Wicked Good Chicken Rub
by Chris Hart, Pitmaster, Author & Barbecue World Champion, Hopkington, Massachusetts
A barbecue chicken spice blend should be sweet and spicy with herbal background flavors that are complementary yet not overpowering. This one is perfect, especially on chicken wings tossed with a little butter and some hot sauce.
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk. Working in batches if necessary, pulse the mixture in a spice grinder for 30 seconds to ensure even blending. Transfer to an airtight container and store out of sunlight up to one month.
Use 1 teaspoon of Wicked Good Chicken Rub per pound of chicken. Season chicken and refrigerate while prepping the grill for two-zone cooking.
For a charcoal grill, remove the grill grate and light a charcoal base on one side (this will be the hot zone). The opposite side should have no charcoal at all (this is the cool zone). Set all vents to 75% closed and position the exhaust vent above the cool zone.
For a gas grill, turn on only one burner. Depending on the grill design, use the back burner or the burner to the far right or far left. Wrap some wood chips (that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes and drained) tightly in aluminum foil. Poke a few holes in the pouch, and place it directly on the burner.
Place the chicken on the grill grate on the cool zone side. If your grill is outfitted with a thermometer adjust vents to maintain 275 to 300°F. Cook until chicken reaches 165°F.
Serve tossed in your favorite warmed barbecue sauce.