchcocked fowl. The subtle flavor of thyme also complements shrimp, fish, and lamb chops that are flash-fired and cooked quickly.

Including spices in your grilling regimen gives you the chance to develop your culinary skills and improve your technique. Would you like to begin? If you always have these ten spices on hand, you’ll never run out of new pairings to experiment with. Start the grill!

Can you season chicken with barbecue sauce?

Yummy Homemade BBQ Chicken Rub created from a combination of sugar, salt, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and crushed oregano! For your grilled or smoked chicken, it’s ideal.


  • salt
  • fresh pepper, ground
  • paprikayour choice: smoky or sweet
  • chili powder
  • powdered garlic
  • garlic powder
  • dry thyme
  • stale basil
  • dried thyme
  • preserved parsley

Any cut of chicken or meat, including the chicken breasts, will taste incredibly tasty after being covered in the spice mixture. This dry rub imparts a great flavor to chicken whether you are baking, grilling, or pressure cooking it.

What spices complement barbecue sauce?

I freely spread the gospel of homemade barbecue sauce.

I believe that most packaged sauces are going to lose to what emerges from the kitchen any day. However, conversion is not always simple. I am aware that choosing between a lengthy list of ingredients and a lengthy cooking time vs a quick trip to the shop and a few bucks for the bottled goods normally favors the latter. So I’ve been considering that it’s time to strike a compromise, one that combines the practicality of pre-made sauce with some of the creative aspects of homemade.

On Bottled Barbecue Sauce

So what exactly is wrong with bottled sauces for me? In other words, nothing at all if you can locate a fantastic one, but great is hard to find. The quality of what you can buy at a typical grocery store often ranges from abhorrent to passable and ends there.

The typical sauce is created to conform to a predetermined flavor profile of sweet, tangy, smokey, and occasionally spicy. Most businesses push the boundaries a little too far with one taste or another when creating sauces to match this specific equation and simultaneously strive to stand out, resulting in sauces that are either too sweet or acrid from using too much liquid smoke. They aren’t necessarily all awful, though. There are some inexpensive sauces that are passable (check out our taste test), but I find that they don’t wow or inspire the way a truly fantastic sauce can.

Thus, the concept for this article was born: what if you rapidly gussied up a handful of these average sauces to make them suitable for discerning diners? The inventiveness and impressiveness of something made from scratch are combined with the cost and time savings of bottled sauce.

Incremental Improvements

When I decided to undertake this, I gave myself a few rules to follow. First, I wanted to choose three easily accessible sauces that cost less than three dollars and weren’t completely terrible. Second, before adding extra ingredients if I thought they were absolutely necessary for me to be able to recommend the sauce as a high-quality dish, I would first try to make it better with only four ingredients. Third, they had to be non-cooks who could quickly assemble.

I also debated whether to change the flavor profile to make each sauce more distinctive or to make each sauce a better example of a tomato-based barbecue sauce. It would definitely be more difficult to achieve the ideal balance of normal sauce flavor, but it didn’t seem as much fun as tasting each sauce and determining what could be good complements, contrasts, and boosters to transform it into something new and fascinating.

I chose to give each sauce its own characteristics, but if you’d rather only change the flavor, you can use these common ingredients and experiment:

  • Vinegars: These can be used to counteract the sweetness of the typical store-bought sauce. Rice vinegar can perform well without being very acidic in barbecue sauce, while apple cider vinegar is more frequently used. Citrus fruits are another source of acidity.
  • Hot sauces: I enjoy a little heat in my barbecue sauce, and the majority of sauces don’t have it. A small amount of Texas Pete or habanero sauce can go a long way toward giving a bland sauce depth and flavor.
  • Sugars: Since the typical sauce is already very sweet, adding sugar may not be necessary. However, if the sauce is too sour or spicy for your taste, you can try adjusting it by adding brown sugar, molasses, or honey.
  • Spices: Because bottled sauces often have strong flavors, the subtle flavors of the spices can be overlooked. To give body to the sauce, get inventive and experiment with other chili powders, peppers, cumin, or dry herbs. Garlic and onion powder are traditional flavors for barbecue.

