This homemade Dry Rub for 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 grilled chicken or chicken that is smoked, oven-baked, or cooked in the Air Fryer or Instant Pot. You can use it on chicken breasts, chicken wings, chicken quarters, and chicken legs. It's so versatile; it can also be used as a BBQ rub for pork.
This chicken rub for bbq 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. 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?
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.
Why you need to make this recipe
Homemade rub for chicken is economical. It costs just a fraction of what you would normally 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 rub gives chicken, or pork, amazing flavor; it is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy, and 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 recipe makes about ½ cup of seasoning, which is a lot. 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.
- 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
- Chili powder
- Seasoning salt
- Black pepper or use freshly ground peppercorns.
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 or so 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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For the best results, let the rub sit on the meat for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours. 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, so it is 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.
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 meat dry with a paper towel to remove moisture to prevent the rub from sliding off.
Place the spice rub in anElectric Salt and Pepper Grinder Set, Automatic One Handed Operation Pepper and Salt Mill, Adjustable Coarseness, Battery Powered Grinding Pepper with LED Light (2 Pack)" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener sponsored nofollow"> electric salt and pepper grinder, so it is ready to use whenever you are, and it's a cinch to use.
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 this dry rub for chicken in the freezer in a resealable bag. It will stay fresh and fragrant for up to a year.
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Dry Rub For Chicken
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoon Roasted garlic and peppers seasoning
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili 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.