Beer Can Chicken Rub [Easy BBQ Dry Rub Seasoning Recipe]

By Ben Isham-Smith


The best dry rub seasoning for beer can chicken. Loaded with smoked paprika, chili powder, and cayenne pepper, this simple seasoning blend will take your smoked beer can chicken to the next level.

beer can chicken rub

This beer can chicken rub is the perfect seasoning blend for your barbecue beer can chicken, bringing together sweet n’ heat into one easy-to-make BBQ rub blend.

This seasoning is a must-have for fans of DIY homemade rubs. It takes just a minute to throw together, it can be tweaked to incorporate your sweet & spice tolerances, and is ready to use on your smoked beer can chicken right away.

From making the perfect blend to storage tips, discover how to make the best beer can chicken rub today.

beer can chicken rub seasoning

How to Make Beer Can Chicken Rub

Like any seasoning, this beer can chicken rub is quick and easy to put together. For full ingredient quantities, make sure you check out our recipe card below.

  1. Prep the Chicken: You will need to fully prepare your chicken before applying the BBQ rub, not the other way around. Do this by removing the giblets and rinsing out the cavity, before patting the chicken dry with paper towels.
  2. Combine the Ingredients: Add all the seasoning ingredients, including salt and black pepper, to a small bowl. Use a fork to combine and aim for an even blend. Use the fork to remove any clumps that may form (or crush them!)
  3. Oil the Skin: Apply a thin layer of olive oil across the entire chicken skin. Not only will this help glue the dry rub to the skin, but it will also help the chicken skin turn crispy during the smoke.
  4. Apply the Rub: Liberally apply the rub seasoning to the chicken, covering as much as possible and using your hands to work the rub into any folds along the chicken surface.
  5. Smoke: With the chicken fully seasoned, mount the chicken on a half-can of open beer and smoke at 250°F (120°C) for 2 hours.


Got leftover seasoning? Transfer it to an airtight container or jar (we use these ones from Amazon) and store in a cool, dark place, such as a cupboard or pantry, away from light and moisture. If stored correctly, it should last for at least two months (but no more than six).

beer can chicken recipe

Quick Tips

  1. If you want less spice, dial down the cayenne pepper and chili pepper to just one tablespoon of each. If you’re a heat freak only add a little more of each (it’s really easy to overdo the spice) or add a teaspoon of ancho chili powder for a dash of extra smoke.
  2. Don’t be shy with applying this seasoning! Aim for an even coating across the chicken surface, and use your hands to work it into any gaps or dents in the meat surface (disposable food gloves can come in handy here).
beer can chicken rub
beer can chicken rub

Beer Can Chicken Rub

4.34 from 3 votes
The best dry rub seasoning for beer can chicken. Loaded with smoked paprika, chili powder, and cayenne pepper, this simple seasoning blend will take your smoked beer can chicken to the next level.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Dry Rub
Cuisine: American, BBQ
Servings: 10


  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp ground black pepper


  • In a small bowl, combine all the dry rub ingredients. Use a fork to crush or remove any lumps that may form.
  • Prepare the chicken by removing and discarding the giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out under cold running water. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Apply a thin layer of olive oil to the chicken, covering all sides
  • Apply the dry rub to the chicken, working it across the entire surface and inside the cavities
  • Smoke immediately

About the Author

Ben Isham-Smith

A BBQ obsessive, Ben is behind 250+ of The Online Grill’s recipes, as well as countless barbecue guides to help barbecue newbies get to grips with the world’s best form of cooking.

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