This Memphis-Style Barbecue Dry Rub keeps the chicken extremely moist, tender and delicious. We added a pinch of cayenne pepper for a little zest.
I love the smoky scent of a backyard BBQ. This weekend was the unofficial start of summer and for us, that meant just one thing – grilling! During the summer months, we spend a lot of time in our backyard grilling and spending time with our family. When we found this dry rub recipe from Cook’s Country Magazine (February/March 2010: Issue #31, page 22), that claims to keep the chicken extremely moist, tender and delicious we knew we had to give it a try — with a few modifications.
What is Memphis Dry Rub?
What does Memphis Dry Rub taste like?
Since Memphis barbecue is generally served without sauce, the rub is the best source of flavor aside from the meat itself.
What seasonings are in Memphis Dry Rub?
The base starts with a generous amount of sweet paprika for color, brown sugar for caramelization, and other ingredients for flavor boosters such as chili powder, smoked paprika, ground pepper, dry mustard, onion powder, salt, and cayenne pepper for some heat. If you like more heat in your barbecue, consider increasing the amount of cayenne in the recipe.
How do I make Memphis Dry Rub?
Mix all the ingredients together until combined. Store mixture in an airtight container for up to 6 months. To use, apply rub evenly over meat. The general rule is whatever amount of rub sticks is the perfect amount.
Memphis Style Barbecue Dry-Rubbed Chicken
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 lbs bone-in , skin on chicken pieces - any combination
- 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.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels and coat over and under skin with remaining rub. Transfer to plate and place in refrigerator, covered, for one hour.
- Heat grill to medium-low heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, and ½ teaspoon of salt.
- 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).
- Brush the chicken with the vinegar mixture and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup spice mixture. Serve with cornbread and baked beans, if desired.
- Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to suit your level of heat.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy, and is sourced from the USDA Food Database.