Cattlemen’s Chipotle Orange

The first sauce I bought was Cattlemen’s, which had a moderate amount of smokiness, a light molasses depth, and a fairly tart tomato basis. I felt that the smoky and spicy chipotles in adobo would complement the sauce’s less sweet and somewhat more earthy flavor better than the other two sauces. I followed that up with the typical complement for chipotle orange juice. This was a significant improvement with just two components, but the contrast was absent. With sweet honey and a little extra something to make it seem special, ancho chili powder, I discovered the right balance. This sauce had a complexity of spice, sweetness, and tang well beyond what initially came out of the jar after only four components.

What is the key to delicious BBQ?

Owner of Lewis Barbecue in Charleston, South Carolina, John Lewis is passionate about meat. Every week, he produces thousands of pounds of barbecue for his adoring customers by welding his own custom-designed smokers and rising early to manage the fires for his perfectly smoked beef ribs, hog spareribs, and brisket. But for those of us who are not on Lewis’ level, starting small is acceptable. He advises focusing first on perfecting the smoked pig butt, a forgiving and challenging piece of meat. Let’s face it, there are already enough stresses in life; overdone meat shouldn’t be one of them, he argues.

Tips for making smoked pork butt at home:

– Start with a high-quality item.” Lewis claims that if you buy high-quality meat, you won’t need to do anything to make it taste nice than cook it correctly. Make friends with your neighborhood butcher, go to Costco or Sam’s Club, and spend extra money on the premium cuts—it makes a significant difference.

Use a quality rub mixture. You can prepare your own rub or purchase the identical one Lewis Barbecue uses online. Lewis believes the secret is to make sure you have an appropriate amount of salt, spice, and sweetness to balance the flavors. The meat should be extensively covered in the rub because it will be cooking for a considerable amount of time, he advises.

– Make your grill’s smoker an offset design. Lewis advises doing this by lighting just one side of the grill (if you have wood chips or charcoal, use those instead) and placing the meat on it “grill’s cold side. As a result, the temperature will be more evenly distributed and the meat will be cooked by the smoke rather than a flame.

– Have patience.”

The most frequent error I observe is [home grillers] slicing the meat as soon as it is removed from the grill, claims Lewis. “Meat must rest before being cut up; otherwise, the juice and flavor you worked so hard to develop would be lost.

What flavors complement barbecue?

Depending on the type of meat or food you are cooking, matching wine with barbecue and grilled food can, of course, be broken down the other way around. However, since certain wines can complement a variety of foods when it comes to outdoor cooking, we’ve divided wine pairings in this area by wine type:

Red Wines

Reds are often the best option for most beef cuts and proteins coated in BBQ sauce. The majority of grilled beef recipes go well with an easy-drinking Malbec or Shiraz, especially those that have only a simple dry rub and no sauce.

Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Grenache blends are additional excellent choices for when you are grilling burgers with strong flavors (like Ctes du Rhne).

With a Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Cabernet Franc, you can really enhance the flavors of a nice, thick-cut grilled steak, like a NY Strip or Ribeye.

Choose a strong, fruity red wine with moderate tannins for dishes like grilled chicken chops or pig ribs with BBQ sauce. Merlot, Syrah, or Zinfandel are all suitable choices. You need something that can withstand the meat’s tastes.

A full-bodied, oak-aged zinfandel is a terrific pairing with a smoked beef brisket that has been seasoned heavily.

Another highly adaptable red wine option is pinot noir. Smoked beef brisket, grilled salmon (particularly when cooked on a wood plank), grilled lamb, and pig dishes like pork tenderloin and pork chops go well with it. It also goes well with entire smoked chicken or turkey that has been rub-seasoned.

White Wines

Contrary to what many people believe, white wines pair remarkably well with grilled meals. White wine goes great with lighter grilled seafood alternatives like white fish, shrimp, oysters, etc. Due to their zingy acidity and robust stone fruit notes, Albario and Verdejo are two specific alternatives that go particularly well with grilled seafood.

Chardonnay pairs well with meaty fish and shellfish as well as mildly spiced grilled chicken and pig (halibut, cod, lobster, etc.). However, keep in mind that Chardonnay itself is available in a huge range of flavors, from full-bodied and oaky to delicate and crisp with no oak. So, serve bolder, smokier food flavors with the full-bodied, oaked Chardonnays, and light food flavors with light Chardonnays.

Riesling, with its outstanding acidity and mild fruit flavors, is another delectable alternative that goes well with most grilled poultry, fish, seafood boils, and even lightly-seasoned pork chops.

