4 Easy Chicken Rubs for Campsite Cooking

grilled chicken

How can one bird provide so many tastes? Chicken rubs can be used alone or combined with different marinades and brines to make your campfire meal delicious and unique. But that's not where the flavoring ends. Try different woods on the fire, too, such as cedar, apple wood or mesquite. Here are a few delicious rubs to try.

MORE: 5 Marinades for Mouth-Watering Camp Food

Rub It the Right Way

Before you can season any chicken, you have to know the right way to rub it. Here are a few basic tips:

  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels before you apply the rub.
  • Just a few tablespoons of any rub are enough for a whole chicken.
  • Large seeds need to be ground to get the most of their flavor. Use a mortar and pestle or a clean coffee grinder at the campsite. If you have an RV, plug in your food processor, which will also grind most seeds.
  • The longer the chicken rub stays on, the stronger the flavor. When you find a rub you like, leave it on for a short period of time. For a stronger taste with a subtly flavored rub, put it both under and on the skin and let it sit for a while. Fat from the skin bastes the bird and helps to better develop the flavor.
  • Keep the rubbed chicken in a cool place until it's time to cook.
  • To kick up the flavor of a deli-roasted chicken, re-heat it at camp, brush it with melted butter and then add your rub.
  • Experiment with specialty salts such as Hawaiian Black Lava Salt, Fleur de Sel, Celtic Sea Salt or Kala Namak.

Now that you know the basics, give these chicken rubs a try on your next camping trip.

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Taste of Italy Chicken Rub


1/4 cup each garlic granules and sea salt
1 tbsp. fennel seed
2 tbsp. each dried oregano and rosemary
1/3 cup dried basil

Grind the garlic granules and fennel seeds together in a grinder or mortar and pestle and mix them with the remaining ingredients. You can also combine everything in a food processor and blend until the mix is fine.

Best for: skin-on chicken thighs

MORE: How to Create a Family Camping Menu

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