How To Cook Chicken Before Grilling

Mastering Marinades & Spice Rubs – How To Cook Chicken Before Grilling

When attempting to answer the question, how to cook chicken before grilling there are a few things you will need to keep in mind. The most important being that you fate of your dish has already been sealed most times before it even touches the grill. How, may you ask? With the seasoning that you opt to use.

Flavor is King! I know the term is used a lot, but the truth is a bland cut of chicken grilled to perfection will still just be a bland cut of meat. However, a well-season chicken dish will sing. To ensure that your chicken comes out great after grilling each time, let’s take a look at my top 10 favorite sauces and spice rubs.

How To Cook Chicken Before Grilling?

Number 10: Sweet Five Spice

This delicious spice can be utilized for just about anything.


  • 5 tbsp of sugar
  • 1⁄2-1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 tsp of ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1⁄2 tsp of ground cardamom
  • 1⁄2 tsp of ground coriander


  1. Stir all these spices together and store them.

Number 9: Saudi Kasba Spice Mix

Here we have a lovely combination of spices, it is easy to make and packed with flavors.


  • Turmeric, 1 tsp.
  • coriander seed, 1 tsp.
  • black peppercorns, 1 tsp.
  • black cardamom pod, 1 tsp.
  • ginger, 1 tsp.
  • fennel seed, 1 tsp.


  1. Blend the mixture until crushed.

Number 8: Chili Wet Rub

Add some spice to your tofu, chicken, or meat with this tasty wet rub.


  • ½ cup chili powder
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper


  1. Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl and transfer them into an airtight container.
  2. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  3. Use as much as required.

Number 7: BBQ Sage Rub

This mixture is good for pork whether you are having a bbq or making sausages.


  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • 1⁄8 tsp of red pepper flakes, dried
  • 2 tsp of dried parsley
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp of Italian seasoning, dried
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 3⁄4 tsp of crushed dried fennel seeds
  • 1⁄2 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of minced dried onion
  • 2 tsp of salt


  1. Simply place all ingredients into an airtight jar, stir well to combine then close.
  2. Use within six months.

Number 8: Red Wine Beef Marinade

This delicious marinade is great with red meat or pork.


  • Beef stock (1 cup)
  • Red wine (½ cup)
  • Brown sugar (2 tsp., dark)
  • Balsamic vinegar (1 tsp.)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Start by placing the beef stock into a saucepan and place it over medium heat. Simmer until reduced to half.
  2. Next, add the remaining ingredients, then stir to combine.
  3. Set aside and use as needed or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Number 7: Baharat Spices Mix

This simple recipe is best suited for authentic mid-eastern recipes.


  • whole black peppercorn, 1⁄2 cup
  • 2 tsp whole cardamom seeds
  • coriander seed, 1⁄4 cup, whole
  • cinnamon bark, 1⁄4 cup
  • 1⁄3 cup cumin seed
  • whole cloves, 1⁄4 cup
  • 4 whole nutmegs
  • 1⁄2 cup ground paprika


  1. Except for nutmeg and paprika, put all the remaining ingredients in a blender and process until powder-like.
  2. Add paprika and grated nutmeg into the spices.
  3. Use as needed.

Number 6: Moroccan Spice Rub

Bring life to your lamb dishes with this tasty spice.


  • 2 tbsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp of paprika
  • 1 tbsp of ground coriander
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of allspice
  • 1⁄4 tsp of clove
  • 1⁄8 tsp of cayenne, to taste


  1. Mix together all the ingredients and store them in a dry and cool place.

Number 5: Shoarma Spice Mix

This homemade spice mix adds a unique flavor to your chicken and meats.


  • 1 tbsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp of ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp of garlic powder
  • 1⁄2 tbsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp of ground cloves
  • 1⁄2 tsp of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1 tsp of ground black pepper
  • 1⁄2 tsp of ground cinnamon


  1. Mix together all the ingredients and store them in a container.

Number 4: Five Seed Spice Mix

This spice mix is perfect for Indian cuisine.


  • mustard seeds, 2 tbsp, black
  • whole nigella seeds, 2 tbsp, whole
  • cumin seeds, 2 tbsp
  • 2 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • fennel seeds, 2 tbsp


  1. Mix together all the ingredients and grind them coarsely.

Number 3: Red Gun Powder Spice Mix

This Indian spice mix is perfect for lovers of spicy food.


  • 1 tsp of vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp of Bengal gram
  • 2 tbsp of white gram beans.
  • 15 small dry red chilies
  • 1⁄2 tsp of asafetida powder
  • 2 tbsp of sesame seeds
  • 1⁄2 tsp of salt
  • 1 1⁄2 tbsp of brown sugar


  1. Take a deep skillet and heat oil over medium heat for three minutes.
  2. Now add the two dals and chilies.
  3. Keep stirring till the dals change their color.
  4. Now stir in the sesame seeds and asafetida.
  5. Continue to fry the mixture till a lovely roasted aroma comes out.
  6. Now let the mixture cool on a plate.
  7. Add salt and sugar to the mixture.
  8. Take a coffee grinder and grind the mixture to powder.
  9. Use as needed.

Number 2: Ginger Teriyaki Sauce


  • 5 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. sake (or dry white wine)
  • 2 Tbsp. mirin (or sherry)
  • ½ tsp. ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 sliced spring onion
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Place the honey, ginger, mirin, sake, and soy sauce into a bowl and stir well to combine.
  2. Pour this into a small saucepan and place over medium heat.
  3. Allow to simmer until it gets thick (about 5 mins), then remove from the heat, add the spring onion and stir well until combined.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve and enjoy.

Number 1: The Ultimate Southern BBQ Sauce


  • Butter (¼ cup)
  • Onion (¼ cup, minced)
  • Celery (3 stocks, chopped)
  • Garlic (2 cloves, minced)
  • Beef bouillon (1 cube)
  • Water (1 cup)
  • Ketchup (1 cup)
  • Cider vinegar (½ cup)
  • Worcestershire sauce (3 tbsp.)
  • Spicy mustard (2 tbsp.)
  • Honey (2 tbsp.)
  • Paprika (1 tbsp.)
  • Chili powder (2 tsp.)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Start by grabbing a medium saucepan and adding the butter. Place over medium heat until the butter melts.
  2. Add the celery and onion, stir well and cook for around 5 minutes until soft.
  3. Next, add the garlic and cook for a further minute or two, until fragrant. Then dissolve the bullion in the water and add that to the pan, followed by the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer for around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove the sauce from the heat and allow it to cool for around 15 minutes.
  5. Blend until smooth, using an immersion blender then season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Bottom Line

Seasoning and marinating your chicken well is essentially sealing in your flavors before it even touches the grill. It is, however, very important to ensure that the herbs and spices you select to use marry well together. The recipes featured in this post will ensure that you end up with a cut of chicken that sings every time your power on your grill.

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