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The Best Dry Rub for Chicken

The Best Dry Rub for Chicken

This premade All-Purpose Chicken Spice Rub is great on every part of the chicken! You can even sprinkle it on roasted potatoes or vegetables.

Photography Credit:Irvin Lin

Summertime means pulling out the grill! When I cook out, I usually want to stick to the basics, nothing too fussy. That often means picking up some chicken and throwing some rub on it before I grill it.

I like to make my own spice rub because I can control what goes into it and tweak it to my own tastes. Having a pre-made batch of the rub stored in the pantry means dinner is ready fast.


This chicken rub uses a lot of paprika, along with granulated garlic and onion powder. It also has herbal notes with the addition of oregano and dried thyme. The coriander adds a floral, citrusy note, which works well with the neutral flavor of chicken meat.


As with all spice rubs, you can customize the blend to your own taste.

  • Omit the cayenne if you don’t like it spicy.
  • Consider more pepper or reduce the salt to suit your palate.
  • Add herbs and spices such as dried basil, parsley, marjoram or sage to give the rub a more pronounced green herbal note.
  • Lemon, lime or orange zest add a citrus touch.
  • Porcini mushroom powder gives the blend an earthy savory umami kick. You can find it upscale grocery stores and online.


Pantry herbs and spices don’t go bad, but they do lose potency and flavor. It’s best to use fresher dried herbs and spices for best flavor with this rub.

Most herbs and spices have a 2-year shelf life for potency. You can test each herb and spice by crushing a pinch of the spice or herb with your fingers and smelling it. If it smells dull or musty, it’s time to replace it.

Pro tip: Use an airtight glass jar to mix the ingredients together and you’ll save on cleanup!


Store this spice rub in an airtight container in the pantry with the rest of your herbs and spices, clearly labeled with a date. If the spices you used are fresh, the rub should last a solid two years. If your spices aren’t quite that fresh, the rub won’t last as long.


This spice rub is great on all chicken parts—breasts, thighs, legs, or wings. You can even sprinkle it on a whole chicken to grill or roast. It’s also delicious on roasted potatoes or as a seasoning for veggies in general.


Drizzle a little bit of oil over the chicken, then sprinkle as much rub as you want all over the chicken. Use your fingers to rub the spice blend in. Then grill or roast in the oven as you normally would! You can even use this rub to make a sheet pan dinner, meaning you have dinner ready in no time.


  • Roast Chicken with Carrots is basic enough for you to customize the approach.
  • Rub the chicken with this blend and then load it up with garlic for this Roasted Garlic Chicken.
  • Instead of straight up salt and pepper, try using equal parts of this blend for Air Fryer Fried Chicken.
  • Kick up your chicken tenders by adding some of the spices to the breading in these Goldfish Chicken Tenders.

Three More Rubs to Know:

  • The Best Dry Rub for Fish and Seafood
  • The Best Dry Rub for Steak
  • The Best Dry Rub for Ribs

The Best Dry Rub for Chicken Recipe


  • 1/4 cup paprika, smoked or sweet
  • 3 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1 Mix: Place all the spices in an airtight glass jar and shake gently to combine.

2 Store: Store in an airtight container for up to 2 years.

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The BEST Dry Rub for Chicken

Sweet, spicy, smokey flavor is packed into the BEST Dry Rub for chicken and then only dry rub recipe you need for all your summer grilling events. Simple to make in minutes, you can whip up a huge batch to keep on hand all season long. Makes the perfect dry rub for ribs and pork, too!

1. Barbecue Chicken Dry Rub

This is a classic recipe that is incredibly easy to make.

As with many dry rubs, you will likely have all the ingredients sitting in your pantry already.

The beauty of dry rubs is you can usually make some extra and keep it in a jar, ready to grab when the need to grill overtakes you.

Click here for the recipe, and then head to your cupboard and see what you have on hand.

Best Dry Rub for Chicken Wings

The best dry rub for chicken wings is simple to make and includes a secret ingredient that makes those wings super crispy and delicious.

  • Author: Lauren Keating
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Condiment
  • Cuisine: American


  • 2 Tbsp . brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp . Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp . chili powder
  • 1 tsp . smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp . baking powder
  • ½ tsp . garlic powder


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Lauren Keating

Lauren has been cooking for as long as she can remember and shares her recipes at, where she features on easy weeknight meals with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. She completed the professional plant-based cooking certification from Rouxbe cooking school and enjoys using plant-based cooking techniques to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and grains into traditional recipes in unique ways. Food-obsessed from a young age, her first words included “cookie” and “eat meat!”

Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links meaning that if you click on them and buy something we get a teensy commission, at no extra cost to you. All opinions are those of The Cookful editorial team.

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Recommendations for Making Chicken Rub Recipe

You can use this chicken rub recipe on any type of chicken. If you are going to use a piece of chicken with the skin still on, put the rub underneath the skin so the flavors can be locked in and the flavor will permeate the meat.

When the chicken is nearly done, you can add any type of sauce or marinade to up the flavor.

Spice-Rubbed Grilled Chicken

Keep this chicken recipe up your sleeve to keep dinner interesting!

This easy and healthy spice-rubbed grilled chicken may become your favorite everyday chicken recipe. Fantastic flavors with a touch of sweetness!

From Dara Michalski of Cookin' Canuck

skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed

  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Lightly brush grill with oil.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together paprika, chili powder, cumin, thyme, salt, garlic powder and pepper.
  3. Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl, sprinkle the spice mixture over the chicken and toss to coat.
  4. Grill the chicken until it is just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and honey. Brush mixture over grilled chicken. Serve.

If I had a dollar for every piece of chicken my family eats during the year, I&rsquod be booking flights to somewhere very idyllic and tropical. When you eat something that often, it&rsquos imperative that you have numerous tricks up your sleeve to keep your chicken recipes interesting. Herbs and spices, both fresh and dried, are a fantastic way to add flavor to any cut of meat. My friends may chuckle whenever they see my overflowing spice cabinet, but I always seem to be able to justify the presence of every half-used jar. Spice-rubbed chicken is one of those justifications.

Our outdoor grill gets a workout year round, unless the wool sweaters have come out of storage. If I have to dress in more than three layers, I&rsquom staying inside with my trusty stovetop grill pan. For this recipe, either method would work.

Alternatively, if you&rsquore not in a grilled chicken kind of mood, this spice-rubbed chicken can be cooked under the broiler. Place a metal rack on top of a foil-lined baking sheet (easy clean up), lightly coat the rack with cooking spray and arrange the chicken in an even layer. Broil the chicken thighs for 8 to 10 minutes, turning halfway through.

Could you use chicken breasts in place of the chicken thighs? Of course! However, you will have to adjust the cooking time, as the chicken breasts will likely be thicker than the thighs. For a couple of reasons, my personal preference is to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. First, they are cheaper than chicken breasts. Second, they retain their moisture much better than chicken breasts, particularly if overcooked slightly. Chicken breasts are far less forgiving when overcooked!

This recipe couldn&rsquot be any easier to put together. Start by stirring together the spices in a small bowl.

Sprinkle the spices over the chicken.

Once the grill is heated, cook the chicken for 4 to 5 minutes per side. Quick and easy!

While the chicken is on the grill, whisk together some red wine vinegar and honey. This simple glaze adds a really nice balance of acid and sweetness to complement the spice rub.

The first time I made this chicken, we served it with a green salad and corn on the cob. However, it works just as well served on top of rice or quinoa, on a hamburger bun or sliced up and tucked inside of a grilled sandwich.

This Spice-Rubbed Grilled Chicken is easy, healthy, full of flavor, and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. If you&rsquore looking for a new way to enjoy grilled chicken, try this!

Creole Rub

Love the taste of jambalaya? Check out this potent Louisiana-inspired rub from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que&rsquos John Stage.

  • ¼ cup paprika
  • ¼ cup granulated garlic
  • 2 Tbsp granulated onion
  • 1 ½ Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

Dry rub for chicken breast recipes

Salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, a little chili powder.

Honestly I keep it simple and just do a lot of chili powder. I grill with onions and bell peppers and haven't gotten tired of it

I use this all the time. Sometimes I add coriander and sub cayenne for the chili powder. Always makes delicious chicken.

How do you evenly rub all that on all the chicken breasts?

I've done this recipe with both thighs and beasts. Put it in the crockpot and forget it. I love it

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are above and beyond better tasting than chicken breast. Iɽ give those a try if you don't mind a little extra fat. I grill the bejesus out of them and they are always perfect.

I can get thighs for 59 cents a lb. Bone them myself,and they are infinitely better than breasts. The macros aren't a big deal without the skin, and the grill makes them unbeatable.

That's because they have a lot more fatty meat unfortunately. They do taste great though

Frank's RedHot sauce (and/or the powder) is great. Put a lot on

Not quite what you asked for, but for a little extra calories, rub chicken with spicy mustard and coat in a mixture of panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and a couple spices like paprika and garlic powder

Frank's Red Hot comes in powder form? For real.

