Grilled Quail with a Texas Dry Rub

Well it was time. The boys were getting loud and being mean to their friends. Luckily I had the perfect plan for them. The grill, Texas style!

Now I know what you're thinking, "But, Brea, no!!! The babiesss!" Sorry. They are livestock and they go to feed our family. We are 90% plant based, but raise most of the meat we eat so we don't contribute to the pain and suffering of commercially raised livestock. Our birds are very well cared for their entire lives, they are pasture raised, and they live as close to a natural life as they can while still being protected from the neighborhood cats, opossums, and raccoons. Now that's out of the way, on to spice rubs.


So many of the spices used in Texas rubs are the same ones used in northern Mexico's cuisine. As we say in the south, "the people didn't move, the border did." You get the typical Texas flavor with cumin, chili powder, and garlic. Almost all TexMex starts with those spices. I like adding in sweet paprika as well. It may not be the most traditional, but I think it adds dimension to the flavor profile.


I like my food a bit spicy. Not OmgImGoingtoDie! spicy, but a bit. Chili powder and ground cayenne are going to add heat. If you're nervous about that, cut down on both. Keep in mind, though, without those key ingredients, you won't get the burst of flavor you expect from a good spice rub.


Absolutely not! This spice rub is great on chicken and beef as well. I use this rub on fajita and taco meat all the time. It breaks my heart to see bland food happen to good people, so take this mix of spices and get creative. Fajitas are just as easy as this recipe and are even cooked in a very similar way, but that's for a different day.


For our family it is. We don't eat much meat and the times we do eat quail, the flavor is very rich. One quail per person is typically all we want. They are more like treats on the side of whatever veggies we are having, so they aren't the largest section of our plate anyway. If you are used to eating quite a bit of dark meat in one meal, though, you may want to go up to two quail per person. Many people find that more than two is far too much, but one or two is just right.

Yield: 4

Texas Style Grilled Quail

Prep time: 15 MCook time: 13 MTotal time: 28 M
Bit of Spice, Bit of Sweet, Texas Dry Rubs are Perfect for the Deep, Rich Flavor of Quail


  • 4 Skinless Quail
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for grill 


  1. Preheat grill to about 500 degrees with the lid down
  2. Set out the quail to bring to room temperature
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside
  4. Rub olive oil on the quail and then salt and pepper both sides
  5. Sprinkle the rub mix on both sides of the quail and rub it into all of the corners 
  6. Oil the grill grate using the vegetable oil,  paper towel, and tongs
  7. Place the quail on the grill breast side up
  8. Close the lid and let it cook for 5 minutes
  9. Flip the quail and cook for 3 minutes with the lid up
  10. Flip the quail one more time and close the lid cooking for 5 minutes 
  11. Cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees and until the juices run clear
  12. Let the quail rest for 5 minutes before serving


For our family, we only eat 1 quail per person. Some people eat 2 per person, but we find the meat very rich, so we are happy with just 1.
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Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. Can't recall ever having quail, but getting some this week from my local CSA. This recipe is PERFECT for a Texas gal like me. Thank you!


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