Spicy BBQ Chicken Skewers

These spicy BBQ chicken skewers are so easy to make and taste delicious.  One of the things I love most about this recipe is how versatile it is.  The rub works great with grilled chicken skewers but you could easily use the same recipe for chicken kabobs or even just barbecue chicken.  If you don’t want spicy just leave the red pepper out of the rub and if you want it a little sweeter just double the brown sugar.  I also suggest you make extra because everybody is going to love these!

three spicy bbq chicken skewers on a white plate


BBQ Dry Rub

The first thing you will do is make a dry rub.  This makes enough for 4 lb’s of chicken.  Because it’s just spices you can save any you don’t use in a zip-lock bag.  Just pit it in your fridge or freezer.  UpdateI used the other half as a rub for some smoked beef brisket and it was fantastic!


1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne/red pepper

Thoroughly mix the rub and set aside.  If you don’t like mustard don’t worry because you won’t taste it.  I hate mustard but love using mustard powder in my rubs.  Make sure you break up any clumps of brown sugar and mix all the ingredients well.

ingredients for barbecue rub waiting to be mixed

Preparing the Chicken

Trim the fat off of 1 – 2 lb’s of chicken breast and cut lengthwise.  Thin strips like below are generally better and don’t worry if they aren’t all uniform.  A little variety in the cuts will give edges and pockets for the rub and sauce to collect.  It also makes the skewers look prettier on your plate.  And before you say anything those chicken strips are NOT just laying on the counter.  I have a clear glass cutting board.

Chiken breasts cut into strips on a cutting board

Completely coat the chicken strips in the rub.  Place in a covered bowl or cover with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator for 1 – 2 hours.  Applying the rub a couple of hours before cooking is vital for two reasons.  First it gives the seasoning time to soak into the chicken, so it will taste better.  Second the seasoning, especially the salt, will make the meat more tender.  Nobody likes a chewy rubbery flavorless piece of chicken so get this prepped a little in advance.

chicken breast strips covered in bbq dry rub

Grilled Chicken Skewers

Run the skewers through the chicken strips lengthwise.  If you are using wood skewers be sure to soak them in warm water for 30 minutes first.  I can’t put my finger on it but there’s something aesthetically pleasing about meat on a wooden stick.

Applying barbecue sauce to bbq chicken skewers on the grill

Grill for 5 minutes per side over medium heat with the lid closed.  When the chicken is fully cooked you can lightly coat with the BBQ sauce of your choice.  Cook for another 1 – 2 minutes to bake the sauce on.

a plate full of bbq chicken skewers

Remove from the grill and serve right away.  These things are absolutely amazing and because you put the rub on earlier the chicken will be flavorful and tender.

Printable Recipe


Spicy BBQ Chicken Skewers

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes


  • 1 - 2 lbs Boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp Chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Mustard powder
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne/red pepper
  • 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce


  1. Combine all of the spices in a bowl and mix well.  Set aside.

  2. Trim fat from chicken breasts and cut lengthwise into strips.

  3. Coat the chicken strips in the dry rub.  Refrigerate in a covered bowl for 1 -2 hours.

  4. Run skewers through chicken strips lengthwise.  If using wood skewers soak in warm water for 30 minutes first.

  5. Grill on medium heat for 5 minutes per side.  Continue cooking until chicken is done.

  6. Lightly apply the BBQ sauce of your choice to both sides and cook for 1 - 2 more minutes.

  7. Remove from grill and serve.

Don’t leave me hanging!

Did you make it?  How did it turn out?  Tell me all about it in the comments below and don’t forget to share this recipe on Pinterest or Facebook!

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