Circle B Barbecue Sauce and Dry Rub

Circle B Kitchen

My son developed this recipe as he watched a chef friend make this sauce and rub for some ribs he was grilling. I sort of tweaked it a tad by adding dry mustard to the sauce and playing with the seasonings a bit, but mostly this makes some of the best barbecued chicken in Circle B history. I don't always use the rub, but this is the only BBQ sauce we'll ever apply to our chicken.

2 chickens cut into pieces (I cut the breasts in half and the thighs, too, if they're overly large)

The Rub

1/4 cup coarse salt (sea or kosher)

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup sweet paprika

3 tablespoons black pepper

1 tablespoon garlic flakes

1 tablespoon onion flakes

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

The Sauce

1 cup ketchup

1 cup tomato sauce

2/3 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup unsulfured molasses

2 teaspoons hickory-flavored liquid smoke

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

3 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper


Remove any excess skin from the chicken pieces. Combine all of the rub ingredients in a shallow bowl or plate. Dredge each chicken piece in the rub, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

For the Sauce:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the catsup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, molasses, liquid smoke and butter. Cook briefly until well combined and then add the rest of the seasoning ingredients. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes. Cook longer for a thicker sauce and less for a thinner sauce.

Prepare your grill to medium heat, rub the grate with oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the chicken pieces on the grill and cook for 30 minutes, turning occasionally to keep from burning.

After 30 minutes, begin applying the barbecue sauce, turning the chicken frequently to keep it from burning and re-applying the sauce for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the grill and to a serving platter. Enjoy!