Check out this List. I've tried the majority of them and they're all pretty good.

How do you "rub" all that stuff evenly on the chicken breasts?

is there a difference between rub and seasoning?

This is a marinade I found online a while back, not a dry rub, but it is fantastic.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup lime juice, from 2 limes 4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped 1 tablespoon kosher salt 2 teaspoons paprika 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 tablespoon cumin 1 teaspoon dried oregano 2 teaspoons sugar

This is for a 4 pound whole chicken but I use it for 6 breasts that I butterfly and toss em on the grill. Marinate for at least 4 hours, I usually do it the night before I cook so they're ready to go when I'm home from work. The sugar helps to draw the marinade into the meat so don't leave that out.

1 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary o

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder o

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder o

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried parsley

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules

This is sorta busy but it really adds flavor to boring chicken breast without adding cals.

I use this for baking breast for a whole week. I'm not looking for a taste sensation. Just something to add that goes with whatever veggie I prep that week.

I also usually make a bunch to last several prep seshes. So adjust the amount to get more for later use.

edit: As far as cheap, unless you already have the spices this is not cheap, obviously. But I consider a spice collection to be a slow crawl anyway. I don't always have all these spices so I tend to just leave them out when I don't have them available. Honestly, I have never added Chicken Bouillon and instead I up the salt. Keep in mind that if you bake a bunch of breasts try to salvage the juice for later use as chicken broth. You can then utilize that for flavoring with other recipes.

So I'm on mobile and I can't just link the recipe but I'm gonna give an overview and then link the page in an edit.

1tsp Kosher salt 1/2tsp Black pepper 1/2tsp Cayenne pepper (you can change this one based on how spicy you want. I like a decent amount of spice so I've discovered that this is about perfect for my taste but my GF likes a bit less. It's not part of the original recipe so just try it out and see what you like) 1/2tsp Paprika 1/2tsp Garlic powder 1/2tsp Onion powder (I've just added this for preference)

Those measurements are just from the site. I've gotten to the point that I use 1/2 cup of salt and then just measure everything else out by half so I can have it made and use it for awhile without measuring and mixing every time I make it.

So you take all the breasts and brine them in a pot with 1/4 cup kosher salt for 15 minutes.

Pull them out and drop them in a pan and brush them with either melted butter or olive oil. I've used oil most because I haven't noticed a difference really.

Mix your rub together in a bowl or cup or whatever and then sprinkle it over both sides of the chicken.

Roast the chicken for about 15 minutes. I use a thermometer and I usually go until about 140ish.

Let them rest for 5-10 minutes and viola! Literally the best chicken breasts I've ever had HANDS DOWN. Nice and juicy with plenty of flavor and a decent amount of spice.

Making a Salt-Free Chicken Dry Rub

If your recipe includes garlic salt, onion salt, celery salt or seasoned salt, be especially cautious of adding any more plain salt to the recipe. Personally, I often put together chicken dry rub recipes with no salt at all.

I will salt the chicken lightly first, so I know exactly how much salt is going on. Then I'll shake on the salt free dry rub mixture.

Doing it that way prevents serving over-salted foods. When a dry rub has salt in it, you just don't know how much salt is actually getting on the food when you use it.

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

After combining the ingredients, store in a sealed container. Makes enough for one whole chicken, or six chicken breasts.

Rub Those Chicken Breasts With Flavor!

The chicken has been seasoned on all sides with the dry rub, and now it will sit there for about an hour to make sure it's fairly dry before going into the Weber grill to smoke.

In this case, I didn't season the chicken with salt before I put on the rub. The chicken breasts were brined, so they were already plenty salty. No need for more salt coming from the dry rub or from a shaker!

Smoking Seasoned, Skinless Chicken Breasts

Skinless chicken breasts tend to dry out if they're cooked for a long time, so I've found it better to smoke them at 275 degrees. Apple wood chips are my favorite for adding smoke flavor.

Remove the breasts from the smoker when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and they will be tender and juicy. As an option, glaze them with your favorite bbq sauce when they reach 160 degrees.  Put them back into the smoker for another 5 minutes to finish.

Step by step recipe instructions

  1. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Make your dry rub.
  4. Cut up your chicken wings.
  5. Season your chicken wings with the dry rub.
  6. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
  8. When chicken wing temperature should be 165 degrees when done.

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