This homemade Dry Rub for Smoked Chicken is the perfect blend of sweet, savory, and spicy, made with everyday ingredients. This BBQ rub for chicken leaves a beautifully caramelized crusty and crackly exterior. It is the perfect rub for any smoked chicken recipe or any chicken that is oven-baked or cooked in the Air Fryer, Instant Pot, or slow cooker. You can use it on chicken breasts, chicken wings, thighs, quarters, and legs. It's so versatile; it can also be used as a BBQ rub for turkey or pork. It also tastes great on ham! Plus, this rub is gluten-free!
When people think of dry rub, they generally think of spices and herbs mixed to use as a seasoning. But a dry rub is more than just a spice mix.
A dry rub also helps brown and caramelize chicken that is smoked on the grill. Who doesn't love a crispy carmelized coating?
This rub for smoked chicken is simple to make, and you can have it ready to go in only 5 minutes. This is our go-to rub for chicken anytime we cook it on the smoker, and we feel it is the best chicken rub for smoking. Because it is a dry rub, it has no added liquid in it, which means the outside of the chicken will start to sear quickly and give you the flavor you're looking for.
Detailed measurements are in the recipe card below.
- What is a dry rub?
- Why you need to make chicken rub for grilling
- Ingredients for dry chicken rub for smoking
- Step-by-Step Instructions for chicken rub for smoker
- Variations for dry rub for smoked chicken
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Top Tips for Smoked Chicken Rub Recipe
- How to store chicken smoker rub
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What is a dry rub?
A dry rub is used to flavor meat and give it a nice delicious coating. It consists of dry ingredients such as herbs, spices, and sugar. A dry rub is coarser than seasoning and applied heavier than seasoning. Dry rubs help enhance the flavor and create a unique taste for each dish.
Why you need to make chicken rub for grilling
Homemade rub for chicken is economical. It costs just a fraction of what you would typically pay to buy chicken rub at the store, and it is much more delicious. Plus, you know what ingredients are in it, and you can feel good knowing it doesn't contain any preservatives.
This chicken rub recipe for smoking gives chicken, turkey, or pork amazing flavor; it is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. The brown sugar carmelizes in the heat and leaves a crusty, savory exterior. We love using it every time we make Smoked Chicken Legs.
This chicken dry rub recipe makes about ½ cup of seasoning, which is a lot. However, it will last for approximately 4 grilling sessions. This, of course, depends on how much you use and how much meat you put it on.
Ingredients for dry chicken rub for smoking
- Brown sugar. Light or dark brown sugar will work. Dark brown sugar has a higher molasses content which will give it a richer taste.
- Paprika. I highly recommend smoked paprika if you have it.
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Roasted garlic and peppers seasoning. The kind I use is made by Club House and it can be found in the grocery store or Costco.
- Chili powder
- Seasoning salt
- Black pepper or use freshly ground peppercorns.
Step-by-Step Instructions for chicken rub for smoker
Combine all spices and herbs in a small bowl and stir to combine.
You can also place spices and herbs in a glass jar. Place a lid on the jar and shake it for about 10 seconds to mix all the ingredients.
To use, sprinkle dry rub on meat liberally with a spoon.
Alternatively, place a couple of teaspoons of rub on a plate and roll the meat in it to coat. Cover all areas, top, bottom, and sides. If not grilling or smoking the meat right away, place it in the fridge until you are ready to cook it.
Variations for dry rub for smoked chicken
You can easily switch up ingredients in this dry rub recipe to suit specific tastes. Experiment with different flavors and see what works best for you. Some ideas you might want to try are:
- More Sweet - add extra brown sugar to the spice rub for a sweeter taste.
- Less sweet: If you prefer your rub to be less sweet, use only 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- Spicier: If you would like your spice rub spicier, increase the chili powder
- Extra spicy: If you want to add even more spice to this recipe, add some cayenne pepper. Just a pinch will do!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Let the rub sit on the meat for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours for the best results. Just make sure to place the meat back in the fridge if you are not cooking it right away. I usually put the rub on the meat, then preheat the grill. By the time the grill is heated, the meat is ready to be placed on the grill. Because the meat is smoked, it is cooked at a lower temperature, and the rub will have lots of time to work its magic.
To make the rub stick better, drizzle a light layer of olive oil onto the chicken before applying the dry rub. The olive oil helps the rub stick better to the meat, making it less likely to fall off.
Many people love barbecue sauce on their meat. It can be used with a dry rub, but apply it during the last few minutes of cooking.
Top Tips for Smoked Chicken Rub Recipe
Use the freshest ingredients that you can. For example, spices tend to lose their flavor and aroma about 9 months after they are opened.
Pat chicken dry with a paper towel to remove moisture to prevent the rub from sliding off.
Place the spice rub in an electric salt and pepper grinder so it is ready to use whenever you are, and it's a cinch to use.
How to store chicken smoker rub
Store dry rub in an airtight container such as a glass jar or resealable bag in a cool, dry place. Make sure it is kept away from heat and sunlight. For example, the pantry or a kitchen cabinet are great places to store chicken spice rub. If it is stored properly, this rub will keep for up to 6 months. However, for optimal flavor, use the rub within 2 months.
Make sure to date and label the jar or bag.
For optimal freshness, store smoked chicken rub in the freezer in a resealable bag. It will stay fresh and fragrant for up to a year.
This is the perfect rub for smoking chicken, turkey, ham, and even ribs. With this rub, your dish will taste amazing and look beautiful on the plate.
Start preparing your favorite dish with this versatile and flavorful dry rub today!
If you've tried this Dry Rub For Smoked Chicken or any other recipe, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you!
Dry Rub For Smoked Chicken
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoon Roasted garlic and peppers seasoning
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Place all the spices in a small bowl or a glass jar with a lid and shake gently to combine.
- Sprinkle dry rub on meat liberally with a spoon, or place a couple of teaspoons of rub on a plate and roll the meat in it to coat. Cover all areas, top, bottom, and sides. If not grilling or smoking the meat right away, place it in the fridge until you are ready to cook it.
- Store in an airtight jar or a Ziploc bag in a cool, dry place.