Memphis-Style Barbecue Chicken Dry Rub

Moist, tender and delicious with a kick – the way chicken on the barbecue should taste!

Memphis-Style Barbecue Chicken Dry Rub

Recipe: Memphis-Style Barbecue Chicken Dry Rub

Memphis-Style Barbecue Chicken Dry Rub


For the Dry Rub:
6 Tbsp sweet paprika
3 Tbs dark brown sugar
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper [See Note 1]


For the Basting Sauce:
2 tbsp yellow mustard
1/4 cup white vinegar


For the Chicken:
3 lb. chicken of choice


1 hour




  1. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, chili powder, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, ground black pepper, dry mustard, onion powder, salt and cayenne (to taste) in small bowl. Transfer half of dry rub to shallow dish & reserve.
  2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and coat over and under skin (if necessary) with remaining rub. Transfer to plate and place in refrigerator, covered, for one hour.
  3. Heat grill to medium-low heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, and ½ teaspoon of salt.
  4. Place the chicken on the grill bone-side down and grill, covered, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes (removing the wings sooner).
  5. Brush the chicken with the vinegar mixture and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup spice mixture. Serve with cornbread and baked beans, if desired.