Choose a fresher style Chenin blanc if you’re grilling a variety of veggie selections for a fantastic pairing.

Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio go well with grilled fruit and grilled fruit-based desserts.

Sparkling Wines

People all adore bubbles! Fortunately, sparkling wines are some of the most adaptable choices when it comes to combining wine with grilled or smoked foods like barbecue. These wines pair beautifully with grilled chicken, fish, veggies, and desserts.

You can pick up some French Champagne, Spanish Cava, or Italian Prosecco for fantastic all-around matches while preparing these kinds of foods.

A Ros Champagne provides a wonderful complement if you are grilling a heartier seafood option like salmon and want a sparkling wine.


Ros is a similarly adaptable option to sparkling wine with grilled and smoked dishes. Because most high-quality Ros wines are acidic, they mix well with both delicately grilled dishes (such seafood and chicken wings with little seasoning) and stronger cuts of meat (like beef and pork).

Similar to Chardonnay, Ros’s come in a variety of flavors, from robust and heavier to light and crisp. Choose a Ros from Spain, South America, or Washington State for a more outspoken version. If you don’t want to serve a standard powerful red wine with your smoked brisket, a bold ros might really go extremely well with it. Choose a Pinot Noir-based Ros from Provence (France), Oregon, or another region if you want something crisp, light, and elegant.

How should chicken be seasoned before cooking?

If you decide to consume animal protein, it’s likely that you make chicken more frequently than any other type. It is not unexpected that chicken is so popular; it can be used in a wide variety of ways in the kitchen, has a bland flavor, is low in fat, and is more affordable than beef or fish. However, I believe that chicken can occasionally be TOO bland or flavorless. Furthermore, it can be TOO low in fat, especially in the case of the breast meat, which makes it susceptible to drying out, even when we take care to cook the chicken all the way through. My life was altered once I discovered a few easy techniques to make chicken taste much better after producing lousy chicken for many years. You’ll soon enjoy juicy, delicious chicken!

Salt: Seasoning chicken in advance, especially a whole bird or large portions with skin and bone, is the best thing you can do. Your chicken will only be season on the surface if you simply sprinkle a little salt on top of it just before cooking. However, treating the chicken with salt in advance or brining it in salt water will deeply penetrate the meat and produce a delicious piece of chicken. But salt also affects the chicken meat’s cells in a way that makes them better able to absorb and retain moisture than they were previously. Thus, the chicken will be considerably juicier in addition to being tastier. You accomplish two goals at once! That is not what I just said. To learn how to dry brine and wet brine, see the instructions below.

Timing: Planning ahead is necessary for well-seasoned chicken. As soon as I come home from the market, I dry-rub or sprinkle kosher salt on the chicken, then I rewrap it and store it in the refrigerator until I’m ready to cook it. You can do this up to two days in advance, but doing it less than 2-4 hours beforehand doesn’t have the desired result. A wet brine is the best choice if you’re short on time (say, you just got home from the market at 4:30 and want to get cooking right away), as you can efficiently season bone-in chunks in that time. Whole birds require more time.

Basic Wet Brine: In a large basin, combine 1/4 cup additive-free kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) with 1 cup boiling water to make 3 pounds of chicken pieces. To dissolve, whisk. Make sure the water is cool before adding 1 cup of ice. If not, include a couple ice cubes. Chicken pieces should marinate in the brine for 45 to 90 minutes. This can be done on the countertop if you’re immediately cooking the chicken. Before cooking, drain the chicken and pat it dry using paper towels. Use 4 cups of water and 1 cup of kosher salt for a full turkey. Refrigerator brine for two to three hours. Although many people brine cutlets, I don’t usually do so. Cutlets that are skinless and without any bone should only soak for about 30 minutes.

Basic Dry Brine: To make a basic dry brine, season 3 pounds of bone-in chicken pieces with a heaping teaspoon of sea salt or kosher salt devoid of additives. Until you’re ready to use, wrap and keep chilled. Never rinse.

Any chicken recipe you have (like one of my favorites, Orange and Rosemary Glazed Chicken, seen above) can benefit from these suggestions, but you might want to reduce the salt in your recipe a little because the chicken will already be seasoned. Next week, a fantastic recipe for baked chicken with artichokes and capers will be released. Delicious and ideal for Passover or Easter!